A strong social media presence has become synonymous with the modern day business. If you want to reach more people quickly and easily, as well as broaden the range of your clients/customers, then social media is the way to go. The way business marketing is done in the modern age has drastically changed with the introduction of social media, and this applies to Malawi as well.
However, not just any social media platform will do for your business. A number of factors have to be taken into consideration before you select what social media platforms are suitable for your business. These include things such as your type of business and your target audience/clientele. So you start your business with the basics: a phone number and an e-mail address. Now, you need some social networking services/platforms to give you that extra edge in terms of marketing of your products. Below is a list of the top social media apps/sites (in no particular order) – and how to use them – for your Malawian-based business:
1. WHATSAPP BUSINESS
This is a must for any business in Malawi. Basically, everyone, and their mother, is on WhatsApp.
However, most people do not like mixing business and their private life. Enter WhatsApp Business; the same application, but with emphasis on business owners – created with the small business owner in mind. This means you can have two WhatsApp profiles; one for your personal life and the other for your business, without the two getting in the way of your productivity and your private time away from work.
Facebook is still as popular as ever in Malawi, despite its many recent privacy and security issues.
People are still drawn to this social networking platform years after it first debuted. You can create a profile and even a page at no cost. Creating a page is an efficient way to get your products out there, as you can post on the page and send the same post to your Facebook groups. There are numerous groups on Facebook you can join to promote your business. Facebook also gives you the option to create your own adverts (paid – but fair).
Instagram is a social networking service (owned by Facebook) that focuses mainly on photo and video sharing. However, Malawians seem to respond best to pictures that feature people in them.
Therefore the best way to approach advertising your products in this space is engaging models to display your products. Nevertheless, if you have ambitions of taking your business to an international audience, then this platform will surely help you in that regard. Instagram also gives you the option to create paid Ads.
Twitter is a social networking site that makes use of communication via short messages AKA ‘tweets’. Twitter is, arguably, a platform that is still gaining traction in terms of popularity in Malawi. In terms of popularity in Malawi it is on par with Instagram, although both are way behind WhatsApp and Facebook, you would agree. Still, it is a good social networking site, providing you with a good opportunity to get your products out there. If your posts are interesting and funny, focusing on the right words used and the type that engage consumer’s interest, then give Twitter a try! The number of retweets you get on a post will give you an idea of how well received your marketing attempts are, so you can judge for yourself if Twitter is actually suitable for your business.
YouTube is a video streaming service by Google. YouTube is definitely not a platform for every local business however, as it may happen that the costs of creating a good-quality video for this platform may far outweigh the benefits in terms of number of views. Nonetheless, if your product is the type that may need tutorials then this may be suitable for your business.
Pinterest is a social media platform mainly focused on imagery. There are not a lot of Malawians on Pinterest. That said, the few that are must be the type that appreciate good imagery and art, so if you know your ads manage to fulfill this then you cannot go wrong with this. However, if you know your Ads lack that aesthetic appeal, then this social media channel is definitely not for you.