Many people around the world attach different values and importance of social media to the lives of those that use the social web tools. Various experts have always said the strong networking capabilities that the web 2.0 tools provide are what have seen many of the social media platforms grow rapidly.
As the case in the rest of the world especially the west, where the social web has tremendously given boost to many already established and upcoming businesses; so is the case in Uganda.
After growing hefty numbers of online friends, people realized how important these online relationships had become and unquestionably thought out on how to promote and have their small side businesses grow. Facebook and Twitter are among the most commonly used platforms for promoting small side businesses that either owned by employed corporates and young university students or fresh graduates. Due to the fact that social media allows the user to upload a lot of visual content, many of these Ugandans upload pictures of what they are selling or the services they provide for all their followers and fans to engage. These services range from home delivery services to technology gadgets for individual and home use like mobile phones, laptops, television sets and many others.
The beauty about using social media as a market place is that the buyers can always come in to check on what is available and are then able to leave a notification to the seller to contact them whenever he/she is able. These notifications are in form of direct messages, comments on the uploaded pictures or well narrated videos and written content. With the latter capabilities, many corporate women and men have been able to run side small businesses alongside their main stream employment to make ends meet. For many of these people the weekend is a very busy period as they jump from one taxi to another delivering the numerous orders that were made by their online friends, followers and fans.
Almost all the various social media platforms are a big deal for selling but Facebook has been cardinal in real translation of fans and followers into real direct sales. Having bought one my phones from a Facebook shop, I now have no doubt that many Ugandans are making a living out of social media. With the current changes in Facebook’s algorithm to create a better experience for those advertising on the platform, many businesses are starting to realize the power of social media advertising.
By Mwebya Fred