Monthly Archives: September 2011

Facebook for the South African SMME

Facebook is a hot hot hot potato. Looking at the potential impact your Facebook Business Page can have on the South African (SMME) market, I have established the following:

SMME business’s are keen to dip their toes into the Facebook pool but they appear to be unsure of how to manage the soapbox once the get on it.

The reality is that as a SMME, you probably don’t have the resources allow one person (whether an employee or yourself) to commit 100% of their time to manage your online communication strategy. That is of course assuming that you actually HAVE a communication strategy in place….

My 5 top tips to optimise your time (and effort) spent on Facebook are:

  • DON’T use a personal page as a business page. Even if you are a Sole Proprietor or a Consultant, make use of the Business Page facility. It appears unprofessional when a “business” suddenly declares that it has a degree in Business Administration from this-or-that University. Business Page also allow you to promote events and add custom fields and pages which creates a more meaningful impression with your fans.
  • Make an effort to create a unique page for your business. Consider developing a landing page that encourages visitors to “Like” your page or that simply presents your HOOK in a fun, creative fashion.
  • Remember at all times, that Facebook doesn’t work effectively when used as a selling platform. Your visitors are desperate for good, worthwhile content that adds value to their business or personal lives. If your content doesn’t fit the bill, they will simply not return.
  • Have a plan. Work towards a goal. A structured under-current in your messaging helps your fans / readers to easily identify with the online personality you are creating. Haphazard comments that don’t ever draw a sensible conclusion, leave your visitors confused an unsatisfied.
  • Daily activity. Think of it as talking with your best friend – sharing an essential piece of news every day. You can’t only resort to using Social Media platforms when you suddenly need more sales. You have to maintain the “friendship”. Trust takes time – invest in your online relationships. It is important to note that different Social Media Networking platforms require different levels of input and frequency.

If you plan your online activity and focus on using one or two suitable platforms efficiently and effectively, you will soon develop a routine. I have found with most of my clients that 15 to 30 minutes a day is mostly all that is needed to maintain a productive online communication strategy.

Happy writing!

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What to write on the www

So, the topic has been talked, written, discussed, blogged and case-studied to death but I still want to put some thoughts down on paper (well in pixels if you want to nit-pick).

Writing for the web is a broad concept these days. We no longer think only of our business websites when we talk about the www – we have to consider social media platforms, blogs, the websites, video sites and news sites. We have to write well and make relevant contributions whether we have 140 characters on Twitter or unlimited paragraphs on WordPress. Writing for the world-wide-web has become an increasingly difficult task but there is hope.

Let’s put some sound building blocks in place and then see if we can build a strategy from there.

1. Tell people the why, what, how, when and where of your company BUT don’t overburden your website or Facebook page with flowery language, endless bits of history, or your personal pedigree. If WHAT you offer is extraordinary and worthwhile, it doesn’t really matter whether you started your company in your garage 6 years ago or with only 1 client…. I have to categorically state that I love reading about the history of companies on their site. I adore clever copy and I relish creative communication strategies that poke their tongue at you. BUT, let’s be sensible, your website / blog / micro-blog / social media platform has a point to make, BEST you make it.

2. Decide what your point is. Do you want to make a creative statement, add visual appeal, stand apart from the crowd, grow your bottom-line etc. When I consult, the answer to these questions determine what type of strategy we create for our clients. Every strategy will be unique, simply because every client’s focus is different.

3. Have you done your research? More specifically – have you bothered with KEYWORD research?? Many of our clients come to us with online content that never introduces any of the keywords that will attract more virtual feet. Using the right keywords, sensibly (please)  will make it much easier for your content to create an interest.

4. Take your platform into consideration. Blogs are different from Social Media / Networking sites etc etc etc. I always recommend that you use one or two platforms well rather than trying to use all of them in the same way.

Let’s sum it up this way. Write politely but make your point. Don’t underestimate the value of keywords. Make sure you decide what exactly the underlying tone and message of your content will be and then get on to the big w and write. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone might actually read what you have to say ;)

Diva, over and out.