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Where is Your Facebook Page?

July 25, 2018

This article is part of a series I will be posting for a month in collaboration with my friend, Olamide Egbayelo. We challenged each other to become better writers and will be posting our articles together once a week.

It seems everyone these days has a hustle (both side- and fulltime-). That’s a good thing because it means Nigerians are starting to think beyond waiting for (non-existent?) lucrative jobs and creating their own jobs. Just look around you, and you’re likely to see budding entrepreneurs. From the tailors on your street corner to the young men and women rushing to deliver electronic devices to neighbourhoods not covered by the traditional delivery companies.

Yet how many of those businesses can be found online? A regular story I tell my students goes something like this: “A visitor from Lagos comes to Kano for the first time and decides they would like to sample gurasa. Do you expect that visitor to navigate the nooks and crannies of Jakara (a neighbourhood in old Kano city, for those who don’t know) to find what they are looking for?”

Facebook page L

That visitor most likely has a smartphone though and they can probably whip it out and do a quick google search for “where to buy gurasa in Kano?” By the way, I ran that search and none of the links looked promising. There’s definitely an unmet need here. Assuming of course there are other people crazy about gurasa. It can’t be just me (I hope).

Olamide chose to write about her journey towards creating her brand as OlamideYelo. Read about that journey here.

The point is while so many people out there are working hard trying to make legitimate hustles, quite a large number of those businesses can’t be found online? In an ideal world, your business would have a website but the reality is not everybody has the digital skills to design and host their own website nor are home-based business owners likely to have the money to pay professional web developers for hosting.

Almost everyone has a personal facebook profile these days. It’s just as easy to create a facebook page for your business. Facebook isn’t just meant for saying “hi” and wishing people a happy birthday after seeing the reminder on your notifications. There are more than 1 billion people on facebook. If you set up a facebook page, you can do targeted ads at people living in your area and quite likely to buy your product. You will definitely reach a lot more people than you probably could through word of mouth alone.

Whatsapp for business L

What about your whatsapp statuses? Have you only been posting funny clips there? I’m sure you have also been using that to promote your business. Better yet, why not get a whatsapp for business account. It has lots of great features for your side hustle like automated messages, a useful feature for sending your customers an automatic response when you are unable to respond letting them know when you will get back to them. No one likes to keep waiting for a message that would take a few hours to come. You can also save responses you regularly send so you don’t have to type them out each time.

The beauty of social media is that it’s free. You no longer have to pay for a tv ad to reach a wide audience. So what are you waiting for? My day won’t be complete until I can order gurasa from someone’s facebook page and have it delivered to my office hot.

Umar Amir Abdullahi is a young writer who is passionate about social causes and wants to play a role in shaping the minds of the Nigerian youth. He also does freelance writing work so if you want something written and are willing to pay for it, do get in touch.

From → Challenge, Musings

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