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Company Facebook Page vs Website: Misconceptions

The Big Dispute

Over the past years, I’ve talked to many clients and seen many small to medium and growing business’s and to my surprise and shock, many had based their whole business on social media network page such as a Company Facebook Page or Group, and in some cases LinkedIn company pages.

Now, I know the significance of social media, but in this article I will tell you the difference of having a professional company website, and having Facebook page, or any other social media presence. In fact, I believe the very term “Website vs Facebook” is a deep misconception, since social media is a fulfillment to your basic professional website.

According to the Social Times, Facebook last year reached over 40 million pages. But does this mean that a Company Facebook Page will replace your Company Brand? Well, read to find out:

What is your Brand?

Well, if you’re a professional company, you should definitely be representing your brand in your website. A Company Facebook page may allow you to upload your profile picture and cover, and post your info in it constantly but it is NOT your online representative and 24 hour marketing tool. Your web design can include your brand color and logo, theme with your look and feel, and of course your own domain!

SEO – Who are you promoting?

By having your own Company Facebook page, you can definitely promote your products and services, and even use fb ads to boost your posts to get them to the right audience, and get more page likes as well. But are you going to show up on search engines and have an organic SEO result bringing you inbound leads and contacts? And will you be able to control the flow of your visitors through Google Analytics such as which pages were visited and which goals and targets were achieved? Well, no, not through Facebook Pages, at least not as comprehensive as a website will be accomplishing for you.

Company Facebook Page vs Website-SEO

Who owns your Company Facebook Page?

It might be hard to believe but when you are using Facebook for business by creating a page, still this page is on Facebook and is NOT owned by you. So you are at the mercy of FB owners, and so are your followers, data and any information relevant to your business. So you might want to think twice if you have founded your professional business on just a Facebook website.

Functionality and Features

It is true that Facebook pages allow us to add many apps and features, but again, what if you want to add further features, like a form submission (without connection to any websites)? Or if you want to implement calculation and workflow customization? Or how about integration with a specific payment gateway? Well as much as it is hard to believe, Facebook pages, do not allow us to complete these tasks.

Summing it up

To get to the bottom line, we cannot actually compare having a Company Facebook page to a website for a business. What you need to know is that social media pages and presence are vital for sure, but not a replacement or a substitute for a business website. So if you’re a professional business looking to survive in the next few years, then you better know that social media, including Company Facebook pages, LinkedIn Company pages, and other media networks, are a fulfillment and completion to your marketing strategy, which is mainly based on your website. So don’t be tricked when people tell you website or Facebook? Set the basics and foundations of your business right and go up. Get the main online representative going (your website) then add on the advertisement speakers (social media).

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10 reasons why you may need a digital channels strategy?

1. You’re directionless
I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytic whether you’re achieving those goals.

2. You won’t know your online market share
Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven”t researched this.  Perhaps more importantly you won’t understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions and options for marketing communications.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share
If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition
A clearly defined online customer value proposition will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal.

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough
It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes not sentiment. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You’re not integrated (“disintegrated”)
It’s all too common for digital to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels.

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance
Insufficient resource will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing and there is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication
Even if you do have sufficient resource it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead
If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic  – trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10. You’re not optimizing
Every company with a website will have analytic, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing. So that’s our top 10 problems that can be avoided with a well thought through strategy. What have you found can go right or wrong?

By Helena Filip , Project Manager at Comelite IT Solutions

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7 Methods of Creating Loyalty

Whether you’re a new diner, or a restaurant with multiple branches, I’m sure a returning customer is of deep value to you. Do you know that at least 46% of people are more likely to return to your restaurant if you have rewards or loyalty program? And do you know the impact of the word-of-mouth marketing, if you DID have a loyalty program?

loyalty_card

So what is a loyalty program? According to Hubspot, a loyalty program is a rewards program offered by a company to customers who frequently make purchases. A loyalty program may give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released products.

So below, take a look at some methods to boost your loyalty program if you’re a diner:

  1. Be Friendly and social: this might be something insignificant in your mind as a restaurant manager, but as a customer’s point of view, trust me, customers are more likely to return to you if they see you friendly and social. People love to see someone make them feel comfortable.
  2. Discounts: discounts can be according to special occasions, or maybe weekends or even as per monthly basis. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure it’s planned out to make the most. Remember when people come to your restaurant and would want to make the most of it.
  3. Point system: you can use a point system and have customers redeem their points at specific timings. Here are a few ways to use it:
    • Get points for money spent: you can put a limit, for example if a purchase over $20 is made, than you earn 5 points. Customers can gather points and then purchase something cool with it.
    • Get points for number of visits: sometimes you have to show your appreciation to returning customers so with every return, you can award them points so they can collect and return even more.
    • Get points for purchasing a product: Have a special menu? You can place a reward for a special product so everyone who gets it will earn some points. Maybe the Hawaii Pizza, or maybe a special dessert…
  4. Special Days: people love to be remembered on their special days, such as their birthday, or maybe the day they became a member of your program. So if you have a point system, you can reward some points here, or maybe if you know your customers, treat them with a freebie on their special day.
  5. Gift Card: gift cards are also a cool way to have loyalty program. You can offer gift cards for people to purchase and give away to friends and family as a gift. Or you can reward a customer with a gift card to use anytime they want.
  6. Play a Game: gamification is also a renowned message to motivate customers. You can encourage customers to play a game, win, and earn a prize. Whether its points or discounts, the challenge is tempting to many out there.
  7. Social Media: social media is an excellent method to earn more customer loyalty. You can allow sharing and posting of your food and service to your Facebook Page, or Instagram account and let people see your customer reviews in action with their real life photos. You can let customers earn point with each share or post or refer.

loyalty

Remember, how you present your loyalty program is also important. Many customers get frustrated by complex systems, or search for something easy, like an app on their smartphone (40% prefer an app for their loyalty program), and not being able to get your loyalty program out in their reach can also have a negative impact. So make sure you are also getting the right feedback from your system, whether it is through surveys or questions and emails you ask, social media, any way that you can know how you’re performing.

By Nadia Kamil , Technical & Project Manager at Comelite IT Solutions