8 Reasons Zim Marketers Ignore Social Media

This Article First Appeared on Tinashe Nyaruwanga`s blog

By Tinashe Nyaruwanga

We have always had the affin­ity to inter­act, socialise and catch up on what our peers our doing. Do you remem­ber the high school days where we would come up with ‘auto-books’, the counter books turned diaries where we would write our inter­ests, hob­bies and all that per­sonal stuff and exchange with our friends, so that they got to know us a lit­tle bet­ter?

This affin­ity to share our life sto­ries, expe­ri­ences with our friends and other like-minded peo­ple can be likened to the social media craze we will now find our­selves in. Most of us can’t even imag­ine what our lives will be with­out social media; it’s now where we spend most of our wak­ing hours.

This is a huge oppor­tu­nity for enter­pris­ing peo­ple as all of a sud­den you have this huge cap­tive mar­ket of peo­ple will­ing to talk to you, socialise and lend you an ear.

The only prob­lem is that mar­keters are unwill­ing to see Social Media as a viable mar­ket­ing chan­nel. Now let’s take a look at the rea­sons why Zim mar­keters are ignor­ing social media.

#1 Lack of expertise

Charles Dar­win once said it is not the strongest, nor the fastest but the most respon­sive to change that will sur­vive. That social media is not taught at school, most col­leges or uni­ver­si­ties is an excuse and should be frowned upon with the con­tempt it deserves. A mar­keter should be con­sis­tently learn­ing and developing.

#2 No Con­tent Cre­ation Skills

Flight­ing an advert is easy as your input is lim­ited to com­ing up with a cre­ative brief, con­tact­ing the agency to come up with a com­mer­cial and book it with a media house, this of course requires you to have bags of cash. Suc­cess on Social Media on the hand means cre­at­ing ‘sticky con­tent’ or liq­uid con­tent that begs to be shared. This for a lot of peo­ple is hard and they would rather stick with the old way of doing things.

#3 Not enough Zim­bab­weans on Social Media

With over 5 mil­lion peo­ple with access to inter­net and over 22% of Zim­bab­weans being on Face­book, the audi­ence is there. Fur­ther­more, most of these are savvy and dis­cern­ing peo­ple who can be nur­tured to be long term customers.

#4 Lack of man­age­ment support

A mar­keter should be an agent provo­ca­teur and be able to insti­gate change within the organ­i­sa­tion. Whether an organ­i­sa­tion adopts social media for their busi­ness depends on the per­sua­sive­ness of the marketer.

#5 Lack of Control

Zim mar­keters are used to con­trol the mes­sage they send out to the pub­lic through tra­di­tional media. The mar­ket­ing depart­ment with their pub­lic rela­tions team will care­fully craft a mes­sage and con­trol how it’s sent out to the mar­ket. This gives mar­keters a false sense of con­trol, how­ever,  once it’s in the domain of the pub­lic, the mes­sage will be decoded any­how. On social media, instead of try­ing to con­trol the mes­sage, it’s best to mon­i­tor the con­ver­sa­tions around the mes­sage and respond appropriately.

#6 Pet­ri­fied of Accountability

Related to the above point, social media allows cus­tomers to give feed­back and express their opin­ions. It’s easy some­times to just send an advert, for­get about it and not worry about the reac­tion. Social media on the other hand does not give you that priv­i­lege, should you say some­thing stu­pid, there will be uproar on the platforms.

#7 Scep­ti­cism

A lot of the mar­keters with clout in most organ­i­sa­tions in Zim­babwe are averse to tech­nol­ogy and their tech skills are lim­ited to Pow­er­Point. To ask such peo­ple to include social media as part of the busi­ness strat­egy might be a lot to ask.

 #8 Fear of Change

Times are chang­ing; the world as we used to know it no longer exists. Fac­sim­i­les (Fax machines) now belong to muse­ums. Social Media is the in thing now, trans­form­ing how we cre­ate, con­sume and share infor­ma­tion. For some­thing that promises so much and allows mar­keters to achieve more, mar­keters should be embrace social media and inter­net mar­ket­ing and just get on with it.

What About You?

What are your reser­va­tions to adopt­ing social media for busi­ness? What’s been hold­ing you back? Share with me and oth­ers in the com­ments sec­tion or any of the pop­u­lar social networks.

– See more at: www.tinashenyaruwanga.com

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