When it comes to running a business these days, going digital is the name of the game. The Covid-19 pandemic has only emphasised the importance of having a digital presence in running a successful business.
Even elderly hawkers are moving online, with initiatives like Hawkers Go Digital designed to help them establish an e-commerce presence.
But the digital world is as wide as it is deep, and venturing into it without any prior knowledge can be daunting. For the unfamiliar, here are three steps you need to take to create an online presence:
1. Google My Business
Get your business on the map (Google Maps that is), by registering for Google My Business
When customers are looking for a product or service, there is one platform that can always be relied on to deliver: Google. In fact, nearly 70 per cent of all online searches start on Google.
This is why it’s an absolute must for any business to ensure they can be found on Google search. Google has made this process easy for business owners through their Google My Business page.
All you need to do is sign up for a free account; follow the provided instructions to verify your business; register your phone number, website, and opening hours; and you’re good to go! Your business will now be searchable on Google Search and Google Maps.
The business profile also allows you to engage with customers by responding to reviews or posting photos of your services.
2. Understanding Search Engine Optimisation
Start gaining market presence by investing in Search Engine Optimisation, which helps you get on the front page of search engines
While registering your business on Google My Business is necessary for you to show up on Google search, it doesn’t mean that your business will automatically appear on the front page. And that is certainly where you want to be, as it captures 95 per cent of all traffic. From page one to two, traffic drops a steep 140 per cent.
To come out on top of search engine results, you will need to rely on search engine optimisation (SEO), a process that helps your business or website rank better on organic search results.
SEO is pivotal in helping new customers discover your business. Imagine being the proud owner of a brand new restaurant within a mall. When potential customers are looking for what they can eat in the area, they will naturally turn to search engines. If your restaurant appears first in their search, they’re more likely to know about you, and visit your restaurant.
While becoming a master in SEO is a tall order, there are plenty of free resources available to help you kickstart your journey. Alternatively, courses on SEO are also available with SkillsFuture credits.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn – options are aplenty when it comes to social media; but how do you decide which platform you should be on?
Each social media platform has their own characteristics and caters to different demographics. For instance, a new cafe owner might want to choose Instagram over Twitter, as Instagram will allow them to show off stunning photos of their food.
Here are some points of consideration for creating your social media strategy:
Who is your target audience?
Each social media platform has its own demographic, which should influence your decision on which platform to be on. If you’re targeting working professionals, LinkedIn would be more suitable. However, if your target audience is young adults, you may want to consider going for Instagram or Twitter instead.
What kind of service or product are you providing?
Given each platform’s different characteristics, some products or services might be better featured on one platform over another. For example, Instagram focuses primarily on photos, which works well for businesses with visual elements such as fashion, food, or crafts.
What is your branding and tone of voice?
Platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Twitter lend themselves to a more personable and casual tone. Meanwhile, those who wish to maintain a more professional front may opt to go with Facebook or LinkedIn instead.
It’s important to note that none of these platforms need to be used in isolation. You can have accounts over different platforms to reach multiple demographics, but be sure to cater your content accordingly for optimal results.
If you need ideas on how to begin crafting content for social media, the best way to start is by learning from others. Hop onto the social media platforms you wish to be on, and look out for what other brands and businesses are doing to stand out.
Once you have an idea of what kind of content does well on different platforms, simply sign up for your account, and start making content!
To help you kickstart your social media journey, here’s a list of free content creation tools:
This article is accurate as at 16 Feb 2022