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Social media savvy necessary for sustaining online business

By Sara J. Faqir - Dec 04,2022 - Last updated at Dec 04,2022

Representative image (Photo courtesy of unsplash/Roberto Cortese)

AMMAN — Taking their cue from the pandemic-induced online business boom and bust of several entrepreneurial projects, industry insiders say that efficient social media marketing and maintaining a consistent online presence are the key ingredients for success. 

According to Aziz Madi, a professor at the German Jordanian University, “By definition, a successful online business should always offer ‘something more’. We call that ‘Online Value Proposition’ (OVP). OVP could take many shapes: A lower online price, a wider online variety of products [more choices], an online community, or more detailed online content.” 

Online businesses come with their own sets of challenges, Madi said. 

“First, businesses need to understand their online customers more, and need to understand how those customers use traditional channels. Customer journeys are becoming more complex and include a mixture of online and offline channels,” he said.

Businesses also need to invest in online channels and mobile applications, Madi  added. 

“Today, customers do not only need a mobile application, but they need one that is user-friendly and customised to their needs and usage patterns. And finally, the main challenge is to win customers’ trust. This can be done by offering world-class customer service, and a ‘wow’ customer experience on all of their channels.”

 Ali Hamzeh, 20, a business administration student who ventured into the field of online businesses, spoke with The Jordan Times about his experience and the importance of online marketing. 

There is a direct correlation between efficient social media marketing and the success of online businesses, according to Hamzeh. 

“For an online business to succeed in today’s market, they must have all essential business qualities in addition to a significant online presence,” he said. 

Ayman Majali and Noor Abu Awwad are the founders of an online business that sells custom-made neon signs.

“Competitors in the business are one of the challenges we faced. We overcome these challenges by maintaining high-quality products and continuously engaging our customers through our social media channels,” Ayman said. 

The two say that they constantly publish on Instagram, whether it’s a post, a story, or a reel; they use all of the tools at their disposal. They also create themes for any event that might take place in order to satisfy all types of audiences.  

Amjad Al Saifi, founder of an online cosmetics business, told The Jordan Times that “consistency is key to mastering anything, and that applies to maintaining an online business”. 

He also highlighted the importance of influencer marketing and how it helps promote the business. On the other hand, he emphasised the importance of using a multitude of marketing techniques rather than depending on just one.

Economist Hosam Ayesh elaborated on the reasons why some online businesses fail.

“Some of the many reasons as to why such business setups fail are encapsulated in the nature of what is being sold, the quality of these items and the inability to check the quality of the items, in addition to the after-sale relationship with consumers,” Ayesh said.

Jordanians also have fears of using money online. This can be represented in the use of credit cards or other online payment options due to fraud concerns and technological illiteracy, he said. 

“An absence of a lenient return policy is also another factor. This means being strict with less ability to give back items or replace them,” Ayesh noted. 

“Lastly, and most significantly, businesses set themselves up for failure with low evaluations in terms of online reviews,” he added.

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