Using social media as a tool to promote businesses is now the norm. The pandemic played a huge role in accelerating that norm, especially here in Zimbabwe. The most common social media platforms used by businesses in Zimbabwe are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Some do use LinkedIn but it is not yet as widespread though. Aside from brands using social media to promote their goods or services, business owners are also using it. In Zimbabwe, it is now common practice to see social media accounts for a brand and then the brand owner’s social media accounts. A good example of someone doing that is Tinashe Mutarisi, the Founder and Chairman of Nash Holdings. Nash Holdings comprises Nash Paints, Nash Furnitures, and Avion, amongst others.

Tinashe Mutarisi’s Social Media Activity

He is mainly active on Facebook and Instagram. On Instagram, he has over 170 000 followers. He has over 204 000 followers on Facebook. His most recent Facebook post was him making a joke whilst advertising some Nash Furniture products. The post garnered over 7100 likes and over 1000 comments. The one before that he had posted looking for 15-tonner box trucks to hire. There were headboards from Nash Furnitures that needed to be transported as soon as possible. That post got over 3000 likes and 627 comments. What makes his posts relatable and receive significant engagements is being casual. He posts them in a way that gets people joking around but still elicits the intended response.

At times, most of the time his posts are not about his businesses at all. He can post about his kids’ birthdays. At times he can post about weddings of loved ones. At times he can do appreciation posts of music artists or any other personality that would have impressed him. In some of his posts, he can kick-start a discussion on trending societal issues. Other posts are meant to inspire or exhort. He does compose his posts in English but mostly he mixes with Shona.

There was a particular post where he was joking about how his Nash Furnitures factory workers barely ever greet him. It was a funny way of appreciating his employees’ dedication to their work. He then signed off that post by saying, ‘deposit $30 balance within 9 months. The post got close to 10 000 likes and over 1200 comments. Jokes characterize most of his posts which contribute immensely to that relatability aspect. His Facebook post from April 21st 2022 was quite hilarious.

If you do not stop to analyse Tinashe Mutarisi’s social media activity, you might think it is basic. You might think that here is a prolific entrepreneur simply having fun on social media. Well, there are several invaluable principles he is living out on effective use of social media to promote one’s businesses. For your benefit, let us discuss some of those principles that you can also apply to your business journey.

Having Separate Brand Identities – For Personal And Business

The first thing you can see from his social media activity is the separation of brand identities. It might seem obvious but most business people or entrepreneurs do not do so. On social media, you must have an account for your business and another one for yourself. This makes it easy to separate between your brand and your business brand. On the one hand, you have your business marketing staff pushing the business via its account. Then on the other hand you have your account pushing the business. There are so many possible PR mishaps that this arrangement avoids.

The 80-20 Principle

Tinashe Mutarisi’s use of social media demonstrates something I have underscored several times before. Here I am referring to 80-20 as the ratio of how one should use their time on social media. Yes, he owns several businesses and would understandably want to always push them. However, most of his posts are never about pushing his businesses. They are usually just about genuinely interacting with their audience. This is why his posts are typically marked by outstanding engagement rates.

In using social media to market your brand, 80 percent of your time should not involve any direct marketing at all. It should only be 20 percent of your time on social media that you can directly market your brand. Most people invert or reverse that ratio and trust me; it annoys your audience or makes it hard to grow your audience. Tinashe Mutarisi’s use of social media is premised on effectively applying the 80-20 principle.

Building Online Communities

You might also know that there is Nash TV. Tinashe Mutarisi is also actively involved in that. Such a smart move when you consider the fruits. He was one of the first to introduce a social media TV element in Zimbabwe. Ever since the advent of that approach, several other players have followed suit. The Nash TV concept is about building online communities. This is done by regularly coming up with relevant and engaging content. During the lockdowns, Nash TV was facilitating and airing entertainment events. This has over time given so much exposure to especially Zimdancehall artists.

These online communities have created widespread brand awareness for Tinashe Mutarisi’s businesses. He has on several occasions made appearances at the events. Plus he also actively engages people in the comment sections of Nash TV. That aspect of two-way communication is also evident on his page. As much as he posts, he does not just end there, as most people do. He takes time to respond to some of the comments thus creating solid two-way communication.

The next time you check out Tinashe Mutarisi’s social media posts, know that he is smart. As a business or entrepreneur start to analyse his social media activity with all I said in mind. You will be amazed at the many insights you will draw and can use for your enterprise(s) too.