Marketing a Business in the DRC

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I received this query today and I thought I’d share my reply here with you.

I’m humbled to have met you online trough our FB friend xxxx 
I’ve just moved to DRC and I’m trying to bring a wealth fashion concept to a marketing illiterate nation
I will be importing some fashion clothing and jewellery from Dubai and/or China to sale up here in Eastern DRC.
I have a lot of friends from this region and myself grew in South Africa. What I need to know from you is, how can I get all my facebook friends living there and abroad to talks about my business?
How can I turn to facebook to ignite a sleeping marketing to my advantage?
Or, should I say I can I best advertise my business online?

My reply
With Facebook, the thing that I’ve found best is to make my own business page (see mine at  When I started out, I tried to be purely professional on there. Every single thing on there was business related. Slowly I began to realise that you actually have to let your personality shine through even on a business page on Facebook. This is because Facebook is a social platform and people like the interaction. So you can build a page, invite your friends and ask them to share. But the big thing is to be on there daily or as often as you can and write posts or content that is engaging. There was a time when I would have sworn to you that Facebook alone could be enough to market a business. Now I am not sure that you get your main business from Facebook purely. Facebook is part of a larger picture even in the online scenario. So it’s a good idea to have your own website, twitter, submit your link to business directories. And offline you can do things like print brochures, stick them in letter boxes, put them up in local post offices. 

Obviously I don’t know or begin to understand the market or local conditions in the DRC but these are the things that have worked for me.

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