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Social Media

Social media has become a space where advertising content is expected, possibly even desired – provided it’s authentic and aligns with users’ values. GH speaks to four businesswomen to find out how they grew their followings.

But first, let’s look at the stats

Although search engines (34%) and ads seen on TV (33%) remain the most common modes of brand discovery, according to Social (Global Web Index’s annual flagship report on global social media trends), ads on social platforms are catching up. Yup – 27% of internet users who responded to GWI’s survey stated that they use social media channels to find products to buy. And this is considerably higher in Kenya (73%) and Nigeria (72%). 

A study by Twitter highlights just how much of an impact influencers have on consumer behaviour: 49% of people said they rely on influencer recommendations when it comes to making purchase decisions (whoa), and 40% admitted that they’ve bought an item from an online store after seeing an influencer using it on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

READ MORE: How To (Really) Stand Out In A Competitive Market

GH spoke to four businesswomen to find out how they grew their followings with intent:

1/ Set time aside to work on your social media content plan

Robyn Fenner, founder of Beaut Serums, swears by this habit: setting time aside to work on social content. And plan, plan, plan! Because it takes time. “It’s important to be responsive and to chat to people. I think that forming actual relationships with your following is key in growing a community,” says Robyn.

2/ Get comfortable with… yourself

Get comfortable with putting yourself and your face out there, says photographer Estee de Villiers. “Take small steps to build your confidence and remember: Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day either. Keep the people you are trying to serve at the heart of your strategy. Create valuable content consistency and your tribe will find and follow you.”

3/ Stay true and authentic

“Stay true and authentic to who you are,” says radio and TV personality Fix Moeti, founding director of the Fix Scholarship. “I try to collaborate with brands that fit my brand and benefit my audience.”

4/ Create value!

Be engaging, says founder of MAU Mask and Oat Baby, Portia Makoma. “Social media isn’t about posting [a] pic [of] your services and products; it’s a conversation between you and your community. Show a genuine interest in their input,” she says.

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