With almost a million people regularly using the social networking platform in Zimbabwe, Facebook is one of the best ways of promoting one’s products and services online. The social media platform also has an advantage over other internet advertising options since its mobile users in the country have access to the so-called “social media bundles” which are often considered to be the cheaper alternative to unbridled access to the web, something which is needed for people to be able to view online adverts delivered through other channels such as Google Ads.
However, despite the platform’s great potential for promoting products and services, many local businesses still appear hesitant to fully embrace it. This is to say that while a lot of companies have Facebook pages (with many actually relying on these instead of websites for their online presences) they still opt for more traditional ways of advertising. This is not to say that there are no Zimbabwean companies using the platform’s advertising tools to promote themselves—which is why that today I am taking this opportunity to demonstrate how various Zimbabwean businesses of all types and sizes have discovered the benefits of advertising on Facebook.
One of the companies using Facebook Paid Adverts to market itself is Kumusha Solar. Kumusha Solar is a distributor of solar power system components and an installer of these systems. The company’s Facebook page was created in early 2019 but has managed to garner over 63000 likes to date. Now I appreciate a well-crafted company social media post as much as the next person but given Kumusha’s line of business and the relative recentness of its business page, those likes were obviously helped along by paid campaigns.
OK Mart, the brand of megastores operated by retail chain OK Zimbabwe, also has run a Facebook campaign or two in the past. The retailer’s Facebook page was created in June 2019 and currently has over 25000 likes.
The importance of marketing for online ventures cannot be overstressed. Without physical storefronts, these businesses are forced to rely even more on advertising to get word out about their existence. At some point, online e-commerce marketplace Gstorex was able to appreciate this enough for them to run paid Facebook campaigns. The website’s Facebook page was created in mid-2019 and has around 12000 likes. This matters because social media nowadays actually plays a major role in helping many websites gain traffic.
Green Power Warehouse
Green Power Warehouse is yet another solar power system component supplier that is using Facebook to promote itself, its products and services. The company’s Facebook page was created in late 2019 and it has just over 3000 likes. Even accounting for its being newer, Green Power’s page likes are a far-cry from Kumusha’s above which happens to be in a similar line of business. One major reason for this is that this company pointedly does not supply to end-users but only to installers and retailers which happen to be a lot fewer than consumers hence the fewer likes.
Wallpaper World Zimbabwe
This company sells, its namesake, wallpapers and related products in addition to bathroom accessories, bed accessories and other home décor items. The company’s page was created in June this year but it already has over 8000 likes—further testament to the effectiveness of paid campaigns.
Access Forex is a remittances company which enables Zimbabweans living and working in the United Kingdom or South Africa to send money back home to their relatives and loved ones. The company’s Facebook page was created late last year and has almost 9000 likes.
Gift and Apparel Solutions Zimbabwe
This company supplies branded corporate or promotional wear and accessories. Its products include branded cloths, bags, coolers and umbrellas. The company’s Facebook page was created in early 2018 and has around 1600 likes which may seem like a few at first but is actually a lot given that the company actually targets businesses and organisations instead of ordinary consumers.
Even Zimbabwean property development companies are not to be left out from marketing their properties on the social site. Kings City is the name of an upmarket, low density suburb development in Bulawayo. The development’s Facebook page was created early last year (2019) and has around 2000 likes which is impressive for a real estate development project—all this attention was probably acquired with the help of paid campaigns on the platform.
Brown Engineering Group
Brown Engineering group is a multi-disciplinary engineering company serving the construction, engineering and mining industries. In particular, the company specialises in steel structures, fuel tanks, tobacco curing facilities and tobacco handling equipment. Despite the company’s line of business being so far removed from anything which is supposed to serve ordinary consumers, it has still managed to gain over 22000 likes on its Facebook page which was created just a little over 4 years ago.
Mr Radiator Zimbabwe
Mr Radiator is a retailer of automotive parts particularly radiators, top tanks, cores, coolers and caps for vehicles of all sizes. The company’s Facebook page was created in April 2019 and today has just over 4500 likes.
Leweak Investments uses Facebook paid campaigns to promote the products sold by its kitchenware retail division. The company which has pots, stoves, refrigerators, microwaves and irons among its products has around 5600 likes on a page created in June 2020.
Borrowdale Car Sales
Zimbabwean car dealers are also running paid campaigns on Facebook. For instance, a certain Borrowdale Park Car Sales has a Facebook page called Borrowdale Online Car Sales created in 2015 which currently has over 66000 likes.
Food chemical manufacturer Codchem demonstrates that not every paid campaign needs to be about your company or its products. The manufacturer recently paid for an ad to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month. The company’s Facebook page which was created in late 2018 has just over 2000 likes which is a pretty comfortable figure given that the majority of its clients are other businesses, particularly manufacturers.
This is yet company which uses paid social media campaigns to complement and promote its website. The website in question is a hospitality marketplace.
Sadza on the Go
Small, single location, restaurants are also using paid campaigns to market themselves. Sadza on the Go, for instance, has gained over 2100 likes on a Facebook page created just a little over 3 months ago.