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  • Njabulo Mbatha

Social media is not just for socialising

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

4.1 billion people.

That is all the motivation any organisation needs when thinking of the benefits of incorporating social media in their business environment.

As of 2021 there are 4.1 billion active social media users globally, up from a reported 3.8 billion in 2020. Never in the history of humanity has there been a quicker, cheaper and most importantly effective method of reaching all corners of the globe. In short, social media allows brands to interact with their audience and build brand loyalty in a very cost-effective manner.

The flexibility of social media is also unrivalled. Not only can a business reach large audiences by targeting users within the country, city or town – they can also target them within a certain radius which in turn could result in the uptake of messaging, web hits or even physical foot traffic, the scalability of social media is second to none in the media landscape.

The ability to build your brand by exposing interested audiences through targeted organic content allows you to repeatedly build brand recognition. The more people are exposed to your brand and messaging, the more familiar they become with it thus, building brand loyalty. Creating organic content that is shareable allows your followers to share the content with their friends which in turn exposes your brand to more people.

In outlining a digital strategy, you will inevitably be forced to think deeper about your audience. Knowing and understanding who they are, where they are and how they can be reached allows you not only to create powerful and meaningful messages and more importantly to decide on the best digital channels for a specific audience at a specific time. This direct connection is a great way to gain insights on a regular basis and formulate your future products and campaigns. The key is to find out which social media platform your target market is using most often and how to make the most out of it.

The “one size fits all” approach of broadcast media does not work effectively in the digital environment; you will end up with a diluted audience and wasted resources without an effective strategy. Outlining objectives and how you plan to go about achieving them should form the basis of the strategy and efforts that will follow.

The amount of time people spend on online platforms is another important factor in having an effective digital strategy. The latest social media statistics in 2021 show that an average of two hours and 25 minutes are spent per day per person on social media (DataReportal, 2021) – and this is projected to keep growing year on year.

Consider the fact that 83% of people surveyed in a recent Facebook-commissioned survey of 21,000 people said that they discover new products for services on Instagram, the opportunities for increased brand awareness online are infinite. Social media is becoming more and more integrated into our lives, thereby unveiling new possibilities and opportunities for businesses.

Before everyone runs to their laptops to send out tweets, a cohesive integrated marketing communications model for your business will make or break any marketing effort. Marketing channels are pieces of one big puzzle, therefore each piece should adapt and fit perfectly with others to ensure a seamless branding experience is created online and offline.

A 2018 Forbes study found that 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. These are your potential advocates, so engage with them and make them feel part of the brand.

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