Top Social Media Struggles: Insights from Nigerian Businesses (And How to Fix Them)

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Are you pouring time and energy into social media with minimal results to show for it?  Ever feel like you’re shouting into a void, unsure if your efforts make a difference? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. We surveyed 113 Nigerian business and brand owners (with a focus on those especially within their first 0-4 years of operation) and the results revealed the top struggles consistently sabotaging their social media success. 

Top Social Media Struggles of Small Nigerian Businesses in 2024

#1 Struggle: Content Creation Crisis


Businesses know content is king, but our survey revealed the top obstacle isn’t simply a lack of time. 33.6% of our respondents noted they had difficulty creating content for their brands. This struggle impacts everything from audience engagement to the ability to turn followers into paying customers.

Action Steps for Business Owners

  • Start with “Why”: Before any post, ask if it aligns with your overall business goals, not just filling space.
  • Leverage Existing Assets: Could a video post be a series of tweets? Could those tweets be turned into Instagram quotes? This minimizes the “from scratch” burden.
  • Embrace Batching: Designate blocks for creation, not random posting fueled by panic.

Questions SMMs Can Ask Clients

  • What are your top 3 customer FAQs? These are easy content starters.
  • Do you have testimonials showcasing results? These make a compelling social proof.
  • Is there an upcoming event/promotion? Plan content around this for focused impact.

#2 Struggle: Audience Targeting

SMM worrying about audience targeting as part of the social media struggles of a business

Even well-crafted content falls flat if it’s not reaching the right people. Another social media struggle revealed by our survey is that of targeting the right audience with 31.9% of respondents experiencing a problem with that.

Action Steps for Business Owners

  • Ideal Customer Profile: Demographics are good. But psychographic measures are also important in identifying your ideal audience. Go beyond basic demographics. What are their pain points, where do they hang out online (not just platforms, but specific groups/forums)?
  • Competitor Analysis: What’s working for businesses similar to yours? This isn’t copying, but smart market research.
  • Don’t Set It & Forget It: Regularly review basic analytics (even built-in ones) to see which post types resonate most.

Questions SMMs Can Ask Clients

  • Who is your DREAM customer? Describe them as if they were a real person.
  • Where does this ideal customer seek information about products/services like yours?
  • Can you share examples of social media posts (from any brand) that you feel would connect with your target audience?

Struggle #3: The Time Crunch

social media manager crunched for time

Even when businesses recognize the importance of social media, the day-to-day demands often leave them feeling like there simply aren’t enough hours to do it right. Our survey confirmed this time crunch as the third leading challenge for business owners (Check this post out if time management is a challenge for you). This constant pressure to produce content often fuels the problems discussed earlier: rushed posts with little strategy, neglect of analytics, and missing out on the full potential of platforms like WhatsApp because they feel ‘too complex’ to manage.

Action Steps for Business Owners

  • Audit Your Efforts Honestly: What tasks drain the most time? Is it the creation itself, or the aimless scrolling for inspiration before you even start?
  • Embrace the Power of Scheduling: Tools allow you to batch-prepare content and automate posting, freeing up time for higher-level strategy and audience interaction.
  • Outsource Strategically: Even handing off a single time-consuming task (like report generation) can alleviate the feeling of overwhelm.

Questions SMMs Can Ask Clients

  • Walk me through your current social process: This identifies bottlenecks where simple interventions can make a big difference.
  • What social media tasks cause you the most stress or frustration? This often reveals where your expertise can save them the most time.
  • Have you considered a hybrid approach? Where do you handle [X] and we handle [Y]? This can ease them into outsourcing without feeling like they’re losing control.

Is WhatsApp Still the Most Important Channel for Nigerian Businesses?

Are you leaving potential customers and sales on the table by ignoring the platform where most Nigerians are ALREADY engaged? While platforms like Instagram and Facebook still have value, WhatsApp emerged as a clear leader in our survey – both for preferred marketing use and maintaining communication with customers. It was the preferred platform by 55.8% of our respondents, followed by 26.5% for Instagram and 9.7% for Facebook. And this is more than just posting status updates. This may suggest that businesses missing out on WhatsApp’s unique potential in marketing their businesses to the Nigerian market.

Why This Matters for Business Owners

  • Personalized Connection: WhatsApp fosters 1:1 conversations, building stronger relationships than broadcasting on larger platforms.
  • Customer Journey Integration: It’s not just about ads! WhatsApp can be used for booking appointments, answering FAQs, and even closing sales.
  • Audience Where They Are: If your ideal customer is already using WhatsApp heavily, tailoring your social strategy to meet them there is key.

Why This Matters for SMMs

  • Beyond Content Calendars: SMMs should help clients develop a WhatsApp strategy, including audience-appropriate messaging and management systems to avoid unanswered inquiries.
  • Broadcast Lists & Status Updates: Explore features often overlooked by businesses, offering potential for targeted promotions and ‘behind the scenes’ brand building.
  • Opportunity for Service Expansion: Many businesses need guidance on using WhatsApp effectively. This could be a new service offering for SMMs within the Nigerian market.

Actionable Next Steps for Both

  • Survey Your Audience: Where are they most active besides the major platforms? This data dictates where effort is focused.
  • WhatsApp Business Exploration: Even simple automations ease the burden of constant 1:1 replies.
  • Competitor Analysis (Again!): What are savvy brands in your niche doing with WhatsApp? Inspiration, not imitation!

Turning Your Social Media Struggles into Strengths


While these common social media struggles might have initially felt disheartening, the knowledge gained from our survey is incredibly empowering. By understanding the specific obstacles faced by Nigerian businesses, both business owners and social media managers can implement the right strategies to overcome them.

Remember, this isn’t about achieving overnight perfection.  Even incremental progress based on data-backed insights leads to lasting success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

Call to Action

Are you a Nigerian business owner OR a social media manager working with Nigerian brands? Share your biggest takeaway from this survey in the comments below!  Let’s keep the conversation going and support each other in achieving social media success.

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