Get the message across

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 June, 2012, 12:00am


Some serviced offices offer seminars for their tenants to help improve the efficiency of their businesses.

Bridges organised an evening seminar outlining ways in which small companies can use the internet to market themselves more effectively.

Presenter Dickson Chan, general manager of offerU, a company that offers web marketing and design services, says that smaller companies, with limited resources, need to consider carefully which e-channels best serve their marketing purposes.

He suggests that the website is a vital tool and that to cover the basics, companies should also contemplate making the most of Facebook and electronic direct marketing.

'My suggestion is that you should always focus on those [things] that you can handle really well and execute well,' he says. The website should be built to optimise the search engine process. A well-structured website with substantial, genuine and well-written content will allow the website to be displayed prominently when people search for specific items.

'[Any website of] substance will have an upper hand in e-marketing,' Chan says. The link or button should lead to relevant content. 'The robot crawling the websites will not know what is meant by 'click to learn more'. The topic should always be added, such as 'click to learn more about us',' he says.

To achieve optimal results, it is vital to review the website regularly, tweak the product and continue to review it. Updates should be frequent and incremental, and the search engine needs to be informed about them by receiving sitemaps and spider paths. Robots cannot recognise pictures, so illustrations should be related to the text and appropriately captioned.

Facebook is another popular venue for company promotions, but Chan says that 'Facebook is to share, not to sell'. He says people refer to Facebook for ideas and opinions and would not buy products there. He advises using a big cover photo, regularly updating news, albums, events and announcements of upcoming campaigns, and put on social messages.

'Do not sell, use commercial slogans and announce products and services,' Chan says. 'Do not create fake accounts.' His advice is to include 'like' and 'share' on the website and 'vote' to follow up an event. 'The value is much higher than a casual I 'like',' he says, adding that simple games are popular.

To catch people's attention, you can go to Facebook pages of related businesses and 'like' them. 'Give more love to others and it will come back,' Chan says. He adds that EDM is most direct, and it should be well segmented, personalised and sent out from Tuesday to Thursday. He says: 'Do not use promoting words, or spam words, and treat seriously requests to unsubscribe.'