Here is how to take fullest advantage of websites, emails and social media pages
Many businesses, brands and individuals in Zimbabwe have websites, emails and social media pages to market their products and services or to represent them online. But in reality these 3 are not serving the purpose they were initially meant to serve. Most companies, brands and individuals do not have the knowledge of how to take the fullest advantage of their websites, emails and social media pages. As a result their websites, emails and facebook pages are there for the sake of being there. All they do is to pump out large sums of money for hosting and maintenance yearly without bringing anything on the table in terms of business, clients or direct and indirect sales. Here is what companies, brands and individuals can do to maximize on these tecnological tools in this digital age.
Ensuring there is activity on the website and social media
Probably this must be the first thing that companies and brands alike must prioritise. Social media pages and websites can not do well at all without activity. I have visited websites and facebook pages for some brands and companies in Zimbabwe and I discovered that they are almost as good as dead. To the the owners of these websites and pages, it looks as if they are not even aware that they have a company or brand website, it looks as if the websites and social accounts do not exist, there is no activity. To their prospective customers it may appear as if the company is already out of business, because there is not activity.
What do I mean by activity?
By "activity", I am talking about content, I am talking about interaction with prospective and existing customers, I am talking about feedback. Facebook pages are meaningless without interaction and feedback. Remember social media is about building and maintaining relatioships with budies and in business sense, it is about maintaining relationships with existing customers and building relationships with prospective customers. This can not be done without interaction and feedback. I have visited social media accounts for some brands (names withheld), only to find they lastly posted in December last year, wishing their customers a happy festive season and nothing else since then. They are planning to post another message this year wishing their customers a happy festive season this December. Well, thats
bushit, not effective at all.This is why social media is not working for them.
Some websites barely get new content. In some cases you can actually notice that this website has never recieved new content since it was developed and the owners are suprisingly expecting it to bring traffic (cutomers) and leads to drive sales! If you are reading this and you own social media accounts or websites, then know that this does not work. This is why some people now think that digital presence and marketing does not work.
How to beat inactivity of social media accounts and websites
- Share New Content Regularly- This is the key cure for inactivity and digital redundacy. Brands and companies ought to share content regularly to realize the benefits digital presence. It is true that the world is now online and not in the streets but without crafting plans to keep them coming and engaged, then it does not yield anything. Look for example; how many people you lost because you failed to communicate frequently with? If you do not communicate even in life, socially, you loose not only friends but even relatives. So nothing beats content on both websites and on social media. They always say "Content is King", it is very true. The problem is that those that fail digitally, do not have a schedule they stick to when posting content. They just post, sometimes once a week, sometimes 4 times a week and sometimes once a year. One can actually see that their posting is not deliberate and systematic, no fixed plan or schedule and this repels cutomers, bringing digital frustration to the company or brand. There are tools that that can help to make sure that schedules are not missed. These tools allow for planning and preparing what to post and when to post it in advance, they automate it all, hence schedules are not missed.
- Share Quality Content- Truely, sharing just anything is not going to help nomater how frequently one posts. The content/posts have to be of good quality. Content of bad quality actually repels customers and destroy the brand, probably the whole intention of digital marketing. So before you share anything on social media or on the website, ask yourself, "Is this quality content?". Quality content is right content for your niche/your target market. Your goal must be to come up with proper and correct content for your target customers. Remember that only the right content will bring you the right traffic, one that has the highest probability of buying your product or services. Popular content may not necessarily be the quality or right content. It may bring you thousands of visitors who are not interested in your products at all. I have seen brands sharing content that is the very opposite of their products and services. Find ways to relate intesting and popular content to your products and sevices.
- Get your intentions right- Before clicking the save or share button, or even before preparing the content you need to share get your intention for that post or content right! For some brands whenever they are posting content on their social media pages and websites, they are after selling and selling and selling. This is a wrong approach. Generally, when people discover that you are after getting into their pockets they resist you by not paying attention to your posts. That is why some companies and brands have thousands of followers on social media but when they post noone gets to react positively to their post by loving, sharing, commenting or liking what they post and ultimately no one visits their website. Remember I said social media is about building relationships. This is done by making prospective customers know, like and trust you.How often do you buy from someone you do not know? Would you give a $20 USD to someone who needs help if the person is a total stranger to you? There answer is, very rarely maybe the answer is a big NO. You do not know the person, you do not trust the person, hence no. So instead of trying to make an outright sale, share content that helps them, share content that solves some of the problems that they already have, share content that answers some of the questions that they have and that way social media will work for you. This article that I am writing and you are probably reading, is helping someone,answering questions and solving problems for someone, may be you. Do the same.
- Be authentic- What do i mean by that. to be authentic is share content that is not a copy-cat of some else's work. You would not want this for several reasons. The first is that google may detect that you have done this and then your work will not perfom well in search. Also, there are chances that some of your readers may have come across that information on the originators website, page or book hence they conclude that you have nothing to offer. Your content may not be necessary completely unique but still it can be expressed in your own way and tone that your readers and prospective customers may like. But generally try to share content that readers/customers can only get from you, perhaps just from a few others.
- Be creative- If you share the same thing again and again, it may end up boring. You need to spice up things. Share bonuses, free offers and discounts. These can help to keep your traffic and followers engaged and even to keep checking up on you. choose headlines wisely.
So we were talking about way and means to have activity on your website and social media accounts. What else can brands and companies do to take the fullest advantage of social media and website?
Direct your social media followers to your website and appropirate landing page!
This is crucial. Let me explain this briefly, I am afraid the article is too long for you. Will try to be brief. Many social media marketers in Zimbabwe make the mistake of directing traffic to a physical address or to an order form through paypal or paynow and etc. Well this is a mistake because rarely would people buy instantly. Like I said previously there is a time to build relationships and clear fears and doubts after which they can finally buy. It is therefore your responsibility as a marketer or brand to keep them within your reach so that when time comes they buy from you.
This is done by directing them to your website. Directing social media traffic to your website allows you the oppotunity to show them alternative products, that they may be interested in, even if they did not buy your lead product. How many times have you entered a shop wishing to buy a certain product, but then you end up buying something else? This also works digitally.
Avoid directing traffic to your order form on the website, visitors may bounds off the website and never return. The wisest thing would be to direct traffic from social media pages to a well designed landing page with free offers (can be ebooks, tips) and discounts . Make them suscribe to your newsletters in return for that free offer or to get discount and tips. Do not play tricks. give genuine, helpful offers and products.
Now with their email you can always build a relationship with them, reminding them to buy your product and services, teaching them ways in which it helps them. Always remember to keep your subscribers engaged, do not neglect them. Answer all questions that they may have on social media and webiste. Whenever they ask, try to respond on time to keep them engaged.
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