A Facebook community group aimed at reforming the socioeconomic status in communities around South Africa

By: Lwazi Nongauza

Many people have recommended the creation of a social media group to help market a business or an organisation. In his blog, Social Seeder, Thomas Berger speaks of the benefits of having a community of like-minded people on social media. He lists three major reasons why a social media community group can be beneficial:

  1. A social media group is a place where people interact. Unlike a business page that feels more like marketing, a group creates the feeling of a community.
  2. Consider using this group as a customer service page, where you can have discussions with clients and provide valuable input.
  3. If you don’t create a group about your service or product, someone else will. Creating the community will help you bring the conversation to your own domain.

It seems Activator, Sandile Mlangeni, hit the nail on the head when he started his Facebook community group. This community group, Kwatsaduza Online, turned into an organisation when it gained popularity with entrepreneurs around South Africa. This group of over 37 000 members intends to reform the socioeconomic status that affect young people in their communities. Many entrepreneur have benefitted from sharing their businesses and marketing their products on this group. Countless shoppers have found useful products and services from this group. A lot of investors have found causes and businesses to invest in, in this group.

“There are a lot of community based enterprises. Most of them are driven by passionate young people who are capable of driving socio economic solutions, but unfortunately their work is not known by most community members or citizens who can be potential investors or customers to their initiatives”, says Mlangeni as he explains the motivation for starting this group. “I’ve been profiling young people who are in business and those who are community activists via Facebook, whatsapp and Gmail, I do this so that their work can be known and they can expand their reach. It allows them to build a network of community social enterprises”, he explains.

According to Social Seeder, “Facebook is one of the largest social networks with more than 2 billion users per month. A Facebook group may have better organic reach than business pages. If you are a member of a group you automatically see more of the group posts in your newsfeed. Members of the group receive notifications automatically unless they change this in their personal group settings”. Mlangeni certainly created a page that serves the interests of many young, passionate entrepreneurs. Kwatsaduza Online allows young entrepreneurs to expand their reach. Although the intention was to help these young entrepreneurs to market their skills within their communities, it has helped them to reach a market far beyond the borders of the small communities they live in. Customers from all around South Africa and the world can get a chance to sample the skills that these young entrepreneurs have to offer.

They have gone on to create a WhatsApp group where these young entrepreneurs can exchange ideas and share tips on how to improve their skills. The link to the WhatsApp group can be found on the about page of the Facebook group and anyone who wants to share and receive content that will develop their community, is welcomed to join.

How remarkable is it, that a member of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network saw an opportunity to create an online network of his own, and is achieving great success, consequently driving change and influencing more than just one small community.

Other Activators can assists by joining this group and being part of this community of entrepreneurs who impart valuable skills and information to each other. Sandile Mlangeni is definitely an active and positive influence to young South African entrepreneurs.

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