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TThe primary aim of social media platforms such as Google+, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is to facilitate communication among people with a shared interest.

However, the story only begins with the creation of social media accounts for your business. Once you have the accounts set up, you need to understand what they offer, how each differs and what they can do to help grow your business.


TTo maintain social media engagement, it is imperative to regularly post fresh, relevant content. If you fail to do so, people quickly become bored with your content and are quite likely to stop following you on social media – and you’ve lost them for good.

Remain constantly engaged with your audience/clients by responding to messages, commenting on feedback, replying to questions and addressing complaints. If you don’t, you are wasting your time (and theirs) and money.

It’s also equally important not to inundate your followers with loads of spam or useless information just for the sake of posting content. This is guaranteed to result in a flood of unlikes and un-follows, and has the potential to damage your brand and online reputation.

Rather opt for a middle path and post regular, juicy content that followers will find value in.

As far as dos and don’ts go, here are 10 tips that will help you to hone your content and avoid social media pitfalls:

1. Never post content that’s in poor taste

As a rule of thumb, consider whether you would feel comfortable having your parents, spouse, siblings, colleagues or boss reading the content. When they do read your post, what impression will they have of you?  

2. Don’t link your company Facebook and Twitter accounts

Linking your accounts means the exact same message/content will be published across multiple platforms. Some companies do, but this can cause complications down the line due to differences in formatting between the two platforms.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule

Post 80% content to 20% sales. When marketing products, rather than spamming your followers with a hard sell, choose a softer approach to convey product information and special offers.

4. Conduct your own online research

This is the best way of gaining a better understanding of the functions, user base, advantages and disadvantages of the different social media platforms. It’s important to know how to convey the same message to a 60-year-old businessman and a teenage girl.

5. Keep branding consistent

This applies across all social media platforms – standardise colour, branding, terminology, logos, pay-off lines and messaging to build and reinforce your brand.

6. One size doesn’t fit all

A single campaign is unlikely to work across all social media. Facebook and Twitter are as different as YouTube and Vimeo. A one-size-fits-all strategy is likely to fail on many fronts.

7. Decide on your budget

How much can you afford for your marketing as a whole and how much can you spend on individual marketing channels? Spend wisely, especially if you have a set budget.

8. Don’t forget the pictures

Wherever possible include a visual element to your posts, especially on Twitter. This is the quickest and easiest way of drawing attention to your most important content.

9. Schedule posts ahead of time

With an effective social media content plan prepared in advance, it is possible to schedule content for publishing ahead of time by using an app such as Buffer, which permits scheduling across multiple platforms.

10. Create a hashtag

Creating a hashtag should never be a random act. The word/s you use should effectively link the different arms of a particular campaign. Choose one that is not being used elsewhere and one that is easy to spell and remember. Follow and use your hashtag to promote interaction.

Learn more about what constitutes good social media and some of the challenges associated with it from the articles listed below:

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