In recent years advertising has evolved a great deal, companies that previously only paid attention to traditional marketing have begun to move advertising in the direction of online advertising. You might find a ground nut oil company trying to run a twitter giveaway for ileya and you will find that they mean business. The traditional business structure has begun to evolve so much that people generally open social media accounts on impulse once they start a new business.
Getting Popular Online
In the case of already established brands or celebrity names, It is never difficult to get noticed. Case in point — when Alhaji Dangote joined twitter he was verified before his first follower and he hit 50,000 followers in the first hour of being on the platform. Why? Because he was already established as a leader in his general industry, he didn’t need to get anyone to announce his arrival or publicize what he does for a living. We already knew him.
Apply the same logic to a mid size Investment bank with about 30 – 50 employees coming online for the very first time. Asides the people who work in the company it might get difficult to make any headway with new leads online without spending a lot of money on advertising.
The lesson— Visibility is key! You need to put yourself in front of your target audience. This in turn may not be as easy as it sounds the first thing that comes to mind for visibility when bringing a new business online might be “let me advertise”. For a well financed business or an industry leader this may not be a problem. But it is a problem if you are not willing to risk the trial and error factor that may be involved. With no knowledge of proper marketing you may end up spending way more than you should ever have to or worse, exhausting your budget before achieving anything near the goals you have set for your business.
Scaling the odds and making your business popular online in Nigeria
A few things you can do to leverage your current “offline” audience after coming online for the first time:
- Emails to current clients, business contacts and friends of the business on your new move to the online space—this in turn will generate some movement as per current clients who may or may not already be online.
- Get the current employees of the company involved. The people working for the company should be mildly if not heavily involved in the way the company is perceived online. Chances are these employees already have online profiles long before the company caught on to the social business game. Taking advantage of their current coverage might go a long way in improving the businesses visibility.
- Get a dedicated social media accounts manager who is trained for the role, not a secretary or receptionist who does not know the first thing about online communication for brand. You want to be online but you also don’t want to be inactive online. There is nothing worse than a business not responding to enquiries from customers or users in a timely manner. It takes away the seriousness and legitimacy of the running of your business both offline and online.
- Be interactive- You don’t have to respond to every single mention or question especially if they are not entirely relevant to your general industry but you do need to make it clear to your audience that you have real humans who are always available to help and lend a helping hand when required.