Different from today, about a decade ago, the use of social media was very low in Rwanda.

As a result, by then, no business would regard the platform as an advertisement tool, therefore opting for radio, television and newspapers among other traditional media platforms.

However, the story changed and these days we hear of several businesses signing contracts with social media endorsers/influencers to be their brand ambassadors, with a target of tapping into their bunch of followers to become their customers.

Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?
Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?

Businesses also sign working agreements with media outlets in this regard, to advertise for them via social media.

According to Eve Tushabe, Managing Director iBlue Concepts, a marketing and communications agency, businesses should be keen while choosing media outlets or individuals to work with and not only base on the number of their followers.

“It is a fact that many individuals and companies buy followers for the impression. For businesses thinking of signing agreements with social media endorsers or media outlets to advertise for them on social media, they should first do an in-depth analysis to know how authentic their followers are so that they don’t end up targeting a non-existing or irrelevant audience,” she said.

Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?
Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?

Tushabe added that businesses should request the individuals or advertising companies to show them a detailed survey of how engaging and authentic their followers are, in advance.

Having reiterated that advertising via social media is a commendable thing due to how the world is going digital, Kezio Musoke, a communication specialist, also noted that businesses should make sure that followers of people or companies they are going to work with are relevant to the target audience.

“Businesses should invest in research to know whether followers of a given advertising company or individual fit the people that may buy their commodities, that’s only when these businesses will have a return on investment,” he said.

Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?
Are brands getting it right with social media marketing and PR?

Prioritising the customer’s needs

According to Evangelina Soni Kayinamura, Managing Director of Clarity Communications, businesses should always prioritize meeting the needs of customers.

“Digital communications has to be led by empathy and common sense. Brands have to come down and acknowledge that the customer has always been and needs to always be the priority. It is not about how strong my brand is or how satisfying my product is; it’s about, am I still relevant to my customers’ needs in a pandemic when everything went back to the basics and priorities have been redefined. Brands that miss that will lose the ear of their audience,” she added.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com