Wicked Websites and Savvy Social Media Presence sets apart excellent small businesses from merely average small businesses

Be excellent, not average!

It’s no secret that in our current digital economy, a bold website and a solid social media strategy is a ‘must have’, and no longer a ‘nice to have’. This is especially true for smaller businesses that cannot afford the more mainstream traditional methods of business exposure – such as print and television ad space – which both come with hefty price tags attached.

Technology, and in particular the Internet, has to a certain extent democratized the ways in which companies can market themselves to, and access potential customers who were previously only accessible to bigger, more established companies with big marketing budgets. Below we look at the two most accessible points of entry for small companies to market themselves to potential customers – namely, your company website and your company’s use of social media.

Your Website:

Consumers, especially younger Millennials who have huge spending power, are, as a norm, incredibly tech savvy and are accustomed to having their expectations fulfilled when utilizing online resources.

It’s vital for owners of small business to create an exceptionally responsive and interactive website to ensure that a world-class consumer experience is achieved every time someone visits your site.

A “dynamic” website (i.e. one that allows and encourages interaction with visitors) and personalizes the whole user experience, will add far more value to your business’s online presence than a “static” website (i.e. one that is more or less just a read-only site). A dynamic website can improve the reach, engagement and conversion rate amongst potential customers online – and that can ultimately improve your business sales and bottom-line.

Furthermore, a dynamic website will serve a business owner well when he/ she wants to analyse data pertaining to the demographics, interests and purchasing trends of the people that visit their site. This data is priceless, and gives valuable insight for a business owner to consider future marketing avenues and strategies.

The financial resources available to a small business is obviously a key determinant in the kind of website you’ll choose to build – dynamic sites typically need to be set up by a programmer or web developer – however there are different price points for the different “dynamic” features on a site, so choose features that are most important to you, and add on others in the future when you can afford to do so. Also, consider scalability and aftercare maintenance costs when deciding on your website’s features, start out with tools that are sustainable and that can keep pace with your business as it grows – after all there’s no use buying a Mercedes Benz, when you cannot afford to change the tyres on it!

Be sure to keep your visual brand, your message and your business style consistent when developing your website – curate a similar “look and feel” across the different elements of your web presence and your offline marketing tools.

Your Social Media Presence:

In essence, social media is about relationship building. So it’s best to start off by taking small, well thought out steps so that the process and journey does not become overwhelming and cumbersome.

They key determinants when selecting if and when to use different social media platforms should be informed by:

  1. Whether your target market/ audience uses social media or not;
  2. Whether social media contributes to the achievement of your business goals;
  3. Whether you have the time and budget to allocate to social media;
  4. Whether you already have a well suited person to be your voice on social media, whether you are willing to train someone in your team, or whether you want to outsource the function altogether;
  5. Whether your offline marketing tools can dovetail seamlessly with your messaging and branding on social media;

It’s also vital to select social media platforms that have an already established footprint and sustained market presence. This will be a far better investment of your business resources than new entrants to the market – choose wisely and prioritize the long term needs of your business over any short term popularity of the different platforms.

Lastly, make sure that you are using both your website and social media platforms to create a cohesive feedback mechanism that can culminate in a business transaction – your different platforms should speak to each other, entice further interest and ultimately encourage clicking through to your point of sale. Whatever it is that you’re selling, whether it is a professional service, a consumable product or a social benefit tool, make sure that your website and social media is set up to result in concluding that essential business or organizational transaction that is at the core of your business.