Facebook, in its recent Economic Impact Study, reveals the growing importance of digital platforms to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Using the platform to trade, 91% of businesses surveyed outlined the increased demand they have seen for their company’s goods/services, not only in their home country, but further afield.
The study, conducted in partnership with Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, sampled over 1,000 SMEs across a number of sectors including Technology, Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Healthcare. Highlighting how communities like SMEs in Nigeria use the platform, and the effectiveness of social media as a growth tool, the results provide some interesting insights into usage and potential opportunities for local businesses.
Commenting on the research, Abi Williams, SMB Sales Manager EMEA said: “With rising access to the internet across Nigeria, and the low cost of smartphones, digital platforms such as Facebook’s family of apps have become incredible mechanisms to build communities and foster relationships. With more SMEs leveraging digital tools to communicate and engage with existing and potential customers, there has never been so many opportunities to maximise growth, and connect with relevant customers locally and globally.”
Building Business Using Facebook
· · 82% of respondents stated that they use Facebook for businesses purposes, with 60% highlighting their usage as several times a day
· · 68% believe that Facebook has had a positive impact on their local community, with 56% saying that it has helped to create jobs and economic opportunities locally
· · Having a positive financial impact is also highlighted as a benefit, with 64% saying that Facebook has helped them to maintain profit for their business
· · The use of Facebook Messenger is also cited as a key source of keeping in touch with customers, with over half of respondents (58%) stating that they use this several times a day for this purpose
· · Meanwhile, 89% of respondents said they use the platform because they are able to attract customers in other countries, thus increasing sales opportunities.
Using WhatsApp as a Business Tool
· · 69% disclosed that they use the messaging platform to provide information to their customers several times a day
· · Being able to find and work with suppliers is cited as one of the benefits of WhatsApp, with 74% outlining that they use the service to address the challenges they have in this area
· · Meanwhile, over 70% of respondents said they use the service to increase revenue, with 51% believing that it has helped to secure funding for their business
The Rise of Instagram for Business
· · 66% of respondents disclosed that Instagram has helped them address the challenges of finding and working with suppliers, and 45% revealed that Instagram has helped secure finances for their businesses
· 66% of respondents also disclosed that the app has given them the opportunity to sell to foreign markets.