Have you opened your Facebook Page recently and come across sponsored articles, posts or adverts? Iam sure you have done so but may not have paid much attention since most of the adverts are foreignand international companies pushing their brands on Facebook.
Now slowly Zimbabwean companies are appearing on Facebook with sponsored adverts and we expect most companies to join by end of next year. Sponsoring adverts on Facebook is called Facebook Boosting, you will be boosting(promoting) an advert and this allows you access to unlimited market potential.
How is Facebook Boosting Done?
Anyone can do Facebook Boosting and all you need is enough money to place an advert. Amounts can range from as low as $1, $2 …there is no limit. Each amount gives you access to a specific number of viewers and if you want to reach more people then expect to pay more.
Facebook Boosting Advantages
Unlike traditional advertining platforms where there is no flexibility in selecting the audience, Facebook boosting allows you options such as:
- Geographic location
If i have a product that i would like to promote in Venezuela, i can now easily do that by using Facebook Boosting. The facility basically removes barriers or boundaries when it comes to advertising and promotion. Payment terms are flexible too as you can choose from as low as $1 to boost an advert. You can choose to boost everyday or on specific time periods.
Who can do Facebook Boosting?
We have seen a slow uptake by major private companies but predict an upswing in the coming months. The reason of the upswing is due to the continued influence of social media. The population of youths in Zimbabwe has been estimated at 70% and most of the youths use social media for entertainment and source of news. So every company is going to be forced to turn to Facebook boosting for adverts and promotional activities. If you do not, then your competitors will and you will be left with no option but to join the band wagon.
We have also seen the use of Facebook Boosting by political parties who are trying to drum up support for the 2018 elections. One political party managed to boost their posts and attracted more than 20,000 followers within a week! We expect all political parties to join the bandwagon within the next few months as they try to tap into young voters who are the majority on social media.
NGOs are slowly taking to Facebook Boosting however because of red tape this is going to take a while before they fully accept the changing times of the digital economy.
Is Facebook Boosting Effective?
Try and imagine a young fresh university graduate going to the CEO of a major company such as Old Mutual or NRZ and advising the CEO to use Facebook Boosting. The answer is likely to be a straight No, the youngster is likely to be dismissed by the CEO because the CEO did not learn about this new social media during his university days, this phenomenon is for youngsters and worse no enough studies have been done to show that this is effective and provides a good return on investment!
The generational gap is going to be the biggest hindrance in acceptance of this new marketing or advertising platform. Unfortunately, this is how a lot of big corporates will lose out to increased competition from agile young competitors in the long run. Facebook boosting does work and we have witnessed its effectiveness where a number of ZBIN members have used it.
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Facebook Boosting is Strive Masiyiwa who has managed to get more than 2 million followers across the African continent within a few months. Using content marketing, he has been effectively using the platform to promote his Kwese TV products by writing influential articles that inspire young entrepreneurs across the continent.
We expect his followers to exceed 10 million in 12 months time. He knows where the money is and is moving fast to tap into the huge potential before others join in.
There are a lot of unlimited opportunities coming from the creating of Facebook boosting and one of the major beneficiaries is the Diaspora. Now you can set up a company in Zimbabwe and quickly get a following, quickly get clients using social media. You can set up an IT company whilst based in South Africa, open offices in Harare and then start vigorous marketing using Facebook Boosting. An amount of $30 per month can ensure that you reach out to hundreds of potential clients in a month.
So promoting a company has been made easy and you can take on some of the big monopolies who will obviously will be slow to take up the use of the platform.
New Talent Required
Since this is a new phenomenon which will soon blossom as everyone joins in, there is going to be huge demand for talented people who can market companies or products on social media. If you are a journalist then you may need to sharpen your skills on social media because your current employer is going to encounter reduced adverting revenue due to Facebook Boosting. You therefore need to follow the band wagon and tailor make your skills to developments on social media.
If you are a young person, then sharpen your skills with social media marketing skills because this is the future. In South Africa we already have adverts for people who will manage social media platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp. Such adverts may not come to Zim soon by they will be coming from next year onwards.
One just needs to look at the way smart phones are being bought in town, everyone in urban areas is buying a smart phone that enables them to connect to social media. This is the fastest growth sector in the country. An improvement in the economy should witness an explosion in growth and all of this means new opportunities on social media. Its influence will increase beyond the current levels forcing everyone to adopt it.
So research more on Facebook Boosting, do not research or read in isolation, do look at all social media platforms in totality. Do look for trends, compare Zimbabwe and other countries and then do your own projections of what the country will look like in 12 months or 24 months time.
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