(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/25d6gIS)
One of the most amazing things about today is the reach you can get to your market through social media.
Being in the business of teaching English, in reality the world is our market, not just the local environment. Fortunately for us, we can help students by applying for a visa for them and they in turn can benefit from our school.
So why am I writing this post?
One of the craziest things that so many people I know personally find hard to understand is how I (a New Zealander) can operate a business in a foreign land (Malaysia) and bring markets from countries I have never been to?
Yes, in most cases previously this would have been completely impossible, but thanks to such vehicles as Facebook, these countries can be not only tapped into, but nurtured and corresponded with in ways that never before have been sourced.
Take for example the Facebook ‘boosting’ posts idea. With this we can create content and advertising that totally targets the most remote of countries, and encourage them to engage with us. The key is to take it slowly and carefully (and I am talking about over a year or two). Firstly, present content they will find interesting and useful (if they want to learn English), secondly ask them to engage with us, and finally include some advertising of what they can get from us. Therefore, building a relationship in a way never done before.
I mention the Democratic Republic of Congo because to me this is one of the most remote and unknown countries to me, and I know that they need English as much if not more than many other countries in Africa. Also though many of them are poor (which I will get onto later), they also have some successful people there too who DO have the money, and to send their son or daughter to Malaysia to study is a very feasible option.
Getting to your market through social media (for us anyway), is getting to the student first, then they in turn will do the marketing for us to their parents. Malaysia offers not only very attractive prices, but also easily available student visas and of course if they come to us they will get a course and teacher equivalent to any western world language centre.
Developing these markets in this way are more powerful than ever, because the internet is everywhere these days – even in the Democratic Republic of Congo!
Now going onto those with the lower budget. If as with us, you are in for the long haul, you need to understand one thing. Within the next 5 years EVERYONE in the world will have a smart phone or access to it. EVERYONE with a smart phone will have a connection to the internet at an incredibly cheap price if not completely free. Therefore, EVERYONE rich or poor will have access to your business. This means of course that though everyone can reach you, not everyone can afford you. Not to worry.
This is where building a relationship can be incredibly powerful. Engaging with people in a foreign land who can’t afford your product is called ‘relationship building for the future’. This person may not be able to afford it, but they may know someone who can. Or better still, you may eventually create some technology that will be affordable for them, and when it comes out, you have already got your market sorted.
One thing virtually everyone in the world wants is to talk to people. It may be to sell or buy or it may be simply to have a chat and talk. This is where your marketing team come into play. Getting your team to simply befriend these people can be the most powerful move you can make. (One thing for sure is that in our world of English – most of the poor people of Africa may not speak any English but they will speak a little of another language e.g. French, Portuguese, Arabic – the key here is to find a marketing person who can at least correspond in that language).
How exciting the future is for business (particularly English language business) with the onset of social media.
The best thing about social media is how personal it all is. The title of ‘Hello Democratic Republic of Congo, we are here for you’, means exactly that not ‘…where are here for you too’, as this makes them feel that they are one of many. Social media makes them feel they are here ‘specifically’ for you, and you can’t beat that in marketing.
What do you think of it all?