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“Social Media”,I asked a few
of my friends what is the first thing that comes to their mind when I say those
words and surprisingly, everyone had the same answer “Facebook”. So, I was very
curious that out of 212+ active social media platforms why Facebook? With a bit
of research I found out that as of June, 2017 there are 64 Lakhs Nepali people
on Facebook making it the King of social media in Nepal at 91.6% penetration
followed by twitter at 2.4% , Instagram at 2.22%, YouTube at 2.22% and so on.  So, where am I getting at with all these stats
and figures? My point being, social media has undoubtly become the perfect
market place for your business because all your potential customers are here,
why should your marketing should  be somewhere
else.

Social Media has grown
faster than the Internet itself making it the fastest growing trend in the
history of the world and with this, marketing strategies are changing concurrently.
Various companies in Nepal like clothing, handicrafts, accessories and many
more are solely based on social media and mainly Facebook and Instagram. So why
not twitter? After all it is the second most used platform. The answer is
pretty simple. Twitter has less engagement rate and content are a lot less
infographic as compared to other two mediums making it less convenient to use
for marketing.

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Let’s look at a few
examples on companies that have done an amazing job with social media. First
company that comes to my mind is Urban Girl. They started out as an accessories
shop in Facebook and now have branched out to cakes, clothing and have their
own shop and a website. Similarly Sasto Deal is the second company that comes
to my mind . Now I know, they are a well-established company but have you
looked at their social media ? Its pretty amazing, filled with engaging content
and not to mention stunning graphics. There are also other stores like NewMew ,
Sajha Deal that are based completely off social Media and still doing a good
business.

Since we have now settled
that Social Media in Nepal certainly has its scope , lets talk about all the
benefits your business can achieve by using Social Media and Social Media
Marketing in Nepal.

Let’s
look at five different ways your business could benefit:

1.     
Brand awareness:

If
your potential customers do not know you exist, they will not shop from you.
It’s as simple as that. Statistically 70 % of the business-to-consumer
marketers have acquired customers through Facebook and 91% of brands are using
more than one social media platforms . Joining tons of group relating to your
product , industry and customer base will certainly help influence customer to
check out your business.

 

2.     
Targeting and retargeting  your potential customers:

Unlike
traditional marketing where you hope your advertisement will reach your customers,
Social Media Marketing ensures that only your potential customers with get your
ads . How?  Facebook ads for example
allows you to target users by things like their interests , purchase history ,
age ,pages they have liked and  many more
. Now these people are more likely to convert into customers.

 

3.     
Cost-Efficient:

Social
Media marketing is possibly the most cost-efficient way of marketing. Signing
up on social media is free and any paid promotions you decide to invest in are
relatively low . While using paid advertisement on social media, always start
small to see what you should expect and keep track if you are getting Return of
your investment or not .If not , you are probably targeting the wrong customers
or using the wrong marketing channel or using wrong  marketing campaign for your business or even
all of the above .

 

4.     
Better customer service:

 It is easier than ever for you to reach your
customers and vice versa. Since you can interact with your customers on a
one-to-one basis on social media which creates brand loyalness after all who
wouldn’t prefer personalized response rather than an automated one. Every
customer interaction may it be a question, query or a complaint allows you to
personally interact with your customers and get their feedback on different
products or services .

5.     
Social Media to boost your site’s SEO

Sharing
the content of your website on your social media and targeting that content to
your potential customer can increase your site’s traffic. Search engine
crawlers know which page are getting more traffic which is also one of the
biggest factor for ranking on various search engine.

 

Social
Media Marketing certainly has its perks but lets now talk about the difficulty
that majority of people are facing while Social Media Marketing .

 

Some
of the basic tips for handling social media are :

1)     
Different social Media strategies for
different platforms :

Some
people are not at all aware that different social media requires different
strategies to handle them . For eg : It is a very good strategy to use hashtags
under your picture on Instagram however on Facebook that is not going to make
any difference .

 

2)     
80/20 rule :

The
80 /20 rule is completely ignored in some cases . What is 80/20 rule ? People
use social media to be social and not to be subjected to your business pitch
.So, the golden rule of social media is 80% interesting , sharable content that
provides value to your customers . 20% is your brand’s content . In this case,
make sure to integrate a persuasive call-to-action that inspires your audience
to learn about your company so it can someday possible lead to conversion.

 

3)     
Posting frequency on social media :

If
you post too frequently on social media, your post might overcrowd people’s
feed and might end up unfollowing you . However, if you post too infrequently,
your audience will forget that you exist and your business can quickly fade
away. So, what should you do? Different social media have different preference
on up to what frequency you should preferably post . For Facebook , 1 post is
suggested per day and if you post more than that , your reach will be decreased
as compared to one post. For Instagram, 1-2 post per day is suggested and 3 posts
per day is considered too high .

 

4)     
Analyze your past content and data to
improve your content:

If
you are not analyzing the performance of your past content or following the
data like what time your audience are more active , how are people finding your
account etc. then you are doing it all wrong . Since in context of Nepal we are
talking about Facebook and Instagram , you can simply use Facebook Analytics or
Instagram Analytics . Similarly these tools provide various features to
optimize your social media like Scheduling your posts etc .

 

 

 

 

In
context of Nepal there are various problems that may arise in context of social
Media Marketing . And according to my research,  the biggest problem is International Payment Gateway
. Now as much as we would like to reach our audience organically (without
having to pay any money), the organic reach of social media maily facebook and
Instagram has decreased astonishingly as presented in the graph below :

 

International
Payment has now become a need for Social Media Marketing . Inspite of the need
of International Payment service in Nepal , any international payment from
Nepal is deemed illegal by Nepal Rastra Bank .

So, here I have a few methods by which
international payment is achievable in Nepal:

·        
Payoneer:

Payoneer is a financial service
company  and digital payment service
provider which has roughly four million users in more than 200 countries.
Payoneer account can be setup from Nepal absolutely for free. For this, you
will have to apply for the card from “https://www.payoneer.com/main/” . Pioneer
deducts 30$ from your account yearly sa part of activating and using Payonner. So,
how can you add money to this account from Nepal might be another question .
There are quite a few ways to do this . If you already have international
clients, they can directly deposite in your Payoneer account . If this is not
the case , you can ask help form your friends/ family who have Payoneer account
to transfer funds to your account . For more information , goto ” https://www.merokalam.com/”.

 

·        
Ads manager by Act 360:

Ads manager by Act 360 provides an easy
way to run ads in Nepal. It makes it easier since all charges for using Ads
manger is processed in Nepalese Rupees . It also gives complete transparency of
ads data and full control to start, pause or resume the ad whenever you want.
Payment for Ads manager by Act 360 is only available using Khalti (online
payment service of Nepal) or Khalti partnered banks to run the ads.

 

·        
Digital Marketing acengies:

Digital Marketing agencies specialize in
Social Media Management and usually provide International Payment service.
Companies like Digital Gurkha, Social Aves, ads. Etc have been providing a
complete Social Media Marketing packages. From providing Payment service to
boosting your post or page as per your desired outcome , these agencies can
make your life a lot easier.

 

·        
Friends/ Family with International Credit
Card:

There are two ways this can go. If you are
looking for a short term plan, then you can simply use their card for marketing
. However, if this is something you are constantly in need of , then you can
simply ask them to make a PayPal account for you .You can either give the
deposited amount to their friends/ family here in Nepal they regularly send
money to or if you have international clients ,they can directly deposit fund to
your account.

 

·        
Using different groups on social media

There are different groups on social media
like “Entrepreneurs for Nepal” in Facebook where you can find freelancers that provide
international payment gateway . However, in this method , charge may subject to
individual preference.As per my research , some freelancers charge 20-25% of
the total cost for advertisement while others may charge Nrs 132 per $1.

 

No matter what channel is
used for international payment, you will be subjected certain amount of service
charge just for using the card and in some cases extra amount for boosting .
The charges also vary as per the medium you are using . Some agencies or
freelancers chare 20-25% of the total amount spent while there are some that
charge upto 40%  of the total amount used
which I think is ridiculous. Although, not all these methods provide complete
and easy methods for payment ,there is only much an individual can do when the
whole International Payment is illegal in Nepal . Now that I think about it ,
even this blog could get me in trouble !

We can lastly conclude
how fast Social Media has grown and with this Social Media Marketing has also
taken a huge leap. Different small scale organizations are still operating
fully dependent on social Media, which in context of Nepal as seen is mostly
Facebook and Instagram. If used in a proper manner, Social Media Marketing can
Increase your brand awareness, brand loyalty, better reach of customers and
many more. Maintaining basic rules or techniques for social media like the frequency
of posting on social media, the 80/20 rule and various other rules that I have
mentioned above could be of great help to kick start your social media campaign.
Internet Marketing in Nepal faces a tremendous problem as International payment
from Nepal may it be at any form is considered illegal. With Facebook
decreasing its organic reach so that the users are not flooded with sales and
promotion pitch from different businesses, boosting has become a necessity to
thrive your business. Different organizations have been using different
techniques for payment gateway. However, several ways as discussed above
includes charges ranging from 20-40% as per the total marketing cost just to use
the card. 

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