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Are you online ready?

These days having a strong online presence is vital to a successful business. But with so many channels and options, it is difficult to know where to start. Andrus Nomm, Marketing Manager at Kitomba, gives you four ways to become online ready.

1. Build a website
The importance of having a website cannot be emphasised enough. It provides you with a credible and professional image, ensures consumers have access to your business 24/7 and is the ultimate sales tool for informing clients about your services.
It may seem like an impossible undertaking but luckily there are some fantastic, easy website builders. Choose a domain name, a template, and do what you do best – get creative!

What does your website look like on a smartphone? Having a website that automatically changes format so it looks good on any type of device is called ‘responsive’ design and it is critical to avoid losing potential clients.
Your website’s content is really important, so we have a few suggestions for key elements that should be included:

  • An ‘about us’ section is a nice way to describe your business and sets the tone for the type of experience the client can expect.
  • Contact and location details should be easy to find, and make sure you list your opening hours.
  • Include a detailed service list with price points on your website or online booking system.

2. Be social media savvy
There is a wide range of social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and even LinkedIn. While more ‘touch points’ can mean increased opportunities for clients to discover your business or provide them with more ways to contact you, you need to have clear objectives. Who’s your target audience? What type of content do you want to share? How will different channels work together?

Answering these questions and putting together a strategy will allow you to decipher exactly what type of social media promotion your business requires. From there it is important that you maintain an organised calendar to ensure quality content and a mix of posts. Social media can involve lots of trial and error too – you will need to determine the best time to post, understand what content generates the highest engagement and find your ‘voice’.

A couple of top tips for ensuring you are social media savvy:

  • A study found that the sweet spot for posting is between five and ten times a week. So see what works for your business!
  • Including a photo with your post is found to increase engagement by more than 50 percent.
  • Keep your posts short and sweet.

After some serious social media tips? Check out our blog: kitomba.com/blog/social

3. Step it up a notch with paid online advertising
Paid online advertising comes in many forms including Google AdWords, Facebook ads and Twitter advertising. It’s a great way to guide more traffic to your website and ultimately increase business. As you would expect, it can become quite technical and time consuming, however there are a couple of options that are super easy.

Facebook is the obvious starting point but there’s all sorts of other channels you can use. Even Instagram have just released paid advertising! Simply choose the objective of your campaign such as sending people to your website or online booking site, and then select your audience. Is there a specific age group you want to target or perhaps it is best to direct your ads towards people with certain behaviours? Social media channels make it easy to select and measure the size of your target audience. Choose your budget, and get your ad looking great. Remember to keep an eye on the results; you may want to trial a few different versions of your ads, e.g. change the image or text.

If you want to take paid online advertising to the next level, get in touch with a digital agency. They can provide you with expert advice as well as put the time and effort into a fantastic digital strategy while you focus on your business.

4. Ensure you have online booking
Online booking allows your clients to book at any time, ensures flexibility for rescheduling appointments and you no longer need to worry if you miss a phone call. In fact did you know that based on the average dollar value received across 1,000 salons in September 2015, online bookings bought in an average of $2,000 of appointments to every salon? Basically, you needed online booking yesterday!

Kitomba launched its new online booking system in September and since then over 46,000 bookings have been made. That’s no surprise when the system has been rebuilt to make it faster, better and easier to use on all devices.

So what changes did we make? Aesthetically it is easier than ever to make your online booking site look the way you want. Ensure your page is on brand, use your company colours and customise the background and banner. Best of all no matter the device your clients are using, your online booking site will look fantastic!

Here are some tips to start promoting online booking:

  • Add a ‘book now’ button to Facebook and the top half of your website promoting this function. Tip! Ask five people to find the book now button on your website. If it takes more than a couple of seconds the placement is wrong, so try an alternative.
  • Your voicemail message should mention Online Booking so if you miss a client’s call they know they can still make an appointment.
  • Pop some signage on your front desk or window to let those passing by know you have online booking.

 

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