March 20, 2017 | 11:00 AM
Business Buzz: Establish your online presence from scratch
Using the right tools is important to get your business started on the right foot. Photo: Pexels
PHUKET: Many people have asked me how to get started with an online presence, so I have put together a quick overview assuming I was starting from scratch (but knowing what I do now).
The very first thing you could do is start a Facebook fan page. This can easily be set up without any skill, cost or time delays and you can connect with a few billion people instantly.
You could pay someone on fiverr.com to design a cover photo and profile picture and set it up as a local business. An early priority would be to quickly get some content up, and invite all your Facebook friends to like and share the page.
Where possible, get testimonials from satisfied customers, and later post these on other forms of media (videos are best for this purpose).
The next step would be to get a website. If budget is a concern, do it on Google Sites, or a platform like Wix or Weebly.
If you have enough funding, it is also a good idea to hire a professional company to make the website.
Your main priority would be branding, providing informative content, and most importantly, lead generation. So, you would want it to look professional, cover important information and brand your business as an expert in the relevant field.
Ensure that you have a lead generation capture tool, which would double as a Client Management System and auto responder (sends automated messages to all of your interested leads). There are several suitable off-the-shelf options available.
You should also make sure that Google Analytics is added to the site by someone who knows what they are doing, and have someone do a once over for security, SEO and functionality.
To get the word out to potential clients immediately, start some ads and post boosts to your target audience.
You could do a full day’s course about audience selection and strategy, but the important thing is to get started with a small amount and learn as you go, or if the budget allows just outsource it.
Instagram is a great visual platform, so make sure that content is going out there. For high quality content, hire a freelancer if your skills are not that great.
Google My Business
This gets you listed in Google Search and Google Maps, and given that this is the tool automatically included on most Android and Apple devices, you would not want to miss out.
Depending on the business, a YouTube site could be helpful. Video is very powerful, and the first thing to do is to get video testimonials about your product or service, focusing on the best-selling points of the business.
The final thing is to automate as much as possible, not because you are lazy, but because your time is better spent on your core business.
However, marketing is a necessary evil, so daily content is key, and you either outsource it or make it as easy for yourself as possible. There are great software, apps and tools available to make this easy.
This is a quick and high level article to get you started, but I'd be happy to answer questions in the comments section. Good luck in your endeavors.
Simon Wetherell is a social media expert, trainer and lawyer. He now resides in Thailand where he trains businesses and individuals on how to profit from the social media industry. For more information, visit PhuketOnlineMarketing.com or call 095-085 3355.
This article first appeared in the March 18-24 issue of the hard-copy Phuket Gazette newspaper.
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