The invention of the internet has brought a new meaning to how we do business. Now, any enterprise, from graphic design firms to plumbing companies can conduct their work online and not only reach a broader audience, but also improve their advertising, streamline processes, and save money by having employees work from home.
Yes, the internet is a wonderful creation, but as the digital landscape continues to evolve, there are always new things to learn and pitfalls to avoid. Here are a few tips on how to navigate the internet as your business continues its digital evolution.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Social Media
Social media can do wonders for your business and your profitability. It allows you to get your message or products to the masses, develop your brand, and it gives customers a way to interact more closely with your company. However, social media must be used correctly, so you will want to hire a dedicated and experienced social media expert to handle the task as they can bring a wealth of knowledge. That way, your message stays on point. If an employee ever leaves the company, delete their login info so they can’t post what isn’t planned.
On social media, you also want to keep an eye on the frequency of your postings. Post too little, and people forget about you; too much, and you can annoy your customers. Instead, focus on quality over quantity. Putting out a single attention-grabbing post once per day can get you the attention you desire. Get some ideas by looking at similar companies and the kinds of things they post.
Keep in mind that social media is not a one-way street. The point is not only to try to get business but to open up a two-way road of communication. When customers comment on your post, make it a point to respond either with a helpful link or response.
Navigate Bad Reviews
Whether it happens over social media or over the phone, it is inevitable that you will get negative reviews. These days, people are very opinionated, and they have many digital outlets to provide that feedback, including your own site. However, it is important to remember that you must respond accordingly to bad reviews because not only will it save your reputation, but the feedback could help you to grow as an organization.
When you get negative feedback, don’t ignore it, but make it a point to reach out to the customer and assist with their issue. When you do, remain calm and listen carefully to understand their side of the story and offer a solution. In many cases, if you help, the customer will often amend their review while showing their appreciation.
When customers post negative reviews on your website, don’t fight back. Instead, apologize and then either provide a solution or the contact information of your customer service team. You might also decide to add a Q&A section on your site where customers can post product questions and your team or other customers can answer. If a customer can see their question answered there, they could be quicker to buy.
Cybersecurity is Key
While the internet can help our business thrive and stay connected, there is an ugly underbelly in the form of cybercrime. Every employee in your organization should be aware of how to conduct business securely in order to avoid creating vulnerabilities. For instance, proper passwords should be implemented that include a complicated mix of letters, numbers, and special characters so they cannot be easily guessed.
If your business collects consumer info or accepts online payments, then security must be the number one priority. Backup servers need to be in place, and they need to be updated regularly. Antivirus software should also be installed on every system so that if a threat does find its way in, it can be eliminated on the spot.
Employees should be trained on safe browsing practices, and if necessary, websites without business purpose may have to be blocked. Your staff should never download anything onto their computers unless it comes from a legitimate company source. Finally, have weekly security meetings where all employees are educated on the various forms of cybercrime, from phishing scams to spyware, so they know a risk when they see it.
The internet has forever changed how we do business on a global scale. Take the proper precautions, and your online business will thrive.
Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t frantically updating his news feeds, Noah likes to shut off his devices, head to the beach and read detective novels from the 1930s.