The year 2018 is finally here. What grand plans have you put in place to push your start-up to the next level? For startups with shoestring to zero budgets on advertising, the Internet, especially social media sites and websites, will transform your business landscape.
A 2016 study conducted in the US titled, “The impact of technology on small businesses” stated that 50 per cent of consumers would not buy from a company without a website, while 30 per cent of consumers would not do business with a company that did not have a social media site.
Aside from owning various social media accounts and an attractive website, there is more to what you need to do. Here are more tips to grow your online capital and translate it to actual business.
Is your website aesthetically appealing? You need to ensure that the content on your website is well-written, grammatically correct, and most of all, have images that portray the kind of service or goods you offer.
If your website is drab, shabby and lackluster, no one will take your business seriously.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands - just find the right people to do the job. A great place to start is kuhustle.com.
2. CHOOSE THE PROPER SOCIAL MEDIA SITE FOR YOUR PRESENCE
Every social media site has its target audience and use.
This is the conversation tool. If you want to raise your voice and champion for a cause or use it as a specific customer service feedback tool, this is it. Also, when most people have a complaint that has to do with, say, water, Internet or electricity, they reach out to the service provider through the company’s Twitter accounts. With this in mind, you could treat your company’s Twitter account as a tool that addresses their needs. To do this effectively, you need someone around the clock to monitor the site. Alternatively, you could automate the process by installing a chatbot on your social media account. With this option, you would need to engage the services of a software developer.
Most users hate being sold to constantly on company pages. Share interesting news and images and quotes, and on occasion, offers. Don’t bore your consumers with constant sales of products.
This is a perfect tool for those in the retail, arts, photography, fashion, food or travel business. It is a great way to visually sell and share an experience with your company.
This is a great platform for business-to-business engagement. Join or start discussion groups and engage with others. It is a great way to keep track of what is trending in your business sphere internationally.
3. BE CONSISTENT IN YOUR POSTING
This is where social media managers come in, especially if you are unable to post regularly.
You need to keep engaging your consumers, otherwise you will lose them. If you cannot afford to hire someone to do the job for you, make use of sites such as Hootsuite.com, which offer a platform that schedules posts on multiple social media sites.
4. START AND STAY IN THE CONVERSATION
It is one thing to start a conversation; it is another to keep it going. The best way to do this is to allocate time daily to respond to queries. If you cannot afford to hire anyone to correspond on your company’s behalf, then allocate an hour in the morning and another in the evening to respond and engage with your target consumer.
5. USE THE 80/20 RULE IN POSTING
Companies treat social media like a beauty contest; they speak too much about themselves, which only bores and tires their target customers. This is akin to the Instagram account of an individual that shares nothing but endless selfies – 80 per cent of your content should be about others, not necessarily related to your business. You can use the remaining 20 per cent to talk about your business.
6. HAVE A CRISIS PLAN
Delays happen, a customer may be dissatisfied, hence why you should have an in-house procedure that spells out how to handle such crises. For starters, be professional while dealing with a disgruntled customer, even on social media. Also make an attempt to engage them directly through direct messaging or even call them on the phone to resolve the issue.
7. KNOW WHEN TO POST
This is where social media and google analytics on your website really help. It will show you the best days and times to engage your consumer either with posts and talks. Once you identify the timing, it becomes easier to manage your time better as you engage with people.
8. CONNECT YOUR WEBSITE TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
When consumers visit your website, they should be able to click social media icons and connect with you. Your social media accounts should have links to your website. This also means the content needs to keep shifting and changing to keep people engaged and interested enough to share with others and return to your website and social media accounts.
9. CREATE A STRONG VISUAL BRAND
The one way to be consistent in your imagery is by ensuring your brand logo, colours, typography, and visual style embodied in a brand identity document is applied on all social media sites and your website.
If you need help figuring this out, visit the websites and social media accounts of some outstanding brands such as Nike, Google, Safaricom and Apple.