Bitcatcha – Online Presence DIY https://www.bitcatcha.com Everything You Need To Know About Creating An Online Presence Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:09:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 How The Malaysian SME Can Get Online – The Fast and Easy Way! https://www.bitcatcha.com/blog/2018/how-malaysian-sme-can-get-online-fast-and-easy-way/ https://www.bitcatcha.com/blog/2018/how-malaysian-sme-can-get-online-fast-and-easy-way/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:05:27 +0000 https://www.bitcatcha.com/?p=93513 You know that the best businesses survive by being adaptable. The world changes faster every year and you have to keep up in order to continue to do business.   Consider how ten years ago, no one would suspect that you can do almost everything through a smartphone, that your car could be computerised, and […]

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You know that the best businesses survive by being adaptable. The world changes faster every year and you have to keep up in order to continue to do business.

 

Consider how ten years ago, no one would suspect that you can do almost everything through a smartphone, that your car could be computerised, and the Internet would play such a big role in your life.

 

 

Should Your Malaysia SME Go Digital?

 

You might wonder if there is a need to take your business online. Here are some reasons why your SME could use a digital platform:

 

  1. Say Goodbye To Paper MoneyNowadays there are so many ways to pay for things that don’t involve using physical money. Debit cards, credit cards and online banking make payment so easy. And new developments are coming.

     

    The mobile wallet, which is widely used in urban China and India, is making waves here in Malaysia. Local banks like CIMB, Hong Leong and Maybank are partnering with services like Alipay, WeChat Pay and Samsung Pay to make it more convenient for all consumers with smartphones.

     

    Even Axiata has launched Boost e-wallet where consumers can get heavy discounts at different food trucks, pasar malams and food courts in Klang Valley.

  2.  

  3. Our Government Is Recognising the SignsThe Malaysian Government has seen the coming tsunami of new technology headed our way and have taken steps to encourage the adoption of e-commerce:

     

    • Bank Negara is taking steps to enhance online payment, including waiving online instant transfer fees and increasing cheque fees.
    • Malaysia, together with Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group, recently launched a Digital Free Trade Zone to encourage local business who have online businesses to export their products
    • Various programmes have been started by government agencies SME Corp and MDEC to help boost the digital economy in Malaysia including eRezeki, eUsahawan, eLadang as well as e-payment and certification programmes.

  4.  

  5. Going Online is Really Big BusinessA successful business is all about the bottom line and the payoff is big. Consider these success stories of local entrepreneurs who have made it in both the local and international market:

     

 

 

But where to begin?

 

So now that I’ve got your interest, you might be wondering about your next step. Maybe you want to launch out into this brave new world or you want to improve your online presence even further. But where to begin?

 

Exabytes, a local SME providing web-hosting services, contacted us to give us a tour to show what they can do to help.

 

 

Introducing Exabytes – A Guided Tour

 

Who is Exabytes?

 

 

Exabytes Awards

Awards won by Exabytes featured at the Penang HQ

 

 

Established in 2001, Exabytes is a local award-winning SME. They boast an impressive resume with 75,000 customers from 121 countries and 30% of Malaysia’s web hosting market share. Their vision is to help SMEs grow their business online and achieve their dreams as a trusted digital partner.

 

They have recently been expanding getting 15% of Singapore’s web-hosting market share with acquisitions like Usonyx and Signetique. They have secure data centres in Menara AIMS, Malaysia as well as Singapore, Denver (United States) and Kuningan (Indonesia).

 

Exabytes are doing lots for local businesses and the tech community:

 

 

Chan Kee Siak and The Exabytes Cockroach Team

Chan Kee Siak and The Exabytes Cockroach Team

 

 

  1. The recently launched Exabytes Cockroach Tech-Funding Program helps raise local tech startups get off the ground that will be strong, adaptable survivors just like the pesky insect.
  2. They are organising the Malaysia Website Awards (MWA) 2017 to recognise and reward the work of the best web developers, designers and agencies across the country.
  3. The Exabytes Internet Marketing Summit, recently held in Cyberjaya, connected various experienced Digital Marketers and Gurus with local techpreneurs to provide insights on the current situation and discuss strategies and advancements of the Digital Marketing Industry.

 

 

The Man Behind Exabytes – Mr. Chan Kee Siak

 
 

Daren Low having a moment with Mr. Chan Kee Siak

Daren Low having a moment with Mr. Chan Kee Siak, CEO of Exabytes, at their Penang HQ

 
 

We took some time to meet Mr. Chan Kee Siak, the founder and CEO of Exabytes, at their headquarters in Penang. Born to a family of hawkers, this self-taught entrepreneur built this company since he was 19 years old and is very familiar with the trials and tribulations of starting your own business.

 

He currently serves as president of the Internet Alliance, Malaysia, a networking platform for different entrepreneurs to share valuable learning and expertise amongst Internet leaders and the local director of Founder Institute, a global idea-stage accelerator and startup launch programme.

 

He has also co-founded two other service platforms, EasyStore, an online e-commerce platform for those who want to start an online store, and Malaysia’s first integrated transport service EasyParcel.

 

 

The Customer Experience – A look at Exabytes Customer Support Centre

 

 

Exabytes Dedicated Customer Service Team Hard At Work

Exabytes Dedicated Customer Service Team Hard At Work

 

 

Our next stop was Exabytes’ 24/7 customer support centre in Penang. Their service team comprises of three different teams for different types of hosting accounts: shared hosting, dedicated servers and reseller accounts. They are also joined by a tech team of engineers from Menara AIMS for any technical issues that may arise.

 

 

Result Monitors of Support and Tech Team

Result Monitors of Support and Tech Team

 

 

They showed us how every resolved ticket comes with a voting system to rate their service. All votes are recorded and consolidated into meaningful numbers and goals to improve customer satisfaction.

 

 

The Tech Tour – Inside Exabyte’s Data Centre in Menara AIMS, Kuala Lumpur

 

 

Exabytes Datacenter at Menara AIMS

Daren touring the Data Centre with manager & system engineer

 

 

Finally, we were introduced to the Data Centre in Menara AIMS itself. Exabytes’ site claims that they manage over 1,000 servers with more than 100,000 websites and over 1,000,000 email accounts. We learned that this centre is currently rated as a Tier III centre offering 99.98% availability but is going to be upgraded to the highest level of Tier IV in future.

 

 

Exabytes Cloud server

A look at some of their tech equipment

 

 

While we couldn’t get photos of their server racks due to security reasons, we managed to sneak a peek at some of their new, unplugged cloud hosting servers.

 

 

Datacenter Operation Room

Exabyte’s Tech Team keeping a close eye on the servers in the operation room

 

 

We had a chance to view their Operation Room where trained engineers watch over the servers in shifts every hour of the day to be ready to immediately tackle any technical issues that may arise.

 

 

Our Thoughts On Exabytes

 

 

Daren Low, Chan Kee Siak and Vickson Tan (Exabytes Penang Tour)

Daren Low with Chan Kee Siak, CEO (centre), and Vickson Tan, Vice-President of Marketing (left)

 

 

At the end of the tour, we were convinced that Exabytes, as a local SME themselves, understand the local culture and their involvement in the local entrepreneur community keeps their finger on the pulse of the Malaysian SME environment.

 

They also demonstrated that their ready infrastructure equips them to be a leading web hosting company in South East Asia. Links to service companies like EasyStore also give them active presence in other countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan.

 

Exabytes primarily offers three basic services to the SME owner:

 

  1. Business Email Hosting (From only RM17.99 monthly)EBizMailPro provides webmail service that provides excellent and secure dissemination of emails as well as excellent synchronization of calendars, tasks and contents across various digital devices and Microsoft Outlook. Learn more.
  2. Website Design Services (From only RM39 per month)Instant Website provides a unique, custom-made website that fits your needs. It also comes with technical assistance, Marketing services and expert phone call consultation. Learn more.
  3. All-In-One Website Builder (RM23.29 – RM69.96 monthly)EBizPro, a drag-and-drop builder, comes with customizable templates that work on all digital platforms. This subscription includes professional email support. Learn more.

 

 

Getting Started – Practical Tips To Boost Your Business Online

 

At the end of the day, how you really build an effective online business depends on you.

 

But build it, you must. Think of the advantages! With your digital platform, you can provide personalised customer service at a more competitive rate with better convenience for your customers. You can also reach customers not just in Malaysia but overseas and all at a fraction of the cost!

 

One of the cheapest ways to do this is by adopting an effective and focused tool called email marketing. Through carefully crafted newsletters, you can reach everyone in your contact list and immediately keep them in the know and drive sales to your business.

 

Check out these helpful articles to really leave your mark with your target audience:

 

 

If you don’t mind spending a bit extra to let experts handle your online promotion, you can consider Exabytes Digital Marketing Services as well.

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5 Step Guide To Hiring A Freelance Social Media Manager https://www.bitcatcha.com/blog/2017/5-step-guide-hiring-freelance-social-media-manager/ https://www.bitcatcha.com/blog/2017/5-step-guide-hiring-freelance-social-media-manager/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 08:22:49 +0000 https://www.bitcatcha.com/?p=85992 This is a guest post by Maggie Aland from Fit Small Business.   There are over 3 billion monthly active users on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined. The popularity of social media plus the cost effectiveness of advertising on social media make it an attractive marketing platform for all types of businesses. As a result, […]

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This is a guest post by Maggie Aland from Fit Small Business.

 

There are over 3 billion monthly active users on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined. The popularity of social media plus the cost effectiveness of advertising on social media make it an attractive marketing platform for all types of businesses. As a result, social media management jobs in the US are expected to grow by 9 percent over the next decade. You’re going to have competition if you want to hire the best freelance social media manager.

 

That is why we put together this comprehensive guide to hiring a freelance social media manager.

 

In this article, we cover how to:

 

  1. Create a fabulous job advertisement to attract a freelance social media manager
  2. Develop a freelancer screening interview
  3. Host a contest or trial period to choose the right person
  4. Avoid scams
  5. Write a freelancer contract

 

Let’s get started.

 

 

5 Step Guide To Hiring A Freelance Social Media Manager

 

 

1. Create A Fabulous Job Ad

 

Hiring managers don’t always know how to craft the best job description or where to post it. Optimizing your job ad and posting it on a site like Indeed which gets a lot of job seeker traffic will increase the likelihood of candidates responding to your post instead of another.

 

Emerge from the sea of job advertisements. Follow our tips below and attract quality social media freelancers.

 

 

Share interesting tidbits about your company or team

 

Your job post on external freelance job boards serves as an advertisement, not just of the job, but of your company brand. Take the opportunity to sell your company. Resist the urge to only include basic information such as location, name, and industry. Instead, introduce your company in a way that excites candidates. Some sites like Monster even let you post pictures to show your workplace, team members and fun team activities. Let’s look at an example from AirBnB.

 
 

AirBnB Company Overview

(AirBnB’s introduction on a social media manager job ad)
Source: Buffer Social

 
 

In your job ad, like the one shown above, include details about what makes your company a fun or engaging place to work, what you do to make the world better or your customers’ lives easier, and what your company values are. At the very least, your description should pique the interest of applicants and might be enough to compel them to read the rest of your job post and apply

 

 

Keep the job title simple

 

While many companies try to make things interesting by coming up with creative job titles like “Rockstar Social Media Manager,” we’d recommend that you keep the title clear-cut so that your job ad can be found. For example, the job title, Social Media Manager, is more common, and job seekers are more likely to find your job ad if it has a common title.

 

The title “Social Media Manager” brings up over 2,000 job postings on Indeed. In contrast, “Social Media Rockstar” brings up just 18 job postings on Indeed.

 

Unique job titles are most likely to rank beneath titles that exactly match the keywords searched. Therefore, use a straightforward job title like “Social Media Manager” to increase your odds of being found by quality freelancers. Candidates often use a set of common keywords when searching for a specific job on online job boards. So make it easy for them to find your ad.

 

 

Describe the fun team members they’ll work with

 

Briefly include information about your team. Many social media specialists are highly sociable. In fact, they may have chosen this line of work because they love connecting with people. Knowing that they will be a part of a team and not work alone can add to the appeal of your freelancer job advertisement.

 

 

Be clear about where the work will be done

 

It is important that you clearly state whether the job requires relocation or if work needs to be done at a particular site. Relocation can be a deal breaker for many qualified applicants, especially those who have a family. On the other hand, if the job is remote, advertise that. Jobs that are 100 percent remote attract many more applicants, so let them know if working offsite is an option.

 

 

Provide an overview of the position

 

A long boring list of job duties and daily tasks alone can snuff out whatever excitement you’ve managed to arouse. Instead, offer a bird’s eye view of what’s expected from a social media manager. Define the purpose of the position, and how it helps the company achieve its goals. The best candidates are savvy enough to draw inferences about daily tasks as well as the tools used based on the overview alone. A good example of a job overview is shown below.

 
 

Sample Job Overview

(Sample job overview)
Source: Slack

 
 

Your job ad should provide a quick rundown of tasks using action words, such as:

 

  • Spearheads social media marketing campaigns and strategies
  • Maintains the brand message across social media platforms
  • Creates content in various media formats to drive engagement and conversion
  • Uses metrics and analytical tools to improve and maximize campaigns
  • Conducts research on competitors
  • Works across the organization with brand managers, graphic designers and other content creators

 

The key here is to keep the bullet list short to avoid overwhelming candidates. You can discuss specifics of each of these job duties during a screening interview.

 

 

Clearly define job requirements

 

A clearly defined set of requirements helps candidates accurately assess whether they have what it takes to be successful. For example, do you require the freelancer to have a marketing degree? Clear requirements help weed out unqualified job seekers and reduce irrelevant applications that you would otherwise have to look through. As a result, you get a healthy pool of qualified applicants. See an example of clear job requirements below.

 
 

Clearly Define Job Requirements

(Job description with clear requirements)
Source: LinkedIn

 
 

It also helps if you are clear about which requirements are in fact required and which are merely preferred or nice-to-have. You don’t want applicants to think a nice-to-have skill, like familiarity with Hootsuite, is required as they may not apply if they don’t have that. Adding a preferred skills section calls out your ideal candidates, and gives them more reasons to hit the apply button, but doesn’t weed out otherwise well-qualified freelancers.

 

 

Advertise salary and perks

 

Indeed’s Salary Tool shows that social media managers make around $17.84 per hour. However, you will want to advertise an hourly rate since that’s more common when working with a freelancer.

 

Over 50 percent of US companies do not provide salary details in job ads. If you want to improve applicant numbers, however, consider publishing salary information as part of your ad for a freelancer. Research reveals that including wage details in job ads leads to a 30 percent increase in candidates.

 
 

Advertise Salary and Perks

(Average social media manager hourly rate)
Source: Indeed.com

 
 

Furthermore, consider including a few benefits as part of your overall compensation package. A
Glassdoor survey reports that nearly 60 percent of respondents say that they strongly consider perks when accepting an offer. Perks and benefits sound particularly attractive to freelancers because they know that you are not required by law to offer benefits. It gives the impression that you are a generous employer.

 

If your budget permits, here are the typical perks given to freelance workers:

 

  • Performance bonus in cash for completing a project early or exceeding project goals
  • Paid time off after working for a specific period of time such as 90 or 120 days
  • Free tickets, trips, meals, and/or local accommodations

 

 

Post your job

 

To get the most exposure for your job posting, post it in several places. This includes major job posting sites, such as Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. You also will benefit from posting your job to sites that cater to freelancers, such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, and PeoplePerHour.

 

 

2. Develop An Effective Freelancer Screening Interview

 

The interview is your opportunity to evaluate potential freelancers as well as provide more information about your company and the job. In a typical employee interview, the interviewer asks questions that gauge the candidate’s knowledge about the company. However, that rarely happens in an interview with a freelancer. Unless you’re a well-known company with multiple locations, stick to questions that assess the candidate’s’ background and technical skills.

 

Here are a four questions you can use or modify. These will provide a good picture of the candidate’s experience and competency in social media management.

 

 

1. What strategy do you use to attract followers on social media?

 

If you ask about the candidate’s latest achievements on social media, you’ll most likely get answers that involve improvement in a number of key metrics such as likes, followers, and reach. Brand management expert Emad Abou Elgheit writes that numbers alone do not reflect actual skill level because growth can be due to a host of other factors including strong PR, huge advertising budgets, and a strong personal brand.

 

Instead, ask for the candidate’s general strategy. You want someone who knows how to:

 

  • Research and find the right keywords
  • Connect with influencers
  • Identify and leverage trends
  • Come up with relevant hashtags

 

These are the basics in growing your fan base.

 

 

2. What metrics do you use to determine whether your campaigns are successful?

 

The ideal candidate will focus on metrics related to engagement such as number of shares, comments, and mentions. The individual will also look at website traffic coming from social media channels.

 

In addition, the ideal candidate should mention the ultimate metric: conversion rate. Afterall, you are putting money on social media marketing to boost your bottom line. Therefore, this question helps separate the beginners from the real pros. Keep in mind, you are investing in a social media manager to engage customers and drive conversions. A good freelancer will bring you thousands of followers and hundreds of likes, but a great one will engage customers and convert them to clients.

 

 

3. How would you reach out to influencers in our domain?

 

Experienced candidates know the importance of connecting with industry influencers to attract more followers. They are adept at quickly identifying social media personalities that are valuable to your audience. The strategy is also simple:

 

  • follow the influencer
  • share the influencer’s posts from time to time
  • don’t forget to mention the influencer on each post
  • wait for the influencer to express gratitude for sharing
  • send a direct message or an email
  • propose collaborative efforts

 

If the candidate provides a response with more or less the same strategy, then you’re talking to someone suitable for the position. This shows that the person can grow a social media following from scratch.

 

Whereas candidates with lack of experience in social media management will definitely struggle to answer this question. The thought of connecting with influencers to grow their audience may not have crossed their minds because it requires more sophisticated skills than the usual scheduling, comment replying, and content posting.

 

 

4. Describe how you’ve helped a brand improve its social media presence?

 

This question allows the candidate to reflect and expand upon their responses to the questions above. You want the freelance applicant to talk about their experience so you can determine whether they have actually executed these skills in a professional setting or merely read about them online. This question should prompt candidates to talk about attracting followers, connecting with influencers, and analyzing the right KPIs.

 

 

3. Host a Contest or Run a Paid Trial Period

 

Many freelancer websites like Freelancer and PeoplePerHour provide an option to host a contest for a fixed sum of money. You offer a prize and only pay it out to the freelancer who ‘wins’ by doing the best job. It’s a great way to test many freelancer’s skills before you hire one individual.

 

Or consider running a paid trial period of 30-90 days, especially if you’re hiring a remote freelancer. A trial period, which may be frowned upon in employee-employer relationships, is generally accepted in the freelancing world. While the freelancer interview questions can give you a good idea of the candidate’s capabilities, you won’t know if the candidate is the perfect match for you and your team until you work with them.

 

With a trial period, you get to do the following:

 

  • observe the freelancer’s work ethic and values
  • gauge the freelancer’s ability to learn your processes and systems
  • assess whether the freelancer will work well together with you and your team
  • evaluate the freelancer’s technical, creative and decision-making skills
  • appraise the freelancer’s overall suitability to do the work

 

With these benefits, it is worth the effort to sell the proposition to your top candidates. Let them know that the contest or trial period offers advantages to both parties. On their side, they can promote their skills and assess whether your company, team, and opportunity help them meet their career objectives. And you benefit by being able to try-before-you-buy.

 

Trial periods usually run between 30-90 days. You’ll have more than enough opportunity to get to know the successful candidate personally and professionally in that time.

 

 

4. Avoiding Scams

 

A word of caution while you’re searching for a freelancer. Freelance websites often have a small percentage of scammers who appear to have great prices and portfolios. But some ‘work the system’ by requesting payment up front and not delivering.

 

For example, on Guru, a freelancer can claim a project is complete and submit an invoice that is auto paid. If you’re not careful, the freelancer will get paid even if you haven’t approved their work. Yes it can be remedied most of the time, but in order not to be scammed, clients should request references, view a portfolio and read other client reviews. Even five star ratings are foolproof, but they’re a good start.

 

So use the tips in step 5 to prevent being scammed, and check out the freelancers’ prior clients and client ratings before you agree to work with anyone in particular.

 

 

5. Draft a Contract Once the Freelancer is Selected

 

Once you choose the best social media manager freelancer for your business, make sure you protect yourself, regardless of what freelancer website or payment software you use. Consider:

 

  • drafting a contract with key deliverables and milestones / metrics spelled out
  • connecting payments to project milestones or accomplishments
  • using an escrow account (the best freelance websites provide this option) for payment

 

That way you as the client have a better chance of getting the work completed, done on time, and not getting scammed. And if you do have a dispute with the freelancer, you’ll have solid documentation if you need help resolving a work product or payment issue.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Social media’s rising popularity and cost-efficiency make it an attractive marketing channel for small, medium, and big businesses. Many companies enlist the services of a freelance social media resources to help them increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and fuel sales. If you’re looking to do the same, start by writing a great job ad, conducting an effective interview, offering a contest or trial period and developing a sound contract. And by all means, don’t get scammed.

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