Online Marketer Upgrades Enterpreneurs

Online Marketer Upgrades Enterpreneurs

For sale: Small businesses exploit online media

Kwanele Tshabalala (34) has elevated himself from a store cleaner and mortar mixer for builders, to a local entrepreneurs’ marketer. He manages a Facebook page, Soweto Business Network. The businesses advertise their services and items they sell here. The page has about 70 000 fans. This is not what Kwanele expected.

Hand Office: Kwanele Tshabalala working from his tablet

“I was doing home improvement and thought of advertising my services on social media, and to also create a platform for local entrepreneurs. It turned out to be more than I expected. One lady was selling cookies. She asked me to help her find customers. I posted her details on the page. A few days later she asked me to delete her advert. She could not cope with the demands,” Kwanele remembers with a smile on his face.

There are other challenges apart from the necessary problem the old lady had. “Fraudsters are also taking their chances. Some buyers complain that they deposited money, but the sellers don’t deliver items. I advise them not pay for anything, until they have it on their hands,” he says regrettably.

He declines suspicious adverts. Kwanele advises, “Buyers should thoroughly investigate the seller. They should go to their Facebook pages and timelines to check if they really exist. Genuine people regularly post, and their details are believable.”

Online merchant: Audrey Rambau augment her income

To safeguard interests of his clients, he plans an online store. “Customers will deposit the money into our accounts and we’ll make sure that we deliver the goods. We would be having a physical office and people could trust us,” he says.

For grabs: Some of the items Audrey Rambau sells

Audrey Rambau advertises on the SBN to augment her income. “I have my own page, but I reach more people through Soweto Business Network. The business is doing well,” she assures.

What started three years ago as a Soweto Business Network has gained popularity beyond Gauteng province. People from all races and creeds sell and buy items from this platform.


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