While many businesses are welcoming going digital, they struggle with the transition. And it is difficult for them to strengthen their online presence due to a lack of skills. But according to Digify Africa’s Luleka Mnguni, they can use the tools that are already at their disposal to help their online presence stand out.
Mnguni spoke to Vutivi News about the challenges and benefits of an SMME going digital. This comes after Digify Africa hosted a webinar last week in partnership with the Government Communication and Information Systems which sought to help SMMEs strengthen their online presence. “With smaller businesses, especially township-based businesses, there is that digital skills gap,” she said.
“Digitising can be intimidating, and if anything, this pandemic put the spotlight on the digital skills gap and the need to invest in upskilling,” Mnguni said that using tools that were already available to most business owners would ramp up their marketing strategy and strengthen their online presence.
“Many SMMEs have embraced digitisation, but many others do not believe they have the right tools at their disposal. We believe that many SMME owners have a smartphone and social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp,” she said. “One must understand the power that lies in these tools, and especially in understanding the analytics aspect of social media.”
Mnguni also said that businesses must change and adopt new strategies. “Entrepreneurs must be more intentional when they advertise their products and communicate with their online community,” she advised. “Building a strong online community converts it to a strong customer base. “The direction that business is taking is digital, and if there is no support, we will find that we won’t be able to unlock the potential that exists,” Mnguni warned.
One of the products Digify Africa offers is a course on Facebook training. Programmes go from basic to advanced training. Basic training covers topics like how to set up a Facebook page for your business, whereas advanced training includes understanding how Ads for Facebook works Mnguni believes that there are many opportunities for businesses online through the correct cultivation.
“We can start with collaborations where different stakeholders come together to provide training and support and create access to information,” she pointed out. “We need to look at targeted interventions that are practical and can be applied immediately.”