Navigating Social Media for Safari Lodges in Africa: Choosing the Right Management Approach

Should you use an agency, ask your staff to do it or maybe not even do it at all?

In today’s digital era, social media has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience, showcase their offerings, and establish a strong brand presence. For owners and managers of safari lodges in Africa, leveraging social media platforms can significantly enhance their visibility and attract potential guests from around the world. However, deciding who should manage the lodge’s social media accounts can be a challenging task. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of three potential approaches: utilizing existing staff, hiring a social media marketing agency, or foregoing social media altogether.

a vervet monkey holding a phone
Not everyone is as capable with tech

1. Utilizing Existing Staff for your Social Media

Pros:

a) Familiarity with the Business: Existing staff members possess in-depth knowledge about the lodge, its unique offerings, and the surrounding wildlife, allowing them to create authentic content that resonates with potential guests.

b) Cost-Effective: By assigning social media responsibilities to existing staff, there is no additional expenditure on outsourcing or agency fees.

c) Flexibility and Agility: Staff members can promptly respond to guest inquiries, comments, and feedback, ensuring a personalized and engaging interaction.

Cons:

a) Lack of Expertise: Unless there are team members with prior experience in social media management, there may be a learning curve involved in understanding platform algorithms, content creation best practices, and analytics.

b) Time Constraints: Adding social media management to the existing workload of staff members may lead to a strain on their time and productivity, potentially impacting other essential tasks.

Managing Social Media can be frustrating

2. Hiring a Social Media Marketing Agency

Pros:

a) Professional Expertise: A social media marketing agency specializes in managing online presence, creating compelling content, optimizing campaigns, and analyzing performance, ensuring a well-rounded approach.

b) Access to Advanced Tools and Resources: Agencies often have access to cutting-edge social media management tools and resources that can streamline processes, increase efficiency, and provide valuable insights.

c) Scalability: With an agency, you can scale your social media efforts as needed, taking advantage of their expertise and resources to accommodate growth.

Cons:

a) Cost Considerations: Hiring a social media marketing agency involves budgetary implications, as agencies typically charge fees for their services. The cost may vary depending on the agency’s reputation, scope of work, and desired outcomes.

b) Potential Lack of Personal Touch: While agencies can produce high-quality content, some guests may appreciate the personal touch and authenticity that comes with content created by lodge staff.

3. Not Doing Social Media at All

Pros:

a) Focus on Core Operations: By not engaging in social media, lodge owners and managers can direct their attention and resources solely towards providing exceptional safari experiences and maintaining the lodge’s day-to-day operations.

b) Word-of-Mouth Marketing: In some cases, the reputation and word-of-mouth referrals generated by satisfied guests can be sufficient to sustain the business, eliminating the need for an active social media presence.

Cons:

a) Missed Opportunities: In today’s digital age, where social media is a key driver of brand awareness, not having a social media presence can limit your reach and potential guest pool.

b) Lack of Control: Without an official social media presence, you relinquish control over your brand image, as guests may create unofficial pages or share unverified information that may not accurately represent your lodge.

fat-dassie-social-media
Managing social media is a specialised job

So what will you choose for your lodge?

When it comes to managing social media accounts for a safari lodge in Africa, each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is crucial to assess the lodge’s goals, resources, and desired level of expertise before making a decision. Depending on the unique circumstances of each lodge, a combination of approaches may also be considered. Ultimately, the chosen approach should align with the lodge’s overall business strategy, ensuring an effective and successful social media presence.

Veerle at Fat Dassie is happy to advise on Social Media Management and Strategy for your safari business. Reach out to her for a chat.