As 2018 slowly comes to an end it is a great time for you as a business owner to begin to take stock of your business and all you have been able to achieve in the past 12 months. By now you are probably conversant with all the new innovations available for business owners to grow their businesses online, and have learned a few tricks here and there. Well don’t stop now, there’s more to learn, read more on how to grow your business using social media in 2019.
Growing your business through online platforms is a big deal! In Nigeria for instance, a growing number of entrepreneurs have made lot of sales by setting up social media accounts for their businesses. From hair-entrepreneurs, to fashion and lifestyle entrepreneurs and stylists, more business moguls and mogulettes are waking up to the many opportunities that social media provides for their brands, and you too can take advantage of some of these opportunities for your business in the coming year.
While there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to growing your business online as no two businesses are the same, there are some general tips that apply to all businesses that wish to expand their operations online, and here’s a few of them you need to consider:
1. Be Visible
So you want to be online, you want to make sales for your business online, but is your brand properly positioned? Small business owners should take time out to optimize their social media pages properly so that they can be easily found. Your pages should explicitly describe the services you offer and your rates, if any. Make sure your profile photos and bio are updated with relevant information and images that properly represent your business.
2. Be Consistent
Consistency is key. I know you have probably read this many times before now, but it can never be overstressed; consistency is the key to building a successful brand, online and offline. If you cannot leave your physical store closed even for a day, then you should never skip publishing fresh content on your business pages on social media.
If you are too busy to put up daily posts, you should consider getting yourself productivity tools like Planoly or Hootsuite, these apps help you schedule posts and keep your brand’s pages alive and up to date.
3. Up Your Customer Service Game
Most businesses online suffer from serious customer service issues and this affects their sales a lot. Most times, business owners are either too slow in responding to inquiries, or just plain ineffective when it comes to customer service online. If your business falls into the aforementioned category, you need to step things up in 2019!
Facebook and WhatsApp for Business has made it easy for business owners to set up auto-response messages for inquiries made while offline, and so you should turn on this feature to improve your messaging in 2019. If your business is run solely on Instagram, make it a duty to always check your messages and read comments under your posts as soon as you get a notification.
Sometimes, for some reasons due to either ISP issues – Nigerian readers will understand this – or Instagram glitches, you might not get all your notifications, so you should manually refresh your pages to ensure you do not miss a thing.
4. Be Transparent with your Brand
On social media, you literally have a split second to convince a prospective customer, so every moment counts. Most times I see a lot of complaints online about how most Nigerian vendors never put up their products with the actual price, with customers constantly being referred to the “DM” for prices.
Dear entrepreneur, putting up your prices saves you the trouble of having to sift through serious and unserious buyers quick. That way, you get contacted by only buyers who have a serious intent to buy whatever you are selling. Another thing you need to avoid in 2019 is false advertisement; only display goods/services you can provide.
5. Have Your Tools on the Go
If you market your business online by yourself, there are a few apps you need to make your social media marketing seamless and easy. Canva is amazing for creating quick images for your brand, and the mobile app is even better; you should totally get this app for your brand posts in 2019. Quik is your best bet for making cute videos to improve your brand’s visibility online, and you can download the Photofox app on iOS and android devices to be able to edit your product photos on the go.
6. Create an Ads Budget
Candidly, there is so much you can achieve for your brand without an ads budget. Consider setting aside a small amount for your online ads so that your brand can reach as many people online as possible. A healthy mix of organic and paid activity online will help you grow your business online if properly done. Remember, investing in your business will help you grow.
There you have it, the above tips should get your business primed and ready for a kickass year in 2019.