Should you have a website for your business?

Hello my dear readers!

It’s been some time since I’ve last written a post on my blog and I sincerely apologize for that. Upon completing my studies overseas, I’ve spent the past couple of months visiting numerous places before returning to my home country. It’s been an amazing experience to see how different things are abroad compare to what’s offered back home. So here I am, sharing my experience from abroad that has led me to compose today’s post.

When I was back in Australia, I had been spoiled by the convenience of looking for products and services online as most businesses had most of its information you needed to make a decision prior to purchasing the product. This is a convenience that is unfortunately lacking in not only my home country but in many other countries as well. Be it specification, prices, availability and location of the product or contact details, you’d be sure to find any of these in each of their websites. It is incredibly convenient and hassle free. As a consumer, I not only save the trouble but also a huge amount of time as compared to if I had to walk into numerous stores in different locations to make comparisons on the type product I wished to purchase. Isn’t that what all consumers long for? Hassle free, time saving and low cost.

Relative to what’s mentioned above, consumers these days highly prefer convenience. If you own a business yourself, whether big or small, it is important to take note that consumers these days are quickly adopting the habit of researching products and services before purchasing them, and this is made easier with how efficient Google is, and of course the growing user generated content as well. In addition to that, it is a known fact to many that the amount of internet user is increasing tremendously each year (As shown in the figure above). This further assures us that it is important to keep our business online as this is where consumers are spending their hours these days. Furthermore, when you have your own website, you are able to educate consumers on the benefits of your products or services. As at most times, users are more likely to share their negative experience online as compare to a positive experience.

There is also another plus point when it comes to having a website for your business. Having a website for your business enables your business to look more professional, reliable and established. As most large, established companies have got detailed websites to share with consumers on who they are and what they do. Wouldn’t you want consumers to know that you are reliable and trustworthy?

Here’s a short 3+ minute video which I find useful for those who are considering starting a website for your business or to just learn more on how having a website would help your business:

Resource: GoogleAds Youtube

Hope you find this helpful.

Have an awesome week ahead and a belated Happy New Year 2015 to all of you!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

(+) Aside from my personal experience, these are a few articles which I’ve come across as well which further helped me understand and confirmed the importance of a business having their website:

1. http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2012/oct/19/businesses-need-websites

2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/12/10/key-steps-to-building-your-small-business-website/

3. http://www.superwebanalyst.net/Importance-of-Having-a-Website-for-Any-Business.php

(+) Also, don’t forget to drop a comment on your thought about businesses having websites!

Why reply them!? Are they worthy of your time!

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Hello again my dear readers, hope your week’s been treating you well.

Firstly, I’ll like to thank you for being such great readers of my blog and we have now reached the 10th post! Now let’s move on to this week’s topic. As technology keeps improving, we now live a different lifestyle compared to our parents. It used to be writing letters when you want to notify someone on something you want to voice out. Then it evolved to SMS or texting, and today we have WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more similar social media. It is a good thing indeed as life got easier, we simple just type what we have in mind and press on that “post” button and it will reach the world, rather than writing a letter and it will only reach on individual. The existence of social media has taught us to share, share our thoughts and share our experience. However, to numerous companies around the world, the existence of social media became an additional stress. As many companies try their best to provide the best they can to consumers, it may not necessarily appear to customer as such. As I mentioned earlier, these days, we post out experience on things we go through on social media, which includes purchase and services experience. When one customer posts up a negative comment aiming towards a particular company, it reaches the world! And many of us know that these days, consumers would choose to believe users rather than marketers. So how should we, as marketers handle negative comments, to ensure that our company’s reputation is well protected? Or maybe, transforming these negative situations to an opportunity to build our brand image? Here’s a few alternative you may consider:

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  1. Be Humble

At times, negative comments come in rudely. However, as marketers, one key skill we need to pick up is being humble and tolerant! Even when we may be from a fast growing or well-known company, we should take note on the tone of voice we are using when replying our consumer’s negative comments. Do make sure that you sound polite, rather appearing as if you are up for an argument. It will help open up consumer’s heart to accept your brand more because it allows them to feel your respect towards them.

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  1. Apologize

Always remember that consumers are always right! So when consumers complain about you, apologize. Do remember that, your behaviours reaches out to the world as comments now are posted and accessible worldwide. You’d be surprise how a sincere apology will humanize your company and spokesperson, while delivering confidence at a time when it’s needed most.

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  1. Continue a conversation privately

Next, if it is possible. Do not just put a full stop after publicly apologizing. You can always start a private conversation with your consumers who are unhappy with what you have provided. Yes, there are numerous illogical consumers out there who are making fake complains. BUT, do remember, there are also sincere consumers who want you to do better and you’ll never realise that it could actually be a fault at your end. So here’s a great opportunity for you to not only find out what went wrong, but also to build on your relationship with your consumers!

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  1. Offer Compensation

This is really useful when you know you are at fault. There are many ways to thank you customers who are honest to you by highlighting your weakness. One way you could repay them, is through offering compensation, such as promotional vouchers or a free purchase. It would help them learn that you are a company who values them and seek to improve to serve them better. That would be a bonus point for your brand image! I understand when negativity hits; it is a great challenge to stay positive. Next time you receive a negative comment, sit back and take a deep breath before you reply. Remember to never sound rude or harsh. Being tolerant and patient towards our consumers won’t harm, it will instead bring us success in a long run.

I hope these tips appear useful to you, it can be applied for both big and small businesses. All the best and have a great week ahead!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

Inspired by various sources: http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-respond-to-negative-online-reviews/ http://www.seeksocialmedia.com/respond-negative-social-media-comments/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/sage/2014/02/14/excelling-at-customer-service-understanding-what-makes-or-breaks-a-brand-during-a-crisis/

Have You Gotten Yourself LinkedIn Yet? Here’s why you should!

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Hello again! Hope your week has been good to you!

I suppose you could roughly guess by now that this week’s topic is about LinkedIn, the “social” media platform for professionals. I, myself recently signed up for LinkedIn and came to realise there is so much to gain from it as a university student who is about to graduate at the end of this year! I’m quite sure that there are a number of you who are about to graduate soon too and I highly recommend that you start signing up to LinkedIn and promoting your capabilities.

Here is a short list of the benefits of signing up to Linked In:

  1. Company Research

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LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. In fact, not only successful individuals, companies have their own LinkedIn account too. As LinkedIn is a professional network, companies assure that they stay professional on what they post and provide loads of useful information regarding the insights of the company on their LinkedIn account as they themselves would want to attract potential future employees to work with them. Therefore, if you are interested in learning more about a company and what it does, LinkedIn would be a great place to start aside from their website (which at most times are tailored to attract consumers than potential employees).

  1. Let Them Spot You

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There are many companies out there who are engaging LinkedIn to find job candidates. You’d be surprise to receive emails of established companies inviting you to join their crew! RBS, Unilever, Air Asia, Intel and many more are among the companies using LinkedIn as their employment solution. Here’s the link for you to check out who are the ones in the list: http://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/recruitment-tool-reviews.html. However, you will have to do your part by completing your LinkedIn account by providing useful information of yourself and what you can do in order to help LinkedIn scout for you!

  1. Keep Updated

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Just like Facebook, you like pages you have interest in and want to receive updates from, you can do the same in LinkedIn. The only difference is that these groups in LinkedIn talks about much more serious and matured topics, but they are useful and insightful. If you are interested in digital marketing and would like to pursue your career in the digital marketing field, you should search for the digital marketing field available in LinkedIn and get connected. That way, you’ll be able to keep tract on what employers are currently looking for as you have the latest update from the working community. Not only that, you get to connect with individuals from different corporate levels in the field you are interested in, increasing your chance of being spotted for employment!

If you have yet to sign up for a LinkedIn account, I encourage you to do so as only you alone are able to promote yourself at its best and at LinkedIn you are able to provide information of yourself beyond your resume! Why wait only for career fairs to promote yourself to companies you are interested in?

I would say I’m not a very skillful in using LinkedIn but if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to reply you!

Here’s a short 2 mins of introduction to LinkedIn video:

Hope these were helpful to you!

Thank you for reading my blog again! Have a blessed week ahead!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

Have You Heard of The MEDIUM?

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Hello! Welcome back to my blog!

So recently I’ve been thinking of what to share on my blog and I was reading through various websites related to digital marketing and ended up reading this article that was posted in the MBA in Marketing Guide back in June 2013 with the title “3 Up and Coming Social Media Platform”. The three social media platforms were (1) Instagram which I suppose all of us would know, (2)Vine, maybe a few of you have yet to hear about it and lastly, (3) Medium, which I myself have never heard of till today, and I’m wondering whether the same is true for you guys.

Anyway, it piqued my curiosity as my reaction was “Are you serious, Medium? Okay, I’ll look it up and learn what it is…” So, I decided to Google about Medium and it brought me to their webpage as well. I found it interesting how Medium caught my attention that I thought I should share it with all of you.

Medium is a social media platform which allows its users to share their stories and ideas, very similar to what a blog is but with slight differences here and there.

In Medium, writers are not alone, and by that it means that each and everyone’s posts link to one another. Also, when you write a draft of your post on Medium, you are able to share it with your fellow writers and allow them to help you out and provide useful writing tips and improvement comments. I personally thought that if you are a business owner just starting up and would like to make a post this would be a great opportunity. First timers will find writing a post using Medium to be useful as it is a great learning platform and training ground. Furthermore, even an established well-known company like BMW connects to users on Medium.

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Next, Medium is a thriving and pulsing network, you don’t have to be famous to keep your views on top of the list. It’s what you write that matters! Worry not as Medium will help find you readers through a combination of algorithmic and editorial curation. Your posts on Medium will get spread around based on interest and engagement.

Do visit their homepage to learn about Medium, it never bites to learn!

https://medium.com/

And here’s some food for thought: Do you think Medium will survive and make it to the top like facebook or twitter? It’ll be nice to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for reading and have a nice week ahead! Do share with us if you have come across any other interesting social media platforms.

Have a great week ahead!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

Have You Tried It? Google Analytics.

Welcome back to my blog! I apologize as it’s been a while since my last post.

Today, I’ve decided to check out what Google Analytics can do as my lecturer has been encouraging us to find out more about Google Analytics.

So here’s what I’ve learned (just really basic knowledge of Google Analytics). I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage those who are at a start-up stage of their small businesses to use Google Analytics to track the statistics of your webpage. It will really help you reach out to more consumers!

Google analytics is a tool that was created to track statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic source. So how would this help you with your small business?

Here are some features in Google Analytics that I thought are really useful for starters:

  1. Target Group

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By using Google Analytics, you are able to track who has viewed your website. It even allows you to find out details such as how the viewer found your website and where the user is located, their age, gender and even interests. By having all this knowledge about your viewers, it would help you further understand who are the ones interested in your product and whether or not you have been targeting the right segment in your business and if you have, what you can do to improve your business as you now have a more detailed knowledge on the groups you’ve been attracting.  Furthermore, it also helps you to ensure that those viewers of your webpage are within the country you are operating!

  1. Time

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Google Analytics also allow you to see how much time each user spends on your webpage. Most of the time we only have knowledge of how many users visit our webpage but that does not let us know whether or not viewers actually spend time reading what we have to offer. It allows us to have the right perception on where we are in terms of us attracting viewers to spend time on out webpage.

  1. Key Words

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Most people who own a website has got keywords that lead consumers to their website. However, Google Analytics allows these website owners to go beyond that. By using Google Analytics, we are able to find out what visitors are looking for when they are surfing in our site. It allows us to determine if our viewers actually found what they were looking for at our site or they were just trying their luck at our webpage. This in a way allows us to customise our sites according to what consumers want as we know what they are looking for.

These are just really basic things you can find out about your small online businesses using Google Analytics. However, there is much more it can do beyond these functions. Do give Google Analytics a try and I’m pretty sure your business will get better!

If you have already subscribed to Google Analytics, do share with us your experience. I am really interested to learn more from you!

Here’s a short video on what Google Analytic is:

Source: Google Analytics (You Tube)

Have a nice day!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

“What SAY You & What THINK People”

Hello again! Hope your weeks’ been treating you well thus far.

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In today’s post, I’d like to highlight how important it is for us, as marketers to know grammar well!

When I was working as an intern back in the summer break, I was in charge of drafting posts that were to be posted onto Facebook and Twitter for the company I worked for. During that time, I had to write drafts of posts that are to be sent to my supervisor for proof reading before posting the actual post onto our social media pages. Each and every time, the drafted posts were checked for grammatical error.

The social media may seem like a casual platform for all to say what and however they like BUT when brands use social media to reach out to their consumers, they are trying to attract their consumers to read what they are trying to convey. As we know, everything works two ways, so does grammatical errors. It can either be, a post that was so beautifully written without a single grammatical error or a post that was terribly written, filled with grammatical error that one would think it was purposefully written that way to attract attention.

As marketers we must be aware that what we say contributes to the image of our brands. Therefore, it is crucial that posts on social media are to be written professionally. A simple grammar mistake could possibly ruin our marketing content and our brand image. As mentioned by the Business Insider Australia, the London agency Disruptive Communications took a poll of 1,003 British consumers in July 2013 and asked consumers what factor would most likely damage their opinion of a brand on social media? “Poor spelling or grammar” came in at 42.5 %, which was significantly high. Grammatical errors are known to be distracting and annoying to many readers. Not only that, many times, grammatical errors would lead to misunderstanding, as the meaning of the message may differ as to what the brand initially wanted to convey to consumers.

Have you stumbled upon a brand/company’s “advertisement” on social media that had so many grammatical errors and you were so put off by it that you did not bother finding out more? Please feel free to share your experiences……

Here’s a video to kill your stress:

Resource: Leaderonomics Media (Youtube)

Lastly, despite posting about grammatical errors, I, myself do not have a strong grasp of grammar and am still improving on my writing. So do forgive me on my grammatical errors and have a good week ahead!

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Xx, Wern (Chloe).

(+) Scroll up and you’ll find the “Leave A Comment” button right below the blog post title 🙂

Should You or Should You Not Say It?

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Hi all! Welcome to my blog again.

I’d like to apologize for the delay in my post last week.

I was reading through numerous social media related news and happened to stumble across this writing by Kristina Monllos which caught my attention.

As we know, almost every brand that exists has their very own social media channels to connect with consumers these days. Brands these days seek to appear to consumers as a friend than just a brand that sells products. They want consumers to perceive a positive image of them as one who would walk with consumers through their ups and downs and one who seeks to provide what’s best for their consumers. Therefore, these brands would often have something to say when it comes to celebrations or remembrance days.

However, after reading the article posted by Kristina Monllos and looking through the tweet replies by Mike Monteiro to various brands that tweeted about the remembrance of the 9/11 event, I started to have mixed feelings about brands saying something when it comes to remembrance days.

Resource: Ad week

Many brands look to convey a message to their customers saying that they care and have a heart for those who went through tough times as an impact from the major tragedy. However, would consumers see it as a heartfelt message by these brands or would consumers see it as brands fully utilising moments like these to increase their brand image? Do you think these brands actually feel sorry for the victims of 9/11 or are they simply taking the opportunity to sound like they feel sorry and lead consumers to think that they are a brand with a heart?

You may want to start thinking, if you are to own a brand in the near future, would you choose to say something following such events…

As marketers, we have to remember that, in this era, the words of consumers are more powerful than ours. Every single post on the social media is free for all to comment and share with the rest of the world. Each and every post by a brand acts as a double-edged sword. It can either benefit your brand or “kill” your brand.

To read the full article of Kristina Monllos:

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/guys-replies-911-brand-tweets-sum-everything-thats-wrong-911-brand-tweets-160060

Have an awesome week ahead!

Xx, Wern (Chloe).

(+) Scroll up and you’ll find the “Leave A Comment” button right below the blog post title 🙂