Facebook in SA: stats and tips

Read time 4min 10sec

There are hundreds of bits of advice out there on how businesses and brands should use Facebook. However, hardly any of it is relevant in the South African context.

This is why ITWeb invited Jordan Wallace, founder of South African digital agency Gorilla Creative Media, to speak at the Social Media Summit on 14 August. Wallace will present on the topic of making Facebook work for your business. He delivered a sneak peek at his content in a Twitter interview ("twinterview") with ITWeb on Friday. Below is a transcript.

ITWeb: We're ready to go with our Twinterview with @GorillaCM about Facebook. Submit your own questions using the hashtag #ITWebSocial.

Thanks for joining us, Jordan. So to start, how many people in SA currently use Facebook?

Wallace: Good to be here. Stats vary depending on the resource you use. Facebook's ad manager lists 8.4 million SA users.

ITWeb: What are the demographics of SA's Facebook users?

Wallace: SA Facebook user demographics are pretty evenly split: 54% male, 46% female.

ITWeb: And the average age of the SA Facebook user?

Wallace: The two largest age groups are 18-24 and 25-34, each making up 32% of the total users; 35-45-year-olds make up 13%.

ITWeb: Are South African businesses seeing success using Facebook?

Wallace: Success on Facebook needs to be defined according to a well-thought-out strategy and predetermined objectives.

With that in place, we're definitely seeing success. Small businesses are reaching consumers they never could before.

Bigger businesses and brands with large communities are able to build much closer relationships with their consumers.

ITWeb: What is the best time [of day] to post to Facebook in SA?

Wallace: It varies from page to page. With new Facebook Insights though, you can more easily identify when your fans are most active.

ITWeb: How frequently should one post to Facebook?

Wallace: As a business, NEVER SPAM. Twice a day is a good average that allows each post adequate time in users' news feeds.

ITWeb: Do you have any other tips for businesses using Facebook in SA?

Wallace: As a business, ask yourself why you want to be on Facebook. Be clear on your goals and objectives.

Build a strategy that will help achieve those objectives, with input from different departments of your business.

Define your social voice and content strategy. Know how you are going to engage your community AND achieve your goals.

Be prepared. Build a list of FAQs and define protocols to answer difficult queries. Panic needn't ever happen.

NB! Get your head around Facebook advertising. You've produced great content; make sure it's seen!

Always be awesome.

ITWeb: Why do you believe it's important for businesses to use Facebook?

Wallace: Why not? It's where your consumers are. You have the opportunity to engage them on a one-to-one basis and build brand love.

ITWeb: If you had to guess, what do you think the future of Facebook is?

Wallace: The future of Facebook? *Consults crystal ball*

The mobile advertising part of their business is exploding. We expect better and more efficient solutions in this space.

Facebook will evolve from a social network company to technology company, innovating to compete with new emerging platforms.

RoshanaJansen: How does B2B marketing content work best on social media platforms?

Wallace: Be authentic. Find a unique, interesting way of communicating your services.

Your social presence lives alongside other marketing channels and may be a new customer's first contact.

AlexKayle: What are some of the key Facebook elements you expect will evolve over time?

Wallace: Increasing consideration of mobile as the dominant channel, both in terms of usage and Facebook profitability.

We've only just seen the beginning of Graph Search and the evolution of that is going to be very interesting.

Ads, promoted content and the targeting of those assets in Facebook and across the Web will continue to evolve.

ITWeb: Thanks for your time, Jordan!

ITWeb will be twinterviewing South African Twitter sensation Jodene Shaer on Thursday, 1 August, at 2pm. You can follow the insights and ask your own questions using #ITWebSocial.

ITWeb's Social Media Summit will include a Platform Smackdown that puts various social media platforms head-to-head, demonstrating that there's no one-size-fits-all social media strategy. In addition, it will feature a workshop on how to set goals and objectives and measure social media successes. Find out more and book your seat here.

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