Building your Online Presence to Boost Sales

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A few weeks ago, I was trying to find a jersey for the biggest football team to ever grace the game; Manchester United. All I was looking for was an original, brand new & quality jersey that was designed for someone like me.

I immediately went on the internet & searched “football jerseys Kenya”. Interestingly, Jersey Store filled my top four search results. The first two results were of its website, the third was Jersey Store’s Facebook page while the fourth was its Twitter page full of reviews and satisfied customer comments.

After going through the comments, recommendations, and its stylish website, it was impossible not to buy from them.

My journey looking for jerseys was very short, and truth be told, it’s the same buyer’s journey most of us are involved in. About 80% of buyers first source for information on the internet before actively going out to buy an item or procure a service.

That’s why having an online presence is important. It helps consumers find your brand before they are aware you exist, and it helps them learn about your reputation before making a purchase. Eventually, all this information will play a role in your customer’s purchasing decision.

Digital marketing is proving now more than ever a much important aspect of doing business. It is a crime not to be on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. In order to build your online presence to boost your sales, here are some snippets your business might benefit from:

1. Content is Everything!

Before we get to posting stuff online, there as to be content. Not just any content but well thought out content. Creating content may take up much of your time especially if you are a beginner however, creating content can be a fun and fulfilling activity within your business. There are 3 things one ought to clearly understand before embarking on this journey.

· Who is my intended audience?

· What platform will I share this content?

· What is the desired outcome?

Video content works best on YouTube, Facebook is a more traditional platform where anything goes. Facebook is essentially what a busy market would look like i.e. short videos (1 min max), photos, flyers, articles etc. Twitter on the other hand is more about “what’s trending”, joining the conversation and blending in. LinkedIn is a grown-up social media platform. It is more about professional growth and interactions. Instagram is all about the “glam” fancy looking pictures, flyers, gifs & short videos.

Each social media platform has its sweet spot. While creating content, critically consider which platform the content will go to what platform.

2. Be Active Online

Your followers will unfollow you if you have a dormant social media account. There is not much worth in a dormant social media page. In fact, it will result in loss of potential customers. You slowly but surely start losing followers once inquiries start going unanswered, or you have disgruntled followers wrestling you to share your prices with them.

Additionally, you should be active in other areas, as well. For example, you should engage with followers and subscribers on social media. If there’s something that everyone is talking about in your industry, you can engage in the conversation.

3. Ask for Recommendations Online (nicely)

Happy customers can bring in more followers. Once you have made a sale/offered a service, you can politely ask your customers to share a photo or some nice words on their social media pages and while at it, tag you.

In an event that a customer was not satisfied with your product/service, afterwards directing their disappointment online, do not respond them harshly, ignore or dismiss the client’s concern. The customer is ALWAYS right. Use this opportunity to showoff your customer relations expertise. Engage them with sobriety. Figure out what did not meet their expectations and if possible, offer a future discount or all together replace the product.

Negative feedback and reviews will always pop up once in a while, but smart entrepreneurs are good at using it as a steppingstone for better engagements with clients.

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4. Build Newsletter List.

One of the top ways to build your online presence is to create and grow Newsletter list. This will enable you to engage with current and potential customers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

To grow your email list, you can create useful content that users would like to learn more about. If you are in the travel industry, a short journal biweekly about magical places to visit will captivate your audience. If it’s the motor industry, a short review of commonly sought ought cars will go a long way in captivating your audience. Additionally, you can use a call-to-action (CTA) on your website and social media pages to promote your email newsletter. With a newsletter, you’re able to collect leads’ emails — additionally, it shows your leads and customers are interested in your content.

Make this a continuous habit and you will witness your follower numbers, online engagement and sales grow gradually. There are many other ways in which you can improve your business’s digital presence which would include: Building a website, mastering SEO, personifying your brand etc. The ISBI Institute @ Strathmore University Business School will have a seminar themed “Building your Online Presence to Boost Sales”. Care to learn more? Register today to book your slot.

Mastering private enterprise. www.isbi-kenya.org.

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