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Harnessing the power of Internet and social media to accelerate your growth

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Presentation made at the BusinessLink Networking breakfast meeting held at Gaby’s Restaurant, Harare on 25 July 2012.

Presenter: William Makava, Inbound marketing expert and internet entrepreneur.

Internet is the main thing right now, and it’s set to influence all sectors of our lives. With smart phones and cheaper computers, the majority of consumers will have instant access to information on the internet. Anyone can “google” any product, company or person and get all the information available within seconds. If you have ever appeared in a newspaper story, whether good or bad, people can see it on the internet. If your product has attracted attention and people made comments about it, good or bad, the internet will allow all to see all about it.

Internet has changed the market. It has not only shifted goal posts but it has changed the playing field by empowering consumers and users of your products with information and the ability to share that information on an unlimited scale.  Before this revolution, businesses would bombard consumers with marketing messages of all sorts, through radio, television, newspapers, magazines, flyers and so on. With so much information overload, consumers developed resistance to advertisements and marketing messages. The chances of your marketing message reaching the right person have greatly diminished. Look at a newspaper advert, for example. Your  ad for wedding gowns will be thrown to all sorts of wrong audiences:  people who are already married, grandmothers, grandfathers, people in far away locations from you etc. The chances of reaching the right person at the right time are quite low indeed.

With internet, the game has changed. Instead of you bombarding consumers with your marketing messages, it is now consumers who will look for you if have the right product they want.  It is called Inbound marketing, in contrast to the traditional outbound marketing.

Your challenge now is to make yourself and your products visible on the World Wide Web. If you are not there, people will not find you. For example, google now “plumbers in Harare”.  The results, as of today are as follows:

  1. Harare Plumbers-Zimbd.com  (Zimbabwe business directory website)
  2. Harare Plumbing & Piping- Yellow Pages directory
  3. Mardon plumbers- Infoguide Zimbabwe
  4. Zw.wowcity.com- an international business directory
  5. www.classifieds.co.zw- a local internet listing website

Don’t you find it amazing that not a single entrepreneur has bothered to set up a website so as to be easily found by a desperate customer who  wakes in the morning to find the kitchen flooded from a leaking pipe? That’s how far we are from catching up with the internet revolution.

To be found by consumers, here are five things you need to do for your business:

a)      Have a website. This is basic. People want to know who you are and what you do. A website is the best way of putting that information on line.

b)      Optimize your website to be found by search engines.  Get an expert on SEO (search engine optimization) to help you put key words that will help your website to appear at the top of search engine results.

c)       Set up a facebook page for your business. The giant social networking site is where the majority of people spend their time on when online. Share in the social conversations. Get your products and services talked about by people in your network.

d)      Communicate with customers all the time. Whether by email, facebook comments, blogging and tweeting, stay touch with customers. If you are at the top of your minds, they will find you when seeking to buy. They will also alert you of problems with your products, new trends, new competitors and what they really want.

e)      Be internet and social marketing savvy. To make optimum use of the available tools, you need to know how to use them. Attend classes or get an expert to help you. You might be wasting opportunities through lack of knowledge.

Get the DVD of this presentation at Crayseal Trading, 5th Floor Hungwe House, Jason Moyo Street, btwn 1st and 2nd Street Harare. Or email marketing@smebusinesslink.com to order your copy and get it delivered. Price is $3.00 while current stocks last.

William Makava is an inbound marketing expert and can help you accelerate your marketing results. In conjunction with BusinessLink, he is offering an SME Internet package that consists of website design, content development, domain name registration, hosting for a year, SEO and social media compatibility- all for only $120.00. If you are interested and want to get full information or a demonstration, please email chichonip@smebusinesslink.com.

If you want to adopt an effective internet and social media marketing strategy that will increase your online visibility and accelerate your growth, or get new ideas on starting successful  online businesses. Then you shouldn’t miss the half day “BusinessLink Inbound Marketing half day seminar, with the theme: “Internet and social media- the new frontier for high performance entrepreneurs”  set for Friday 24 August, 2012.

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