Small business operators in Zongo communities are being exposed to opportunities in using social media platforms to increase productivity and lower cost.
The growth of businesses in the sector has been hindered by their low presence in the digital media space.
Beneficiary businesses of the training session are upbeat about prospects on their operations.
Strong digital presence is critical for the success and survival of businesses.
To grow her fashion business, Fati Mohammed has been paying for advertisements on social media.
Though expensive, it has grown her presence on social media.
Yet, she records low patronage.
“It is very expensive. Some celebrities charge 100 cedis a week to advertise your products. With that, they only do it thrice a week. After paying 100 cedis per week, unfortunately, you only get 3 customers out of the adverts. The profit I get in a week does not amount to 100 cedis. A person with a large following can advertise for you, yet you would not record even 1 customer,” she said.
Her inability to design a professional social media profile page has limited the trust of potential customers.
But, attending technology seminars has taught her to design a professional business profile.
“It’s hard gaining followers using TikTok. People will view your content but will not like or follow you. The story is the same with Instagram. But when you have a business account, it is easier gaining followers,” she said.
Business owners of the Ashanti Zongo Youth Union have been undergoing digital marketing training sessions by Open Labs Ghana, formerly NIIT.
It is to help the businesses to render services efficiently.
Abdul Basit is Coordinator for Training and Higher Education at Open Labs Ghana.
“Majority of business owners are into traditional business. This means they do things manually. People open shops in front of their houses, and expect others to patronize. But things are moving from manual to technological. With Open Labs being an IT institution, we have decided to provide such technological services to people in our communities. They will use these technologies to establish and enhance their businesses,” he said.
Open Labs Ghana has embarked on similar community outreaches with financial institutions.
So far, the number of small businesses adopting mobile technologies has been successful.
“Some business owners were not aware of how to use technologies on their mobile phone for their businesses. We are introducing them to such technologies, they now understand they can use their phones to enhance the customer base for their businesses,” he said.
A participant, Abdullai Abass, shares how he plans to use WhatsApp and TikTok to grow his electrical business.
“With the WhatsApp business application, I never knew it entails a lot of things you can run your business with,” he revealed.
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