In a cluttered social media space, how can South African marketers stand out from the rest with thumb-stopping content that kills? media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg takes a look at how to reach South Africans’ hearts online.

If you want to stand out from the sea of content out there, your brand will need to shift its focus to fresh ways of marketing that are informed by your brand’s performance. And what better way to do just that then with the help of a most-trusted medium: social media.

First things first, let’s take a quick look at what social media platforms South African prefer:
  • Facebook — 24 100 000 users
  • Facebook Messenger — 21 710 000 users
  • LinkedIn — 8 240 000 users
  • Instagram — 5 152 000 users
Now that we know which social media platforms South Africans love, let’s take a look at how your brand can generate more leads from these social media platforms.

Let’s dive in:

1. Make use of analytics

The most important thing that any brand should take note of is what analytics and insights are saying. A brand can’t plan if it doesn’t know where it’s going or how its strategy is performing. Social media analytics gives your brand insight into who your followers are, what they want to see and when and where they spend most of their time on a platform.

However, you don’t have to analyse these numbers on your own (we know how intimidating that can be). That’s why many businesses are making use of social media listening, which helps you to know where your brand is lacking and where it is succeeding. An example of a content management platform to make use of is amaSocial; this service makes use of an artificially intelligent system to capture data from social media platforms and displays the information in its live, interactive dashboard.

media update top tip: When looking at using social media listening services, it’s always beneficial to make use of a local one, as they tend to have a better understanding of the South African audience.

2. Give them what they want

South Africa is a wonderfully diverse country, which means that, as a brand, you will need to identify what it is this audience wants. People won't make the effort to go and look for content they want so, you need to make it easy for them. Your brand needs to make sure that what the consumers are looking for is easily accessible.

This is where social media comes into play; it is important to remember that not all South Africans use social media platforms the same way. Take, for example, Facebook Free Mode, a feature on the platform that allows users to “scroll through their News Feed with ‘no media’.” Basically, a user’s account will function normally, but they won’t see any media. The main reason why users make use of this function is to save data.

So, what does this mean for your brand? Well, if you want to reach a certain audience in South Africa, this is something you’ll need to take into consideration. If you are aware that your main target doesn’t necessarily make use of Wi-Fi, then provide them with what they want, and with what will work best for them.

For example, if you are aware that your clients make use of Facebook Free Mode then create content in such a way that will still grab their attention — even when they can’t view media. You can do this by crafting a catchy headline or creating snackable content.

3. Create engaging content

It is important to remember that not all content is created equal. This means that for some brands, certain content will perform better on their platforms because there are specific things that their consumers will want to see. For example, there is no use in creating amazing posts that are only relevant to an American audience if you want to capture the attention of a South African audience.

So, what are the types of content that you should use? According to a recent study by Santander | Trade Markets, “TV is the most expensive but also the most popular media of advertising in the country. Nearly 70% of the households in South Africa have TV sets.”

When sharing engaging content, such as an ad, on social media, your brand will also need to encourage South Africans to view it on TV. You can then include a call to action at the end of your advert that also encourages audiences to share their thoughts about it on social media.

This covers both sides of the coin, and people are being encouraged to watch your advert on multiple mediums. This is a great way to gain leads on social media and create meaningful and engaging content for your consumers.

4. Personalise content

If you want consumers to relate to your brand, it is important to create personalised content for them. Audiences want to feel important and valued, and one of the best ways to meet their expectations is by creating something that they can actually relate to.

The most important thing to take note of when crafting relatable work is to be wary of stereotypes. This is because stereotypes place people into certain groups, which can be seen as offensive, especially considering that people don’t function solely as members of a group.

This means that, when sharing your work on social media, you’ll need to ask your followers what it is that they want to see more of from your brand. Just taking the time to listen to what they want and then creating posts surrounding that will do the trick!

ghd South Africa shows us how it’s done in one of its recent posts:

One of the brand’s followers asked ghd to create a new product that will help them gain more volume in their hair. The brand’s response couldn’t have been more amazing. ghd told its followers that if they ask, they will receive — and it proceeded to introduce this brand-new product.

5. Create clickable content

If you want to generate leads through social media, it is crucial for your brand to create clickable content. However, it’s important to note that not every platform works in the same way, and therefore, you won’t be able to post the same type of content throughout. You must first learn more about what each social media platform offers and then create your content around that.

For example, it would not be beneficial to your brand to post a link on Instagram because it won’t be clickable.

If you do want to create something clickable on Instagram, you need to gain 10 000 followers to be able to add a swipe up to your Instagram Story or you would need to add products to your posts. You would also need to make Instagram Stories where users will be able to engage with you.

Another way is to make clickable content is to make use of poll stickers:

*Image courtesy of Social Media Today

Poll stickers allow your brand to ask questions that help you understand your consumers better, as their answers can provide you with valuable insights into who they are and what they think of your brand.

How it works: Poll stickers are available on Instagram Stories, meaning when you post an image on the Stories feature, you can click on the sticker icon at the top and search for the yes/no poll and change the words or add images.

How else do you think brands can generate more leads on social media? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to be better prepared for what social media will throw at brands this year, be sure to read these Social media marketing predictions for 2021.
*Image courtesy of Canva