Why doesn’t social media work for your Nigerian business? 9 things you may be doing wrong

Everyone is on social media these days. Older people use Facebook to connect with their old friends, and younger people are using it to make new ones.

In Nigeria, with more than 16 million users on Facebook alone, businesses are also seeing the importance of social media. And not surprising: they are using it in their marketing effort.

A handful of Nigerian banks now have units attending user requests on Twitter and Facebook. Most notable are GTBank and Access Bank. And for most of them, it’s helped cut down footfall to their branches and angry calls to their call centers.

Some people are obviously winning at this social media game. If you have not recorded success with yours, it could be because you are doing any of these nine things:

1. You don’t have a strategy

Social media, like every other form of marketing, needs a strategy to be successful. In marketing, even a bad strategy is better than no strategy.

A good social media strategy will contain what your key goals are (your key performance indicators), how many times you will post, when you will post, the different platforms you will use and more.

2. You are not updating your page regularly

Whether it’s Instagram or Twitter, Google+ or Facebook, the most important factor to record a success is to keep a regular posting schedule.

Decide how many updates you want to push every day and stick with it. Consistency is key. 

3. You only broadcast

Social media is not a one-way street. It’s a conversation. Don’t just broadcast your message to the world, listen too. Converse with other social media users, brands,  and comment on trending events. 

4. You only post sales-y content

Your social media is not another channel to send out sales pitches. It could also be used to entertain and inform your followers. This will get you the engagement we talked about in the previously. If you only post sales-y content, people will likely tune you out. No one wants to be sold to.

5. You automate posting across your social media accounts

Each platform has individual content-types that work for it. The type of content that works on Instagram probably won’t work on LinkedIn. So, if you are using a tool like IFTTT to autopost one update across all your social media outposts, you won’t be able to connect effectively with your followers. They won’t connect with your either.

6. You don’t acknowledge negative comments

No business can be as good as to be free of criticism. Jesus Christ was generally appraised as a good person, but he had his fair share of criticism. When people give you negative feedback on social media, it’s an opportunity to engage.

Don’t ignore. Provide a candid feedback or apology and if you can, turn that angry customer into a fan.

7. You don’t respond to customer posts

Sometimes you don’t get people talking smack about your business. Some are just making inquiries about your business.

Most customers expect you to reply their social media inquiries within 30 minutes – even outside of business hours.

When you leave those posts sitting too long, you are losing customers.

8. You are boring

We hate to be rude, but in the new social climate, people are drawn to humor than any other trigger.

But you don’t need Charlie Chaplin level of humor to get results from your social media efforts. In fact, you may not need humor at all if your content is truly engaging, in-depth, focused, well-written and valuable.

Spend time to create truly engaging social media posts that will get your audience interested in your brand. If you can, throw in a little humor and have fun with it. Even better. 

9. You are not tracking your results

Aside from getting engagement on your social media page, you need to track how this engagement translates into tangible value for your business.

Say for instance; you are promoting your VConnect profile on your Facebook, beyond looking at how many people liked or commented on your post, it’s important to check how many of likers and commenters click through to visit your VConnect page.

Use your Business Owner Dashboard to track how many people have visited your page after a social media update. If you are not tracking these results, you probably won’t know what to improve.

Bonus tip:

You expect immediate results

Don’t.

Those Facebook likes won’t start kicking in the first week you turn your social media outposts on. More than anything I have written earlier, social media requires consistency and hard work.

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There a lot of reasons why social media marketing might not be working for your small Nigerian business, but odds are, you are doing one of these nine things.

I want to hear from you. Are you doing any of these nine things? Share your experiences in the comments.

Also read:  SME Conference 1.0: This why we are doing this

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For entrepreneurs who want to sell to more customers, while saving on marketing costs, VConnect for Business is a marketing solution that connects businesses with over 2-million ready-to-buy customers. Unlike expensive advertising or P2P marketplaces, VConnect brings the buyers to your doorstep and helps you build a brand. All at zero cost. Find out more on www.vconnect.com/business

Gbenga Onalaja

Gbenga Onalaja was the former Content Strategist at VConnect and blog.vconnect.com. He oversaw the VConnect Blog, an SME blog dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and run small businesses. He specializes in long-form content, email marketing, SEO, and reporting compelling brand stories. Follow him on Twitter @onalaja_

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