It is amazing to note that an estimated 40% of Irish businesses still do not have their own websites in 2016.
It is even more amazing to note how many businesses have yet to engage in social media strategies, considering that there is little or no cost involved in setting up a business Facebook page or Twitter account.
Of course, for many small and medium sized businesses, it is simply a matter of not having enough time.
If you are busy in the off-line world, dealing with customers, driving from A to B, etc, it can be difficult – or almost impossible! – to justify spending too much time on-line!
Yet setting up a website can save you a lot of trouble, for example by giving examples of products to customers through the optimum use of images and videos.
Instead of having to call out to a customer, you can refer him or her to your website with examples of your work or guidelines relating to pricing.
The landscape gardener who visits 20 houses in a week, for example, might have to spend far less time driving around the city and county if he or she could show people ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos on a website, relative to the size of the customer’s garden.
The cafe with a loyal customer base, which might not even have a Facebook page, could direct a new customer to their own website via the free in-house wi-fi.
And then keep the customers engaged via special offers and competitions!
Facebook has become a bit of a monster, but it’s essential to make optimum use of it in terms of promoting your business to the people who matter.
If you don’t have time, that’s where I come in.
I was involved in the social media side of the Connacht Tribune business for some years and, as a volunteer, I ran the successful Darkness Into Light page on Facebook since setting it up in February 2014.
The page currently has over 9,000 followers.
Through setting up and administering the page, I have learned a lot about the posts that work, the power of images and video, and the best times to post online to reach the widest possible number of people across the West of Ireland.
Over the past year or so my client base has included two charity events, a yoga school, a counselling service based in Loughrea, and a new Thai massage shop in the heart of Galway City.
I’m always on the look-out for new SMEs, who might benefit from the skills I’ve honed as a journalist for more than 20 years.
Optimum use of social media is a great, and inexpensive, way of reaching a whole new base of customers.
Get in touch if you would like me to work on YOUR new social media strategy.
Ciaran is available for a consultation at (087) 7996290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t be afraid of the internet … embrace what social media can do for your small or medium-sized business!