The best social media platforms for businesses in South Africa

Social media platforms for businesses in South Africa.

Every business owner knows that they should get social with potential customers online. However, the average social media user interacts with 6.6 social media platforms.

There are over 25 million social media users in South Africa in April 2023.

So how do you know which is the right social media platform for you? First, you need to know who your customer is. Details such as age, sex, their relationship status, if they have kids or not, where they live and what their qualifications are.

The more you know about your customers and why they buy the easier it is to find them online. If we know who your customer is we can find them.

Once you know your customer you can look through the possible social media platforms that they might be spending time on. Here are some of the platforms used in South Africa.


A screenshot of Orcancally's business page on Facebook.

Facebook started in 2004 and grew fast from there. You need to have an account to be able to interact with people.

Facebook allows you to share images, videos and text, check in at places, like on comment on friends posts and belong to a group.

Users on Facebook can also follow business pages, which can be managed by people that have a Facebook profile.

There are over 29 million people on Facebook in South Africa. The majority of them are women, but only with around 51%. And the biggest group is between 25 and 34.

Your business page can run an advert that target specific people. For example you can target women between the ages of 20 and 25 who live in Pretoria East, who got engaged in the last month and are interested in horses.

Or you can target men between the ages of 30 and 45, who has a family and is the owner, director or decision maker in a business.

The targeting options are endless. But this is the key to winning with ads on Facebook. You need to know who your customer is and what they want.

Your business page can also create posts containing text, designs, videos and all sorts of content. Your page can create a group and interact as a page with others on Facebook.

Additionally, you can display products in a catalogue that users can browse through and then buy it from your website.

If your target market is on Facebook, be sure to open a Facebook business page and start interacting with your audience.


Instagram started in October 2010 as a photo and video sharing platform. It quickly gained in popularity and sold to Facebook in 2012 for $1 Billion.

There were 6.8 million people on Instagram in South Africa in March 2022. Around 52% of these are women. Most of these are 18-24 and very few people above 45 are on Instagram.

Instagram is still a photo and video first platform. Users can take photos and videos directly on the platform or upload and edit these on Instagram.

You can share stories, which users scroll through left to right. You can also share reels, which are very short videos which many users spend a lot of time viewing.

Your business can register an account on Instagram which works the same as a user account. However, you can opt in for business functionality like ads and reporting.

Your business can run ads on Instagram through the Facebook Business Suite.

Creating good-looking images and short videos consistently is the key to winning on this social media platform. You can be entertaining, informational or just tell a story on Instagram.

Once you reach more than 1000 followers you can list products in your catalogue.

If your target market is on Instagram, it will be worth it for your business to get on the platform and get social with people who are interested.


YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users can upload videos and share it with the world. Videos can be up to 12 hours long.

South Africa had over 25 million YouTube users in South Africa.

You can also host live events on YouTube, where you either show a live event or where you can answer questions live from viewers.

YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world, owned by Google which is the biggest search engine. People search for videos on this platform.

If you have something valuable to share, such as how to’s, or if you have any information that your potential clients might want to learn, then YouTube could be great for your business.


TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in South Africa and already has 11.8 million users over the age of 18. In 2022 this was around 6 million. However, there are many younger users also on the platform.

It is a platform on which you can share short videos, much like the reels feature on Instagram.

Your business can open its own TikTok account by downloading the app. You can then create and share entertaining videos on your account that features your products.

At this moment in time TikTok still has a lot of organic reach, meaning that if you create great quality content you can reach a lot of viewers without paying TikTok for ads.

You can also create ads on TikTok that you can target to users in South Africa. Your ads should be fun to watch and engage with on the platform.

A great feature of TikTok is the live feature. Going live can increase your reach and you can interact with users in real time to answer their questions and react to their requests.

Influencers can make money on TikTok by getting gifts live from viewers. This money can be paid out to you when you reach $50.


An image of my personal profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the social media platform for businesses that trade with other businesses. It has around 11 million users in South Africa.

On LinkedIn you can build your personal profile based on your work life. This includes your experience, education and organisations that you are involved in.

It also has an amazing search function that you can use to find people based on their role withing businesses. For example, you can search for the marketing manager in your town and filter it based on a bunch of helpful filters.

Your business can also open a business profile, where you do make posts, write articles and engage with other users and businesses.

The articles that we publish here on our website blog are also posted on LinkedIn on our business page.

Your employees can also say that they work at your business and reshare your posts. This is great for increasing your reach.

People can then find your business through the employees’ profiles which will show to all their connections on LinkedIn.

Each person and business can build up followers that can see their posts, articles, videos and profile updates, for example if you start a new job or got a promotion.

Your business can also run ads on LinkedIn where you can target people based on their role, location and interests. This is a great way to let people know about your services.


SnapChat is a social media platform where each user creates an avatar instead of having a profile picture. This is a great way to remain semi-anonomous.

And that is how snapchat started in 2011 as a platform where you can post pictures and videos that disappear once the user has viewed it.

Now, it is much like Instagram, where you can create stories and reels and share them with your friends. Or view stories and reels from others.

Businesses can also engage users on SnapChat by creating a profile and starting to create content like stories and reels.

As a business you need to stay relevant on SnapChat and provide value in the form of entertainment or education in a fun way.


There are many social media platforms that you can use to get your business’ message out there and engage with your customers and prospects.

However, it is better to focus on just a few social media platforms. For example, Orcanically focusses on LinkedIn and Facebook. All our other social media profiles are secondary.

Let us know if you need help with running your social media campaigns or if you have any questions about any of these platforms. We will be happy to help.


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