Startup Huddle Blantyre discusses social media, marketing practices

It was my great pleasure to talk to the Startup Huddle in Blantyre, where I found a group of young, strong dynamic African women who are making it in the business world. My presentation was a simple one for me because it is what I am passionate about: social media marketing.marie's hot sauce

Startup Huddle Malawi
Startup Huddle Malawi

Though fairly new in Malawi, I have been using social media for close to 10 years to put out my messages regarding my businesses. Having spent 10 years in Washington, D.C., as the trade and investment attaché at the Malawi Embassy, I realised how powerful the ,Internet is when I was putting out our agendas and having functions.

Using Social Media in Malawi
In Malawi, because not everyone is connected, social media marketing was a challenge at first but I am happy to say that in the last three years I have noticed more and more people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My passion for using social media for effective marketing has increased in the last two years because I have seen the results.

I have been promoting my sister’s hot sauce – Marie’s Hot Sauce – made from fine kambuzi peppers, and all the marketing I do on the Internet has increased sales by more than 80 percent among Malawians. It has also attracted people from other countries to become interested in Malawi because of their experience with the hot sauce. Production has doubled in the last year and we are currently selling the hot sauce to 20,000 people each month.

How do I do it?
Well that’s an easy one: I target specific times to talk about the hot sauce and I have learned to use certain words and descriptions to capture the attention of people young and old.

I currently reach my 5,000 friends on Facebook and have about 2,900 subscribers to my Facebook page (check me out – Martha T. Chikuni). I love using social media for marketing because it is stress free and I reach thousands of people instantly. I would never waste my time advertising in a newspaper for instance, as social media is far cheaper. All I need is the Internet and on average that translates to me spending $2 a day for connectivity.

I don’t need an office as I can do the marketing using my phone or laptop from anywhere. It’s fun and easy and the best way to advertise your business. I would like to thank my sister Marie Chikuni for letting me make all the noise about the hot sauce on social media…and I would like to also say in all honesty the reason why the sauce has done so well is because it is delicious. My dream is one day we should get the hot sauce in sachets and on aircrafts, restaurants worldwide. That is my next big project and I would love to hear from any other entrepreneurs out there that have ideas.

  • Martha Chikuni is a serial entrepreneur and the marketing manager for Marie’s Hot Sauce, a rapidly growing brand in the international hot sauce.

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