Even start-ups operating in traditionally off-line sectors now need to consider their online presence, or risk losing out to a general public which is more connected and more technologically savvy than ever.
Trying to cobble together your digital strategy on the go can often be a recipe for disaster, with damage to a businesses’ trust and reputation, happening at a time when they are asking consumers or other businesses to take a chance on them over their more established competitors.
We’re excited by the vibrant UK start-up scene which continues to produce new and exciting businesses, disrupting countless sectors. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing haphazard or disjointed digital strategies. A proper online plan is best made at the outset for any start-up, although this must of course, be flexible and adaptable to change.
That said, we have created some top tips for start-ups on the first things any SME should consider when it comes to their online presence and digital strategy.
1. Make your online presence reflect you
Having a strong online presence is great, but only if it’s relevant and truly reflects your business’ outlook and values. After all, this is your shop window which the public will be peering into, and a distorted impression can be damaging.
2. Have a strong social strategy and stick to it
If you’re going to commit to social media, then it must be maintained. Social media must be engaged with, and any impression that you’re ignoring your community could wreck the reputation building process. If you’re going to provide a steady stream of engaging content, make sure you plan far enough in advance so that it isn’t rushed and poorly written. Choose a style that truly reflects your brand identity and stick to it, and make sure you’re reactive enough to adapt to any major events which could disrupt your social media plans.
3. Don’t waste time on the unnecessary
Not every start-up needs to have a presence everywhere. Having a website which works well on both mobile and desktop is vital, but not every company will need a Facebook page, or a Tumblr, or even a LinkedIn. Before you start signing up for everything under the sun, think about who your audience is and what communities you think will be useful to engage with. It’s better to invest your resources into what will drive the most engagement.
4. Build your reputation on a strong domain name foundation
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of an eye catching name on which to build your business. However, it’s just as important to make sure you have a strong domain name registered to accompany it. Make sure you alone occupy your online space by registering your own domain name, and create a strong foundation from which to build your new digital reputation.