When to go Digital
So if you are a small business who has started sometime in the last 5-10 years, you’re probably going to already have a presence on social media. Perhaps a facebook page or instagram account, maybe you even sell through etsy. However, if your business is maybe 10 years or older, and you just haven’t had the time or money to invest in the right infrastructure to find an online presence, you should be asking this question!
So when is the right time for your business to go digital?
If you had asked me this 10 years ago I likely would have given you the same short answer I’m giving you today:
The reasoning is digital real estate. URLs are essentially digital real estate, however the same could be said for twitter account names (shortened to handles,) facebook page URLs, and Instagram account names (again, usually shortened to handles.) While you don’t pay for a twitter, facebook or instagram account, many early adapters saw the potential to make a buck off a branded URL. While the social media platforms now require some kind of verification for the bigger brands, if you’re just a local business who shares your name with another business perhaps across the globe, you might need to compromise on your handle.
Back in the old days of the web, a few people made quite a bit of money buying top level domains and selling them back to brands. This is continuing to make a lot of money for some. Check out this article for further reading on how lucrative cybersquatting can be.
My own example is a fairly common experience. I got in fairly early with most of my social media/online presence. I have had my twitter and facebook accounts for about 4 years now and have run them both experimentally with some measure of success. I started out with a website though. Back in 2015 was when I purchased my domain ambernestdesign.com. The obvious question you should be asking here is “Why not ambernest.com” or “ambernest.com.au”
The answer is pretty straight forward. The former was already taken, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to give it up unless I pay their price to acquire it. The latter, well, since I have an ABN I could do it in theory, but having run this site for 3 years on this domain, the switch would confuse branding, albeit only slightly since I could simply start redirecting this URL. Either way I’m keeping my options open.
So if you have not already got an online presence, be it just social media or the whole hog, you should begin right away. Start with social media. If you’re reading this you are probably already somewhat familiar with the platforms, and business pages aren’t much different to run. It takes a long time to build an audience and even when you have thousands, engagement is difficult to master so the sooner you’re there the better.
If you’re having a hard time with branded content to feed the social media beast, or you’re ready to move onto your own website you should talk to me about branding, domain registration, and the right kind of site for you.