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How To Help Your Business Thrive Online

As a society, we are continually becoming more reliant upon technology in our day-to-day lives. In fact, a recent study found that the average American adult spends around 11 hours a day looking at a screen, be that their phone, computer, tablet, or television. Now, with COVID-19 leading to many businesses closing as a necessary safety precaution, the online presence of your business or company has never been more important or essential, especially if you want to keep your business right at its peak during this time.  With that in mind, here are some things you can do to ensure your company thrives online, and how this can boost your sales!

woman on laptop

Utilize Social Media

Social media has long since evolved from being a place where you’d get in touch with old friends from years and years ago, or make people fawn over your candid holiday photographs it can now be used as a useful tool in boosting your sales – especially due to the fact that it allows you to reach an international an audience with just the click of a button and a few hashtags. However, if you haven’t got to grips with the world of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, using it to promote your business can be a little nerve-wracking. Here are some great tips to get you started – you’re sure to be an Instagram influencer in no time!

  • Ensure you sign up for ‘business accounts’ as opposed to using your personal account. These will allow you to see your metrics, meaning you will be aware of how many people see your posts, interact with them (like/share/comment), and how many make a purchase as a result of your social media channel. This will allow you to adjust your content accordingly. 
  • Post consistently, ensuring that your followers receive regular, quality content. However, you don’t want to overwhelm them by posting more than once a day. Doing so would likely mean that the quality of the content you produce would drop, which could also lead to people unfollowing.
  • Follow accounts that match your brand, and promote each other. 
  • Ensure your content is relevant to your brand/business. 
  • Respond to any comments/messages you receive, building a rapport with potential customers and followers. Although you don’t have to respond instantly, try to ensure that you respond promptly.
  • Share reviews on social media, demonstrating that you are selling quality products.
  • Post product spotlights once a week. This could include special offers for discounts.
  • Host competitions 
  • Ensure any graphics/images meet your theme. Try to use the colors from your logo on any graphics, so it appears cohesive
  • Use hashtags to boost the visibility of your posts on Instagram. For example, if your company focuses on sharing delicious recipes, you’ll want to use hashtags like #recipes #bakinginspo #foodie #foodinspo
  • Stay on top of trends. For example, if people are doing a particular challenge online, take part. This is a great way to ensure that your content is both engaging and current. 
  • If possible, assign a member of your team to run the social media accounts, ensuring that they are updated regularly. 

Make the most of new technologies

Investing in new technologies will allow you to optimize your customers’ online experience. As a result, you will appear more professional, and they will be more likely to make a purchase from your company. Whilst this means you should always ensure your website is up to date and functioning, you also need to consider a wide range of topics including your network policy solutions. Your network policy allows your company to thrive, whilst ensuring your customers have easy and efficient access to your services, whether they are on their phone or PC.

Thankfully, companies such as Oracle PCRF, make this complex process much easier for you. Their system uses network, subscriber, and service information to help you create policies and determine under what conditions subscribers use your resources. It can be used to minimize network utilization whilst subsequently maximizing the users’ experience. 

Update your website.

As technologies continue to develop, so should your website. For example, an outdated website is likely to discourage customers from purchasing as it seems less trustworthy than a website that is up to date with current technologies.  It also seems as though you have not put a lot of effort into the website – meaning they may question how much effort you put into your business as a whole.

Furthermore, you need to ensure that the website continues to reflect the company and what you have to offer. For example, if a product has been discontinued but still appears on your website, this could lead to upset when a customer tries to order a product that no longer exists. Try to spend a little time each week ensuring your website runs smoothly and includes all of the information you need.

Start a blog

Whether you are starting your business from scratch, or have already established your company as a key player within your industry, another great way to improve your online presence is through writing a blog. A blog will add a more personalized touch to your website, allowing your customers or potential customers to get to know you on a deeper level. You’ll be able to share your experiences with them directly, and as a result, develop a stronger relationship. You will be able to find ways to promote your products or experiences within the blogs, whilst also demonstrating your expert knowledge. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to start a blog

Network

With more businesses offering their services online than ever before, you’re probably more aware than ever of your competitors. However, other sellers do not have to be your enemy you can support each other throughout this difficult time. For example, why not partner up with other companies in your local area and promote each other’s products? You could also host an online giveaway, each contributing some items to the prize. As you will both share the competition with your followers, you will diversify the number of people who see your products, encouraging people to check out your individual pages and perhaps make a purchase. 

You can also share hints and tips with other business owners, allowing both of your companies to grow and thrive. Remember, we must find ways to support each other during this time, as opposed to fighting against each other.

Be friendly and communicative

This tip applies to helping run your company both online and offline – you always want to present yourself in a friendly, yet professional manner. This means you will be able to develop a strong relationship with your customers and followers, which will be rewarded with loyalty and consistent purchases. You should always strive to be honest and transparent, too. This adds a layer of credibility to your company, especially if you are willing to open up to your mistakes. For example, if you receive a negative review of a product/service, and you realize you have made a mistake – own up to it as opposed to responding aggressively. Reach out to the customer and explain what happened – remember, you’re only human and people make mistakes. 

A great way of allowing your customers to learn more about you is by including an ‘About Me’ section on your website. Try to keep this chatty and informal – whilst still provide them with interesting information about you and your company. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can include fun photographs in this section which allow people to put a face to the brand! 

Advertise smartly

If you are paying for online advertisements, be sure you pay attention to how effective they are. For example, if you run an advertisement on Twitter, but you receive very little engagement and nobody is prompted to make a purchase – it’s probably better that you run a different advertisement, or consider running the advert on a different platform such as Facebook or Instagram. Paying attention to metrics will allow you to develop your marketing strategy, ensuring that you are investing your money in the right way and not wasting it on adverts that nobody sees/engages with. After all, engagement is key to improving your online visibility. You may also benefit from asking customers who make a purchase where they heard about your company/what encouraged them to click buy – as this too will give you a clear idea of which of your marketing strategies are paying off. 

Make use of all platforms.
Although you can sell products directly on your companies website, you may also want to consider other online retailers that can help you reach more clients. For example, if you make handmade goods, you may wish to sell your products on websites such as Etsy. If you sell clothes, why not advertise your goods on Depop. Although it is important you chose the places you advertise your business carefully, the more options you give customers, the better – and you will be surprised about how much the increased exposure can boost your income/earnings. You may also benefit from asking customers who make a purchase where they heard about your company/what encouraged them to make a purchase –