On June 5, the Nigerian government placed an indefinite ban on the use of Twitter in the country. Since the ban, entrepreneurs and small businesses have been struggling to reach their audiences, limiting lead generation and conversions.
Despite the backlashes from citizens and the international community that trailed the Twitter ban, the government went ahead to announce that it would mandate other social media platforms to register in Nigeria as business entities before they can be allowed to operate unhindered.
Although many have, in desperation, resorted to using the virtual private network (VPN) to bypass the restriction, it still did not solve the problem of limited reach.
With the help of VPN, Twitter users in Nigeria are able to connect to servers in different locations across the world but the downside is that brands are unable to accurately reach or target the Nigerian audience either by paid advertising or organic efforts.
According to data published by Statista in 2020, Twitter is the number 6 most used social media platform in Nigeria. On the surface, it would seem the Twitter ban may not have a significant adverse effect on Nigerian businesses but award-winning business coach and Principal Consultant at Elvaridah, Nkechi Alade, thinks otherwise.
“The platform (Twitter) has contributed largely to the economy of the country by providing an avenue for job creation, awareness, increased reach and access to global opportunities than any other social media platform in Nigeria at this time,” Nkechi tells Business Elites Africa.
5 negative effect of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, according to Nkechi
1. Investor uncertainty: Investors will find it even more difficult to invest in Nigerian businesses based on the economic instability in the government.
2. Limited reach: Twitter gives business owners a wider reach just by sending out a single tweet. It has always been one of the best platforms for increased reach with lower efforts.
3. Limited marketing options: The Twitter ban further limits the marketing options for the business owner. The business owner now has to battle for recognition on other platforms which may not be the best for their business model.
4. Higher cost of running a business: Twitter has always been one of the platforms that do not require expensive ads to reach the desired audience. With the ban, business owners might have to think of more traditional and expensive methods to reach their customers.
5. Access to customer feedback: Twitter served as an avenue for customer feedback and relationship for businesses of various levels. Companies were able to give faster responses compared to the alternative channels they had available,
The best strategy small businesses should deploy now
The advice we have always given our clients at Elvaridah right from time is this: “Build a platform where you are in control,” Nkechi says.
What this means is the ability to have your own website for visibility, lead generation and conversions. Third party platforms are not enough to run successful businesses because they can shut down at any time.
So, use the social media platforms to the fullest but, get out your content and customers to a platform you can control.