Uganda’s businesses that have made the leap into the online space are yet to understand how best to utilise Facebook for Business, later on social media, experts believe.
As a business, you might want to know that Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms boasting of 2.7 billion users around the world. It has been, by far, the most subscribed social media platform in Uganda. Prior to the shutdown on Facebook six weeks ago, slightly more than 3 million active users logged in at least once a month.
A Facebook page is designed entirely for businesses, organisations, charities and public figures. It is a free web page companies can set up to grow their online presence. Unfortunately, we barely setup Facebook pages. If set up, our Facebook pages are far from what they ought to look like. They are also not verified. Digital experts claim this reflects a knowledge gap that has been worsened by the absence of a Facebook office in Uganda.
According to John Babirukamu, a digital marketing trainer at Zen Digital Africa, businesses ought to open a Facebook Business page and not a Facebook profile, which is a personal account designed for personal information. You cannot have more than 5,000 friends on your Facebook timeline. However, your Facebook page can have more than 5,000 fans.
Why Facebook for business?
Every person who has a Facebook profile comments five times a week, on average. With 15 million comments made on Facebook posts every week on average, it is seen as a huge platform for productive interaction.
Selling is by far the biggest motivation for businesses to get into the social media marketing space. Babirukamu says it is a good channel for businesses to sell but they also need to go there to get visibility, increase brand loyalty, engage customers and do customer care.
“Businesses are set up to make money but it is not the only thing you can do on Facebook. You can use a Facebook page to make people love your brand more but also to push causes you love,” Babirukamu explains.
Where would you start from? Patricia Kahill, founder Kahill Insights, says you can start with aligning your goals as a business to what you want to achieve while using a Facebook page. You need to have a plan, and craft the necessary content needed for your pages to achieve your goals.
“In your plan, there is also the money you want to spend on using the platform. That money will dictate content items say if you are going to do videos, fliers, pictures, to use people to blog or influence for you. It is the budget that stipulates content. But people like pictures, videos, interesting and funny stories and cartoons so graphical and text-related content is good,” Kahill explains.
Online platforms are very engaging and it is easy to spend so much time scrolling through the vast amounts of content but without any productivity. Kahill says that content enables businesses to read and listen to their existing and potential customers.
If you manage the Facebook page in the old way where one opens a page and starts posting, you miss out on other specific functions. With this page, you can assign people specific roles including a business administrator who can be an employee managing the page. You can have finance people who then manage payment for advertising. For owners not involved in the daily running of big companies, there is an option of seeing a preview of what is going on if they are given permission.
Several businesses find themselves in a difficult situation when an administrator for their Facebook profile dies or leaves the company. A Facebook page has safeguards for this as you can have multiple administrators. Also, since you can use company email addresses to create your page, you can reset the administrator.
A key feature is that you get to add your business details for example your certificate of registration. With those details, it is easier for you to get verified. With a verified business page, you can report people using your business as theirs.
With a Facebook Business, you create your Facebook page, add the agency as a partner and give them permission to access it. You can always cut them off as a partner so it is a better way of relating with an agency.