With the recent unemployment rates rising to 32.6% in South Africa, one can see why citizens of Mzansi are diverting to the entrepreneur profession. This essentially allows them to empower themselves early on, as well as sharpen their skills in an economic climate that is currently experiencing massive upheaval.

However, despite many SMEs failing to launch in South Africa, there are some that are empowering themselves with their own secret weapon used to achieve success: social media.

To dive further into the topic, media update’s Nakedi Phala took some time to chat to Itumeleng Lekomanyane, who’s in the sandwich business. What makes him so unique? Well, his company was actually discovered through social media! That’s right, through digital marketing, this man managed to add fire to his sandwich-dealing organisation. 

Now for those who work in Johannesburg’s central business district, you might have come across Lekomamyane‘s irresistible sandwiches and snacks. If you haven’t, then here’s the short version of the story: Lekomamyane “grew his sandwich business in Johannesburg to a R20,000 a month business in six months. What a feat!

His business’s name? Sandwich Nton Nton, which loosely translates to Sandwich What-What in English. 

Before we lose ourselves in the yumminess of the sandwiches, let’s dive into how social media has been a complete game-changer for this small business right in the heart of Mzansi. 

How has social media aided your small businesses, especially during lockdown? 

Social media has been the greatest tool since the beginning of my business venture. Using these platforms to share what my offerings are have helped increase interest in my products.

The interest shown on these digital platforms was much needed. It’s through these platforms that brands can grow and create a gap for youth employment. 

Does social media contribute to a boost in business sales? How? 

Social media has the potential to largely contribute to sales. Due to people having access to these platforms country-wide, consumers can find these offerings from anywhere in the world and then travel to buy these products. And, it also opens up wider opportunities, such as when corporations [are needing to] buy food, for example, [for] small corporate events, such as birthdays.  

Since digital platforms offer free features, this means that you don’t have to spend money on promotional and paid ads and other features. 

Essentially, one can take social media as a lead source and the conversion to sales is entirely up to how great your sales pitch is!  

What social media features do you rely on to add value to your business? 

It all depends on the type of content you want to share and content that will attract audiences to your service offering. 

Images and short videos showing audiences what you’re offering — and a bit of motivational words — goes a long way. But it’s not limited to that; social media can be regarded as a tool for potential business opportunities or to recruit others to join the company, which saves time in head-hunting employees. 

It seems social media benefits one when used cleverly. It’s just there for you to use it to your benefit to add value to your services or products! 

What advice can you give to small businesses that are not using social media? 

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Social media is an ideal platform for small businesses to build engagement with their consumers. Do you agree?? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Ufuna izindaba ezishisayo? Bhalisela encwadini yethu yezindaba.

If you are looking to expand on your brand by moving to Black Twitter, do so with caution. Ensure you’re prepared with these Six do’s and don'ts for South African brands on Black Twitter.