Social media is becoming the marketing lifeblood of SMEs, writes Miguel Da Silva… but it’s vital to use it right.
As an SME, you understand all too well that digital has become the cornerstone of doing business today. With technology permeating every facet of an organisation, irrespective of size or industry sector, you must embrace it or risk losing momentum against your competitors.
But let’s face it, staying on top of technological change can be a costly and cumbersome exercise, especially with it evolving at such a rapid rate. However, there are some digital fundamentals you should keep sight of to get that competitive advantage.
Here are five essential digital needs for the modern SME.
Even though you have a website that is frequently updated, have you checked whether it is optimised for mobile devices? In a mobile-driven country like South Africa, most people browse using their smartphones or tablets. If your site is unusable on a smaller screen then you are losing business.
Digital marketing drives traffic to your website or social network profiles. Relying on keywords (used on search engines and other platforms) is great, but you need to continually review them to gauge their success rate, especially if you are using pay-per-clicks.
Never undervalue the power of personalised service. Customers don’t want mass emails or generic announcements. Instead, you must communicate in a way that talks to your individual customers. This helps build a stronger relationship than what any ‘off-the-shelf’ campaign can do.
People use social networking to stay in touch with one another, share content and complain about bad brand experiences. Use that to your advantage when driving user reviews of your products and services. If somebody complains, respond quickly to address the matter. This gives your business a human face that people can identify with.
Content is king
Content drives many aspects of the digital business world. Instead of being talked to, customers want to become part of the conversation. So you must create content that informs in an interesting manner. For example, if you sell generators, publish articles on how to choose the best one and include a video explaining how to install one.
Addressing these five digital needs can enable you to become more successful in this new technological-led environment. And the best thing is that these are really cost-effective ways to radically change how customers perceive your business and develop brand loyalty.
– Miguel Da Silva is the MD of Funding at Retail Capital