The number of local brands on social media has been growing year on year ever since we started blogging on digital marketing in Zimbabwe. Since 2014 we have been active in this space, sharing thoughts and insightful content and also helping brands leverage digital channels. This experience has allowed us to have a panoramic perspective on the digital marketing landscape in Zimbabwe. This piece seeks to showcase what we consider the best Zimbabwean brands on social media in the past year with regards to the following key pillars which denote social media success;
- Engagement – the ability to consistently maintain high engagement on the page.
- Breaking the clutter – brands that stand out through consistently churning out great content.
- Social care – very important for brands to offer social care and social listening.
Mambos Chicken and Chicken Hut
We have paired the two warring brands because of their ability to engage fans through throwing shade at each other. What makes these brands stand out is their ability to maintain relevancy and being at the pulse of what’s trending. They have managed to capitalize on trending content and relate it to their brands and product offerings and thus keeping fans glued to their pages. While we have not been fans of some of the content lately, they managed to entertain us in 2019 and we hope for more in the new decade. We have about them prior here
Stanbic bank was impressive in 2019 as they broke the “bank mould”, the corporate straightjacket and have been able to develop and share some great relevant content predominantly premised on trending content. In the past year we saw Stanbic bank step out and dabble in content which years ago would’ve been considered controversial and unbecoming particularly from a banking institution. To bring context and perspective a comparison between Stanchart and Stanbic social media content tells the whole story. In this way, Stanbic has endeared itself to the social media streets and thus remains top of the mind on the social media pages to watch out for any day.
Despite not being known for social media hullabaloo, Lobels biscuits has churned out very creative content that one would mistake them for a western brand. The variety and creative artistic expression of their content has been a marvel to watch from us at the cmo. In addition, Lobels has over the past year developed Facebook games which gave their fans an opportunity to engage with the brand at a deeper level. We hope Lobels continues on this path in this new decade and keep us enchanted.
While Econet is probably the most hated brand on social media at the moment, it does not take away the great social media efforts of the Econet marketing team. Over the past year, Econet has introduced a great variety to their content and have probably become the only brand in Zimbabwe doing effective content marketing. The new shows around soccer, health and fitness, cooking etc have been a great hit with fans who have seen the brand step out with some great content marketing initiatives. In addition, despite the massive amount of complaints on their page, they have done well to maintain a high response rate. if Econet can continue on this trajectory and offer more exciting content, this will go a long in providing a distraction to their enraged fans.
Gloria Flour a household brand under National Foods has consistently performed well on social media since it went social. What makes Gloria a fan favorite particularly among women is the content i.e. the baking recipes which are shared regularly have meant ladies keep glued and engaged to the page. Furthermore, due to the nature of the brand, they have also been able to churn out very creative and visually appealing content which makes one take notice. A variety of content from static to animated will sure keep their fans even more engaged in this new decade.
Zimnat – assumed an aggressive stance on social media and has served them well
Starfm – the live interviews have always kept us entertained
Zol – did well with bringing artists as guests on their Friday live shows
Pick n Pay – have managed to consistently develop good content
This list is based on our own assessments as stated prior for brands that have stood out with their social media efforts. We would be happy to welcome different views or mentions of other brands we have omitted in our assessment. The list has nothing to do with number of likes or followers but purely on the performance of the brand. Admittedly, the focus has predominantly been on Facebook.