If you run a business and you are not yet active online I wonder what exactly you are thinking. You would like to know that your absence online is closing so many doors for you. Bear in mind also that it is more than just being online. It is most importantly about being actively online. I have written countless articles to educate you on how to effectively be online. There are no two ways about it your business must be online. Be that as it may, there are things people want to see when they look you up online. In this article, I look at what people most expect to find when looking for your business online.
Having a website for your business is something many people want to see. It is something people consider to be a sign of authenticity. Some prospective customers might not consider you if you do not have a website. I have even noticed that in most cases businesses without websites are not run professionally. It does not even have to be a sophisticated or expensive website. You can get a simple information website that can suffice which can cost you US$100 or so. A website even helps in the discoverability of your business online. See, if your business has no website imagine what happens when someone does a Google search. A website is important for your business.
Active Social Media Accounts
Many internet users spend most of their time on social media. Your business must be on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and so on. These must be active social media accounts that will cater to people’s needs. There must be regular content shared on those platforms. You must respond to comments people make which are usually on enquiries. On each social platform, you are no must redirect people to your other platforms or your website. It is a total turnoff when you cannot find a business on social media. It can be regarded as a red flag because why else would you not want your business to be in the public eye online. Social media platforms are proving to be people’s most preferred go-to for interacting with a business. Thus they most definitely expect to find you actively available on social media.
Working Contact Details
People want to be able to contact your business so contact details must be in the public domain online. Be it your website or social media accounts, you must provide working contact details. People should be able to directly inbox you on all those platforms. Then there must be contact details through which people can call you, SMS you, or WhatsApp. As for WhatsApp, I encourage you to have a WhatsApp Business account. Given the features, WhatsApp Business has you are better off using it than the ordinary WhatsApp.
Let me also add that you must use links instead of just putting down the WhatsApp Business number. It is just convenient for people to click a link and be redirected to your WhatsApp Business account. Then you must also include working email addresses. Not forgetting physical addresses where applicable as some might want to visit your premises.
Detailed And Factual Product Or Service Descriptions And Prices
When I look up a business online I expect just like anyone else to find detailed product or service descriptions and prices. This thing of ‘inbox for price’ or giving vague descriptions is unprofessional. The irony of it is that most businesses online do a dismal job in responding to comments when people ask. A lot of businesses online in Zimbabwe are found wanting in this regard. It is typical to find a business posting say, an image of a product. Then below that image, you will a string of ignored comments saying, ‘how much?’
You then wonder what the whole point of even posting was in the first place. This applies to a website, online store, social media platforms, WhatsApp Business catalogue, and so on. The moment people get to your online platforms it should be easy to know all there is to know about products or services offered. In the case of images please ensure you use real-life images of products or services as they are. Do not mislead people by using images far-removed what is there in stock.
Studies have shown that the majority of purchases nowadays, offline or online, are influenced by social proof. Social proofs are usually user-generated pieces of content where users of a product or service say what they think about them. We are looking at things like testimonials, reviews, and the like. People want to see positive social proof available online for your business. That way they can gain trust in your brand. More and more people no longer trust what a brand says about itself but rather what people say about it. Engagements on posts made by a business online actually constitute social proof. You get a feel of what a business is like just by looking at things say in their comments. So as a business you must know that people are looking for social proof before deciding on buying from you.
These are some of the fundamental things your business must have online. When people look up your business online they expect to find those 5 things. These are things that will ensure people trust your brand, consider checking you out, and subsequently make purchases. By keeping these 5 things in check you will outdo your competitors. Especially in Zimbabwe where most businesses are still found wanting in many regards, you will stand out.