By Mia Slabbert
The digital era is here. It no longer is simply an alternative; it now is the most significant medium of work in the world. Whether you have kicked against it or avoided it, we are at the threshold of a new and exciting era where the major part of your business’s communication and operations must be done digitally and from a distance.
The most important thing you should now do for your business is to make optimal use of your social media platforms. Your business’s digital footprint is extremely important for your organisation or enterprise to survive in this time of lockdown and even to be relevant once the lockdown has been lifted.
We are seeing these days how companies revolutionise their entire production lines to adapt to global challenges. We see creative and innovative ways of collaboration and creation to ensure production is continued in new ways.
The concept of marketing has changed drastically since the advent of social media in 1997. Social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and blog sites have opened a whole new world for businesses to enable individuals and businesses to communicate, advertise and share information on the business with the general public in a creative manner.
According to the BVSA Group, one of the most important advantages of social media is the fact that it is cost-effective. “Most platforms are free to join and to use. At low or no cost, a business can reach a considerable target audience. Other options are to pay for advertisements on social media or to launch a comprehensive SMB campaign. This will enable your business to reach its target audience by means of smart technology and geo-oriented targeting methods,” they write.
Your enterprise needs a strong digital footprint, and this is how to do it:
Spend a couple of hours updating your business’s social media platforms. In a world where businesses these days are marketed mainly via digital waves, you must give the public a reason to visit your platforms and to stay there. When a person is on your business’s Facebook page, it is extremely important that all the necessary “administrative” information should be available. Another aspect of cardinal importance is your reaction time to requests. If a potential client does not get quick feedback, he or she will move on to the next option. It is as simple as this. Take time, get your act together and make sure your company’s logo always appears as the profile picture on all your platforms. It is important for your enterprise’s identity to appear professionally on all platforms, so avoid any pictures (cover pictures, posts etc) that are of poor quality.
While social media are the friend with whom you share everything and the ideal platform to blurt out your crazy weekends or simply dot down your thoughts for the day, social media can become your biggest enemy if you do not judiciously deal with the digital footprint you leave behind. Companies should be particularly careful.
What should (and can) you achieve through social media marketing? It should develop your trademark, it should find and retain new clients, it should show why your enterprise is the right choice and it should put your business’s name on the public’s timelines.
Social media are the platform where a company or organisation may conduct an ongoing conversation with its market or audience throughout the day. It gives space where you and the public may contact one another and may stay informed on events inside and outside the organisation, and it also gives space for the public to get to know an organisation.
- Reaction time to requests is extremely important.
- The public should feel you are talking to everyone individually, so avoid generic replies.
- Find out what your audience is interested in and take time to conduct conversations on those specific themes. Be the expert in your industry.
- Keep your posts relevant and interesting.
- Your organisation’s reputation should always be number one, so it is important for your business’s social media platforms to be managed by one person, or a small number of people if you are a larger company. This will minimise mistakes on your platforms.
- Use pictures and videos to convey your message, rather than long text messages.
The key concept of content on social networks is that it is shared with people who are identified as friends and with whom the company chooses to share content and information. The public will share your business’s content if it appeals to them. Social networks are giving businesses a voice they previously never had. People will like and follow your page if they agree with your message, so it is important to clearly communicate your messages.
“Social media help you to reach a specific target market that is interested in your specific product or service, in a specific location. When clients are interested in the information you post, they will out of their own free will join your platform or follow you online. Once they can identify with or be inspired by the content on your platform, they will start identifying your trademark as a product they must have to improve themselves. Social media, together with quality service, can convince consumers to remain loyal to your business,” the BVSA Group writes.
Do not allow your business to become irrelevant during (and after) the lockdown. Be creative, take time and become a respected name on the timelines of the broader public. In a time when we are experiencing many uncertainties, one thing is certain: Our way of work, our entire approach, is going to change after this lockdown period. Therefore, businesses should make full use of the digital era and complementary technology.