Statistics on businesses’ use of social media nowadays are remarkable. It is reported that roughly 70 per cent of small businesses use social media. Of that number over 50 per cent is said to make regular daily posts. Close to 4 billion people in the world use social media. That is actually a 5 per cent surge from last year so more and more people are using it. In this article, I want to share with you tips for your online presence or social media use as a business in Zimbabwe. This will help you make smart and informed strategic decisions.

Know The Social Media Usage Stats In Zimbabwe

It is important to know some of the basic stats when it comes to the internet and social media usage in Zimbabwe. Currently, there are over 9 million active internet and data subscriptions. Internet penetration in Zimbabwe is now just over 60 per cent. When it comes to social media usage you must know distributions of platform usage.

The 6 most used social media platforms in Zimbabwe are Twitter (42.4 per cent), Facebook (28.86 per cent), Pinterest (19.1 per cent), YouTube (4.91 per cent), Instagram (2.6 per cent), and Tumblr (1.53 per cent), in that order. That means platforms like LinkedIn are not commonly used in Zimbabwe. Another interesting stat there is that Twitter is more popular than Facebook, yet you find few businesses using Twitter. Anyways, my bottom line is you must know these stats from time to time to guide your strategies.

Use The Right Platforms For Your Business

Every social media platform is made different. What works on Instagram might not work on Twitter. For instance, on Twitter and even on LinkedIn there are post length restrictions. You also must know that there are differences in terms of the demographics for each platform. The nature of people who mostly use Twitter differs greatly from those on Instagram. However, interestingly, someone on Instagram will most likely be on Twitter. Someone on Twitter will most likely be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn works best for B2B engagements as opposed to B2C ones. In Zimbabwe the easiest platform to promote your business on is Facebook. The other platforms will need you to do some homework on the best strategies to use.

Have A Strategic Plan And Follow Through

Being online or on social media is not just about being there per se. It is also not just about posting stuff alone. You must plan a lot of things about how to use these platforms. What type of content will you be developing? How often will you be putting out the content? How about the days and times? All these are things you must plan beforehand and periodically. Content propagation must be deliberately scheduled in such a way that achieves what you want to achieve. In fact, what do you even want to achieve by having your business online? All this must be comprehensively answered in the form of a strategic plan.

Post Regularly And Engage

Communication in its generic form is best done regularly. That is why in social media use you must post regularly. Posting regularly is relative and varies from business to business. For some, they might post daily, even several times a day. For some, they might post after every two days. To figure out what is best you will have to monitor your platform. Essentially you must strike a balance – be regular but do not choke your platform users. Beyond just posting, engage them; when they comment you must respond. Even if it is just like, give them, people love it when a business responds to their comments.

Be Smart About How You Propagate Your Content

Here I am referring to some things you must bear in mind when putting your content out there. Studies have shown that the most engaging content is video-based. If you are not using that for your business you might be missing out on a lot. People generally have low or waning attention spans so short video clips do the job. Images are also another engaging aspect; infographics are also another magical thing to include. So you must figure out a healthy mix of video, images, and text. Also, pay attention to the differences in social media platforms. Do not use a one-size-fits-all approach when posting a particular post.

Use Data Analytics To Monitor And Evaluate

How do you even know which content performs best though? When is the best time to post? These and other questions can be best answered through data analytics. Depending on the social media platform in question there are so many metrics that are measured. Every social media platform has inbuilt data analytics features. When you use paid features e.g. boosting posts, paid ads, and so forth, you even get more comprehensive data on how your posts are performing. You cannot be serious about using social media for your business and you are not using data analytics, impossible!

Make People Use Less Effort – Smart Use Of Links Or URLs For Example

Let me illustrate this using an example. Have you ever noticed businesses that say ‘search for my business on Facebook? It could also be sharing their WhatsApp contact as a number – yet there is now a feature of sharing it as a link. Most businesses are making people work harder by not leveraging on the use of URLs or links. The most ideal scenario is for when someone visits your platforms they must just click through stuff and not have to minimize windows and go elsewhere. I mentioned URLs here but this principle applies to several areas. Ideally, people do not like to feel like they have to work hard to get things done.

Applying these 7 tips can redefine your social media experience as a business. If you recall I once did an article on A/B testing for your social media. That is also another important thing you must regularly do for your business on social media to figure out what works.