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Why Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Should Go Digital Through Social Media

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With the advent of the internet and tech mobility, the way small and medium-sized business penetrate the market has become easier. However, it has also made competition fiercer. Nevertheless, there are many ways through which you can still stand out from your competitors, such as going digital using social media. So, how can this strategy help your business in particular?

It improves your business’s exposure.

An important starting point in marketing your business is increasing brand exposure and awareness. By having a consistent social media campaign, you can assure your business is achieving this goal, and then build up a channel for future engagement.

It increases traffic to your site and generates more leads.

Remember that more social mention would mean more engagement and more business. It increases traffic to your website, creating fresh opportunities to generate customer support and helping you in becoming a leader in your niche.

Aside from getting more traffic, social media can also help you generate more leads. Once people are aware of your business, they want to learn more about it.

It grows business partnerships.

Once you are engaged in social media networks, you are likely to find partnership opportunities, which you can leverage to start undertaking integrated marketing campaigns. This will set the ball rolling on branching out and creating new strategies for sales and co-promotions for a larger and more diverse base of audience.

It enhances brand loyalty.

Keeping customers for repeat purchases is important to your success. A highly valuable skill, you can do it properly through social media, which has all the tools and techniques available for you to reach customers fast and keep them happy with great service. To keep increasing your clientele, you should keep them connected, and you resolve issues actively if there is any. Simply put, if you are committed to the long haul, use social media to keep your customer base growing strongly and consistently.

It improves your site’s search rankings.

There are many ways to increase search ranking, but one of the best is engaging in higher social media activity. By doing so, you can keep your site climbing the ladder on usability and engagement. To ensure continued results, just keep your tabs on fresh, unique and relevant content.

Aside from these, establishing a social media presence will enhance your market insight and will allow you to gain thought leadership. As your efforts mature to fruition, social media will give you a platform to unlock new opportunities in important areas, such as customer engagement, partnerships, content marketing and product development. With these, you will always have a fresh perspective about your industry.

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7 reasons why your small business should start selling online

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Planning to start a small business? Surely, your business idea is amazing but, a business does not just run on pixie dust or magic. A lot of planning and decision making is involved, one of which is “where you should start your business?”

Finding a suitable and affordable place might be a hard task to think of. So, why not start a business on the Internet. Here are 7 reasons why you should start selling online and grant your business an online presence.

1. Make use of the smartphone era

At this generation, it is safe to say almost everyone, if not everyone, owns a smartphone. From public transportation to restaurants, people are often on their phones, listening to music, playing games or even browsing through social media. Heck, You can even hail a taxi cab by a click on your smartphone.

By putting your business in the Internet, there is a higher potential for people with a smartphone or internet to come across your business. ‘Internet plus’ is growing in popularity and for good reasons, one of them is to maximize the trend of the smartphone culture.

2. Can be reached by more people

Easy enough to say, if more and more people are owning and using smartphones then more and more would be online. Since you are a very wise and innovative entrepreneur, you will harness this increasing market. The secret in expanding your business is to get more demand because more demand means more supply.

Imagine, anyone with an internet device with internet access can purchase your products, anytime, anywhere. Compare that with having a “physical” store with only passers-by as potential costumers. Additionally, people share almost about anything online, and that could be your business getting shared. Through friends of friends of friends of friends, your business is receiving attention in an Internet-wide scale.

3. Easy to manage

The beauty of online stores is that they are comparatively easier to manage. One person could get the job done. Setting up might come off as a bit tricky but there are a lot of online platforms that help set up your business online.

You receive orders then you deliver the items or services to costumers, and that’s the only thing you need to do when your e-business is fully operational. If you do not want to use these platforms, you can use social media as a start. That too wouldn’t be too difficult as most of us are very aware on how to navigate common social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

4. More Efficient

Costumers want efficiency, that is for sure. With an online business, efficiency wouldn’t be a problem. Take a traditional apparel shop versus an online clothing business.

For traditional apparel shops, the costumer would need to travel to reach the store, upon reaching the store they would have to rummage through all the rack of clothes or items that is in display. After finding the desired item, the costumer would need to ask for his/her size, which in many scenarios takes a hefty amount of time, if you’re lucky enough, you’d proceed to paying for the item, if not then “Back to rummaging!”.

As for online stores, the costumer can browse through a wide selection of clothes and other items, and all the info will be provided such as available sizes, color, designs and price. Then, the costumer could tap purchase. Voila! The transaction is done. It saves both yours and the customer’s time.

5. Convenience

Ebay and Amazon receives a tremendous amount of patronage from online shoppers and you might be wondering why. It is because of the conveniency brought about by the service. The purchase is just on the tip of their fingertips and once the order has been made, all the consumer have to do is wait for the deliveryman to knock on their door.

Not convinced yet? Take Uber as another example. We all know that hailing a cab can be difficult at times and if you really ran out of luck, it will be a stinky, petrol smelling cab. Uber revolutionises car-hailing. With its online interface, anyone can hire a private car to take them to their desired destination without shedding any sweat but with style and luxury.

Next time customers will be needing a product or a service, they’ll be thinking about your business. Convenience = more repeat business.

6. Cut cost

Let’s be realistic, you need money to run a business but that doesn’t mean that you need a lot. Owning a store means paying for fixed assets, paying for rents and bills and paying for human resources. With an online business, you can scrap all that and stay focused on using your revenue to improve and upsize your business.

Also, with this strategy, you can use cost plus pricing, keeping your products/services at its most affordable fee. Not only would this attract costumers but as well as financially meeting the needs of running the business with some money left on your piggy bank. You would be hitting your breakeven point in no time.

7. Good Learning experience

And most importantly, you get to learn, a lot! You get to learn and grasp about all the aspects you have to bear in mind when running a business. You get to learn from other enterprises on effective ways of running a business.

Lastly, you get to communicate with your costumers, constantly improving your methods and strategies by maintaining a good Peer-to-Peer communication. Everyday, you will learn new things, from the difficulties you face, negotiating with costumers , or making new connections and partnerships, an even make new friends along the way. There will always be a room to grow and learn.

The amount of learning and experience you get from putting your business online is unceasing and endless. This makes your time online worthwhile, and that includes the money you earn as well.

So what are you waiting for? I’ll be waiting on my smartphone for you business.

Shopping trolley on button of computer keyboard — Image by © Matthias Kulka/Corbis

Creating a Good Brand Online with Your Blog

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Bloggista.com started as a make money online blog, exploring different ways in making money online like affiliate marketing, paid reviews and advertising.

Then came the SEO madness where this blog was used to experiment getting traffic from popular searches, making it virtually a “no value” blog due to inconsistent contents.

It did generate “some money” in the process, however it was short-lived, and Bloggista.com lost its “identity.”

Right now I am embarking on re-branding this blog, focusing mostly on my favorite topics on business resources and tools like cloud computing and big data, applying blogging and social media engagement techniques I learned over the years to earn some followers and reach, targeting those who are new or aspiring bloggers either for personal or business purposes.

Moving on, the previous article discussed about the need to establish a personal blog brand, and build your brand online using social media. Once you already have a blog, it’s safe to say you’re a step closer towards the goals you have set as a blogger. The idea now is to improve your blog continuously. How can you do that?

First, your blog should be informative enough to both educate and entertain. Giving tips, trivia, and instructions are what keep the audience engaged with the blog.

Interweave the blog with personal experiences to tap the audience’s tendency to relate with articles built on emotions. However, keep in mind that it’s one thing to post occasional rants, but it’s another create an impression that you’re maintaining a “hate blog”.

Finally, the blogs must come on regular basis to get hold of readers. Finding that there is always something to wait from the blog will make your audience wanting for more.

Personal Blog Branding Using Social Media

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This is the first of three-article series about blogging and branding through social media engagement.

Why branding is so important?

A brand that is clearly identifiable is what every business needs. Some great examples are Apple, Samsung, Mercedes Benz, and even Dunkin Donuts. These brands catch almost everyone’s attention with a mere glimpse of their logos.

In a similar manner, bloggers (both aspiring and experienced ones) need to have a brand that is identifiable with them. It could be a signature style of writing or the blog name itself. Moreover, since a blog operates on the most global platform – the Internet – it becomes easier to communicate your personal blogging brand.

An effective way you can achieve personal blog branding is through social media. If you can establish online presence using social media, you can be sure many people can identify with you, your opinions, your personal views, or even some products and services you promote on your blog.

Online is the richest ground to nourish your blog and make it visible to your readers and visitors.