Facebook has for many been a platform we use in our private capacity to stay in touch with family and friends. As with all things digital, it continues to evolve and for many it is still regarded as the easiest platform to share your day-to-day activities and third-party content: a meme, video clip or news article.

Working on the Facebook platform in a business context – or offering expertise to a client – is a different beast all together and your view of it as a tool to communicate with your audience changes significantly. It becomes more about shaping content and engaging with your public for brand elevation and lead generation, rather than a peephole into your life.

According to MyBroadband, the number of internet users in South Africa continues to grow at a healthy pace (22.5 million in 2017), which means that social media engagement – in particular Facebook – is an essential part of the marketing mix. And, we also know that establishing relationships with your target market and social media influencers is an important component for any B2B tech brand.

Posting content on Facebook involves message alignment, content curation, response handling and paid promotions, as well as reputation management. All of this is done to broaden the reach of your message to the people you should – and want to – talk to.

Simply put, in the South African context, the availability of bandwidth – despite lagging behind the rest of the world – means that there has been a significant uptake in the desire to push messages out to the broader community using social media.

The South African Social Media Landscape Survey for 2018 states that Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform in the country, with 16 million users in 2017, up from 14 million the previous year. Nearly 90 per cent of the users access the platform primarily from a phone or tablet – access to affordable mobile devices plays a part here.

In January of this year, the new 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from WeAreSocial and Hootsuite revealed that the most active social media platform was Whatsapp, followed closely by Facebook.

But what does this mean for the tech industry? If lead generation is at the core of your business, will Facebook give you the direct sales leads you require? Can you quantify whether Facebook actually warrants the time and effort you’re currently spending on it to convert push content into sales conversions?

The answer is no, not conclusively! There is really no true scientific way to measure the success of your post, especially if you measure success by sales. However, what Facebook most certainly will do for your brand is elevate it in terms of exposure.

For example, if you’re using PR, social media boosting, SEO and advertising to create awareness of your brand, it’s the overall brand elevation campaign that will harness the leads. Facebook alone won’t to do, but take it away and see how quickly your targeted audience engagement with the brand drops!

At the end of the day, single digit sales conversations through Facebook is far better than having no presence at all. It goes without saying that you cannot afford NOT to be on Facebook.

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