Social Media Marketing Strategy 101 For Nigerian E-Commerce Companies

The e-commerce buzz in Nigeria is in full swing, and with this evolving industry has come the need for full scale and effective online marketing initiatives to push the right products to the right customers via the right channels without spending your entire company budget. Developing such a strategy is just one of the reasons why there is an opportunity for yours truly, and many other online marketers, to make a living today. I’m going to share the basics that differentiate an effective campaign from the rest.

Before the entry of social media marketing into the traditional educational curriculum, as can be found in some schools in Nigeria today, understanding just what exactly ‘social mediamarketing’ really meant took a lot of reading, trying out different things in the dark, makingmany mistakes and eventually perfecting strategies as a result of recurring events. So, what have I learnt in this journey that will define a proper social media marketing strategy?

Social Media Marketing simply means driving users/customers/traction to your business in order to expose your brand/products to your target audience while generating revenue via existing social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and several other similar platforms, using organic and paid ads.

My definition incorporates some key elements that many brand and marketing experts around the world usually miss; they are the Key-5s including brandaudienceplatforms,goals and optimization. These are very important points to note when employing a socialmedia marketer for your brand. At any point, if he/she doesn’t have the right ideas that will encompass and effectively define how each of these highlights will be achieved, then don’t hire the person or organization.

I currently work at and we recently launched Konga Mall, a platform that will bring businesses online with the advantage of a storefront, warehousing, a payment gateway and delivery. Within one week of getting the buzz out around the Konga mall via social media, Konga Mall had already eclipsed the total number of malls that had signed up to its closest competition in Nigeria. How did we achieve this? We had to decide on the Key- 5s from the onset and this was our experience.

We have come to understand that success in social media marketing first starts by understanding your brand: knowing what you do, what your brand strengths are, what your brand weaknesses are, where you want to position your brand and what the overall timeline is to achieve the goals set for the brand. With this in mind, we understood we had an advantage over every other online mall with the number of fans we had built on all our social media channels. So, we played with our strengths, defining a strategy that was going to use our many fans to get the word out.

The next step would be to define your audience: what age group most defines who you are trying to attract, what particular level of education (primary, secondary, graduate level or post graduate level), what income range (low disposable income, medium income, and high disposable income) would define the people you are targeting for your products. At Konga mall, the focus was C-Level executives, business owners and generally entrepreneurs.

Once we were done defining our audience, we had to focus our resources/strategy on those platforms that attracted these individuals the most. I have seen brands that have missed this absolutely. One interesting campaign was targeting 65 year old Nigerians using a substantial amount of paid Facebook adverts and expecting results that never came. At the end of the day, they complained about the insignificant ROI for huge resources they had used up pushing their campaign when the real problem was the wrong channel/platform they chose in executing the campaign.

More so, you need to describe your goals for your Social Marketing Strategy. Breaking yourgoals into stages will be your KPI to understand at every point in time whether or not thecampaign is heading in the right direction. This is key in also presenting the success of your campaign or points to learn from to key decision makers of your business.

Finally, once all the top four keys are executed and you have started out with all yourstrategies, you will need to look at optimizing your campaign after a trend has beenestablished. Usually, I’ll say you can understand the first trend of events after two weeks of kick starting your campaign. However, a proper trend can be established at the end of six weeks after the campaign begins. Optimizing your campaign will help in spending wisely while looking at focusing more resources on parts of the campaign that show better ROI.

For any social media marketing expert that is willing to get the best for his/her efforts in growing any business online, you will need to do the following:

1.     Successfully understand your brand

2.     Define your audience

3.     Pick the right platform that focuses on your audience

4.     Strategize with a proper understanding of your KPIs/goals and

5.     Keep optimizing until the campaign ends

About the Author: Onyeka Akumah is currently the Vice-President of Marketing at – Nigeria’s Onilne Megastore. He is also a top marketing expert in Nigeria who has an in-depth knowledge of executing effective online, mobile and traditional marketing campaigns with a strong flair for operative public relation strategies. He has worked in executive roles at three of the biggest e-commerce start-ups in Nigeria and a first-class graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Information Technology from India.