The wide adoption of digital and social media platforms across Ghana (and around the world) has provided more opportunities for entrepreneurs than ever before.
In the past, your business had to deal with a wide variety of platforms to get your message across. While there are dozens of television channels and hundreds of radio stations vying for limited public attention, with multiple newspapers and thousands of viewing options, new media is more centralized: it does not There is only 1 Facebook, 1 Instagram, 1 Twitter, 1 YouTube, 1 Google, 1 LinkedIn, 1 Tik Tok. They are the modern gatekeepers to the audience you are looking for. The dimension of the costs is also different: it was difficult for small companies to raise the necessary funds to make a television campaign. With Facebook or Instagram, you set your own budget. Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta (formerly Facebook), Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other platforms have completely changed the game. Need to rent a car for an event? Instagram or Google can help you. Need new shoes? You can order and have it delivered to your home or office.
Benefits of early adoption
When Facebook started, companies that jumped on board were able to get followers quickly and organically. Later, Facebook started monetizing the platform and changing its algorithms. Facebook now makes it a little harder for businesses to reach large audiences without paying for advertising. The same goes for Instagram, which has become central to many businesses. Early adopters grew quickly, but now it will take more to grow.
More leads, more inquiries and more customers using Google My Business (GMB)
Many of us learned how to research businesses online using Google. That’s great. As a business owner, have you made the important decision to list your business on Google? If your business has a location and you want more customers to visit, it’s imperative that you take your Google listing very seriously. In my work managing a digital marketing agency, I have seen the benefits of a well-managed list for clients from different industries – a spa, a chain of dental clinics, a diagnostic center and a hotel, among others. Now, what are some of the reasons why you need to create, maintain, and manage a Google listing?
When customers or potential customers search for your name (or business category), they need to be able to find you quickly. I remember living in Haatso a few years ago and trying to find gyms near me. It was then that I realized how important it is to be well referenced on Google. Recently I was in Adabraka and wanted to buy a blazer quickly. I pulled out my phone and immediately started looking for places to buy men’s suits around me. Today’s millennials want to do just about everything with their phones. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you.
Google Maps has created a revolution for location-based services. Having a good Google My Business listing helps customers and potential customers easily locate your business. If you have a business related to hospitality or tourism, for example, many visitors to the country can find your business and come directly to your premises using Google.
There is some very relevant information a customer can glean from a Google listing. Some of the main ones include the name of the business, the services you render or the products you sell, your opening and closing hours, if you have any seasonal offers (Valentine’s Day promotion, Easter promotion, etc.). Customers additionally get your contact information and also have access to your website address. Google can be used to create a free website for your business without buying a domain or storage, in case you cannot afford to create a professional website.
Google reviews are one of the main benefits of having a Google business listing. Reviews tell potential customers about the experience previous customers have had and how they rate you. So it requires you to provide a top-notch service, to get good reviews on a regular basis. The more reviews a business has (especially positive reviews), the easier it can be found in a search.
A well-managed Google listing allows your other business profiles on other social networks to show up in searches. Customers or potential customers can easily view your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other profiles easily by using your Google listing.
Data and analytics
Google provides excellent analytics for your professional business website. However, even without a website, Google listings provide very useful data for your Google My Business account. It can tell you how many people have viewed your business profile, how you compare to businesses like yours, how many potential customers visit your profile, ask for directions, call your contact number and send you messages through your Google listing. You will be able to know how many potentials are looking for you online or looking for directions to your location via Google Maps. This will help you determine if the new photos and posts you add to your GMB profile performed better in January or the month before.
Content is king
People are always looking for content. From food and restaurants, to events and entertainment, to relationships, comedy, pets, and more, content is king. So your business needs to find ways to generate exciting content and then share it. Video content generally attracts more engagement than images. The stratospheric growth of Tik Tok indicates how much your next generation of customers are looking for content. Just having a Google listing is not enough. There must be constant updates of images, new products and services, promotions, etc. That, and increasingly positive reviews, will help your business show up in potential customer searches faster.
Even if a worker, customer, or just a member of the general public has already created a listing for your business, you must take ownership of your destiny and your narrative by claiming that listing. Then you can work on it (or appoint a competent digital marketing person or agency) to make sure you’re at the forefront of conversations about your industry.
Any serious business should aim for 360 degree visibility online using Google, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok, website and other platforms as appropriate. You need to create content, manage and, if possible, spend money to promote engaging content on Google (and other platforms) to ensure consistent revenue for your business. A Google listing is a great asset for getting customers to find you. Done right, and also with a bit of Google Ads, your profile can generate lots of customer enquiries, calls, visits, and sales. It is imperative that you support your GMB profile or get help.
The writer runs Brand Rite, a Ghanaian digital agency that helps small and medium businesses grow. He can be reached at [email protected]
Source: Nana K.Oware
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