In this digital age, it is almost necessary for companies and organisations to promote themselves on the glorious world wide web. From a small Etsy shop selling earrings to a large corporation, digital marketing and online promotion is essential for making sales, engaging with customers and growing a brand.
Don’t have a website. How are people going find out about you? I recently needed to find an open all night pharmacy and you can guess who I chose – that’s right, the one at the top of my Google search. Same for plumbers, food takeaways and how-to videos.
Now I am not saying that word of mouth is dead, but these days, it is all too convenient to find what you need with a quick search. So what about the organisations who can’t afford to hire someone to build them a website? How do businesses who have no social media experience or platform share their message and engage with customers online? How do charities spread the word online without spending money to hire a digital specialist?
This is where my article really begins, and starts to tell you why we need to support others.
You don’t need to be a digital marketer, social media strategist or designer to help those who need support to grow an online community, you just need a couple of hours a week and a willingness to learn. Have your own Twitter, access to the incredibly user-friendly design website Canva.com and know how to post on Facebook? Well I am sure a local charity group would really welcome your support to help them at least get online and get some followers!
If you are a digital marketer, or social media guru, then even better. You have the skills in the bag. Now you just need to establish whether you have the free time to support someone else with their online growth.
Last year I started to think about this, and since then I have done a number of things for organisations that I know they really value. Because of this, they have been able to establish themselves online, share their cause, and help others with their messages. On a more personal side, volunteering really does make you feel better than any new pair of shoes might, because you can see it working and helping on so many levels.
How you can make a start
Live near a local small independent shop that you often visit and buy from, why not ask them if they want some support to market their goods via social media? Set up a coffee hour and teach, develop and support. Many large charitable organisations have a section on their website where they call for volunteers to help grow their network. All you need to do is apply, and then commit whatever time you can to help. An hour of scheduling tweets via HootSuite for the week will make a huge difference to a charity that previously had no social presence.
Talk to people. Know someone who needs help? Offer.
Plus, I am not limiting this support to established organisations. Many older people would love to use their iPads to Skype their globetrotting grandchildren, but just don’t know how. You can make this a possibility, and all it may take is two evenings of your time.
Make a late New Year’ resolution and commit to helping someone, or something, get online and engage with their community this year.