- SimplyBiz -

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Pledge

Welcome to SimplyBiz®

This is a place for you to find mentorship in other business owners and to be a mentor to others by participating in discussions and sharing your insights and experiences. It’s also a platform where you can build a beneficial, like-minded network and promote your business.


As a member of SimplyBiz.co.za I pledge:

To be real (no pseudonyms)
To be open to advice and support
To offer advice and support (and be kind when I do)

SimplyBiz FAQs

Each week the SimplyBiz team receives hundreds of emails from members. Here are our answers to some of the more common questions.

Please read these FAQs carefully. They outline what we consider acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and content. We may update the FAQs from time to time, so please read them regularly.

These FAQs are answered in the spirit of the terms of use of the site.

Can I upload my own articles, guides, tools, videos or podcasts?
In future you may be able to upload your own articles, guides, tools, videos and podcasts too.

Where can I find the question that I asked?
When posing a question, you should select one of the categories. The categories are related to the main headers on the site, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

You can look for your questions in the category where you posted your questions under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions posted under this category will be listed here.

Should your question start to trend on the platform, you may also find your question on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

You will also find your question under 'Username’s Contributions as a Discussion Starter' on your profile page.

How do I start a discussion?
You are able to start a discussion by using the 'Ask a Question' tab.

Select a category for your discussion from one of the main headers, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

Depending on the category that you have selected, click on the appropriate header and you will find your new discussion under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions started under this category will be noted here.

Should your discussion start to trend on the platform, you will find your discussion on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

Where can I find the comment that I posted?
If you made a comment on an article, it will be in the comments section below the article that you have commented on. If you responded to another member's question or discussion, it will be in the category where the question of discussion was started.

For example: If you asked: 'How do I find a reputable accountant' under 'Guidance on Finance', your question will be under the 'Questions' tab.

Why has my comment been deleted?
SimplyBiz welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and assist business owners in growing their business. Comments must be relevant to the business community.

We will not condone the following:
• Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
• Sexism
• Homophobia
• Religious intolerance
• Cyber bullying
• Hate speech
• Derogatory language
• Comments inciting hate or violence

You must not make or encourage comments that are:
• defamatory, false or misleading;
• insulting, threatening or abusive;
• obscene or of a sexual nature; or
• offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

We strive to make the SimplyBiz community a safe and welcoming space for all.

SimplyBiz reserves the right to:
• remove any comments that do not meet our requirements; and
• ban users who repeatedly infringe these rules and the agreed terms of use.

Our policy is to remove posts that goes against our terms and conditions and pledge, or that has been reported to us by a member of the site. If you feel a message you posted has been removed without justification, you can reword it and resubmit it on the site. We will also remove replies to, or anything that contains a copy of, the comment that has been removed.

What should I do if I find a comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate?
We strongly support the SimplyBiz community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you feel that a comment, question or discussion does not comply with the intent of the site (to be a niche business platform for business owners) or our terms of use, please contact SimplyBiz with full details of where the inappropriate content is located.

The SimplyBiz team also reviews the platform from time to time to maintain an environment conducive to constructive business conversations.

Should you find any comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate, you may contact us on:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

We will assess your concerns against our terms of use and our pledge at our sole discretion.

Please notify us only of serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.

Can I let other people use my account to make comments?
No. Please keep your login details (username and password) to yourself and do not let others use your account.

Why is there a 1 000-word limit for comments under articles?
We have a word limit to encourage users to make their point concisely.

What is the difference between the questions section of the website and comments under articles or blogs?
The questions section contains message boards where users can start threads about topics and discuss matters. Comments under articles or blogs reflect users' views about the article or blog and the aim is not always to start a discussion.

Does SimplyBiz have any guidelines on how to write comments?
Yes, we do. SimplyBiz members want to receive business advice and guidance from different points of view and experiences. We therefore recommend that you keep the following in mind when writing comments:
• Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just clicking on like or dislike.
• Once your comment is online, everyone with internet access can read it.
• Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood.
• Your comment may be rated by other users and categorised as the best or worst comment.
• Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others.
• Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language.
• English is the preferred business engagement language to be used.
• Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic.
• Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this site or the suspension or termination of any users.

If you would like to discuss the operation of the site with us, please email us on SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

Am I legally responsible for what I write?
Yes. Please note our terms of use and make sure you know what is acceptable.

What is the difference between unmoderated comments and comments moderated in advance?
Please note the following types of moderations:
• Unmoderated: This is when your comment is published on the site without being checked in advance.
• Moderated reactively: The SimplyBiz website is generally moderated reactively, in other words based on complaints received and when coming across issues in our engagement with the site. Moderating the site in this way means that many more business owners and members will have the opportunity to contribute to the articles, comments, questions and discussion.
• Fully moderated/Moderated in advance/Automoderated: There are sites that are fully moderated in advance because they are of a contentious nature. In this case your comment will be checked in advance before it appears on the site, based on content that has been automatically flagged.

Please note:
• The type of moderation used is at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.
• SimplyBiz has the discretion to remove comments (please see our terms of use).
• Your question, comment or discussion may have been removed because it did not comply with our terms of use, for legal reasons or following a complaint.

Are my comments, questions, discussions checked before they go online?
Yes, they may be. We have an unmoderated and a moderated in advance functionality on the site.

Why do I need to register to make a comment?
As per Seth Godin 'People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic'.

The site is intended to be a niche business community for business owners. To ensure that community members know who you are and what your business does, you must register and agree to our terms of use.

What will you do with my personal or business information such as my email address? Will you share it with external sources?
Personal and business information will be published on the site and becomes available to registered members on the SimplyBiz website so that they can contact you for business and networking.

SimplyBiz will never share your data with anyone. Registered members of the site may share your details with users outside the community without your written consent, but this is not encouraged.

Should this occur, please report it to SimplyBiz immediately.

Your information will be disclosed when we are obliged or permitted by law to do so. Also, if you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on SimplyBiz or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on SimplyBiz, any information SimplyBiz is has about you may be used to stop such behaviour. This may involve informing relevant third parties, such as law enforcement agencies, about the content and your behaviour. For the terms of use please click here.

Please read the terms of use before you accept them as you are giving the members on SimplyBiz access to your personal and business details and permission to contact you.

Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

If you change your mind, you can opt out of receiving marketing material from Nedbank on your profile edit page.

Remember that your comments (with your username) will be placed on the internet and in newsletters, as this is a public forum.

We make every effort to keep your personal data safe.

Will you use my details to send me marketing material?
Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

Registered members on the site can also contact you for business marketing and network purposes. You are able to block a member through the direct-message functionality.

What do I do if I have forgotten my password for my SimplyBiz registration account?
To reset your password please follow this link
. You will receive an email with further instructions. Please check your spam folder if it doesn't arrive in your inbox.

Please note that this email should arrive within a few seconds. If it does not, then it could be because your email provider quarantines automated emails to scan for viruses for a short period before sending them to you, in which case you will need to contact your IT team or email provider. If the registration email does not arrive at all, the most likely reason is that the email address you have entered is not registered on our system.

Remember to change your temporary password on your profile edit page for enhanced security.

How do I change my registered email address/postal address/other personal details?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and sign in if you have not already done so. You can then amend the details and click on 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

How do I unsubscribe from newsletters and direct messages?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and select your preference under the 'Newsletter Frequency' tab.

As this site is intended to be a business networking site, you will be able to block any newsletters or emails direct.

How do I register to post comments?
Go to the SimplyBiz site and click on 'Register' on the top bar of the screen. You will be taken to the 'Count Me In' page. If you have registered previously, click on 'Login' to access your account.

How do I add a link to my comment
You have to enter the web address in your comment before you post it. Explain why you are including the link – never post a link without context.

Note that external internet sites may be monitored to ensure that they do not contain any questionable or illegal content.

Any inappropriate content must be reported to SimplyBiz for removal and the member will be blocked in accordance with our terms of use.

Can I delete one of my comments?
Yes, you can. You need to contact the moderation team. You can contact them at simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

How do I delete my account?
To prevent people from creating multiple accounts for the purposes of abusing others or overrepresenting the support for a cause or position, you would need to register your account through your profile page.

Please note that once you have unregistered, you will have to create a new username and password if you wish to become a member again. Your previous username will be blocked, but previous comments will remain available.

How do I contact SimplyBiz?
Please contact us as follows:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

What do I do if I have an idea for an article, tool or guide I believe will benefit the business community?
You will need to pitch your idea to SimplyBiz under the most appropriate section by sending the relevant information to SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

The submission will be assessed at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.

Can I reproduce content from SimplyBiz.co.za?
No portion of this website may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent. Content in the format of articles, guides and discussion comments may, however, be shared. You are not permitted to share the personal contact information or business details beyond this platform, unless you have the written consent of the registered member to do so.

Nedbank takes no responsibility for any personal contact or business information shared without the consent of the individual or business concerned.

How do I find an individual, a business, a question asked or a discussion started?
Search using the SimplyBiz advanced search capabilities available throughout the site.

How secure are my personal details?

Simplybiz takes the security and privacy of your account details very seriously. We will never request your security information such as your password through emails. Passwords are not kept in a readable format and are therefore known only to you, the member.

SimplyBiz will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you are a registered member of the site, and remove it if you unsubscribe.

For safety reasons, however, SimplyBiz may store messaging transcript data (including message content, member names, times and dates) arising from the use of SimplyBiz.co.za.

You also have the responsibility to avoid unauthorised access. You can secure your personal details by playing according to the rules, never disclosing details of your account, username and password to other people.

Why has my account been suspended?
If you consistently do not comply with the terms of use of the site, your account will be suspended. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been suspended. Moderators will also suspend your account if you have registered with an unsuitable name. If you receive an email requesting a change to your details please make the changes and reregister your account.

Why has my account been banned?
If you register with a username or post inappropriate content as described in the terms of use of the site, your account will be banned. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been banned. Please ensure that that you choose a username that is not vulgar or offensive, and that your comments are appropriate to a business forum. We may also ban your account if you consistently do not comply with the terms of use and have complaints lodged against you.

What about confidentiality, privacy and contempt
Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without his or her express consent.

You should not write anything that could prejudice pending or ongoing court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or isbeing prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.

What should I not do?
• No solicitation or investigations
You must not use our site for:
‒ any sponsorship, petition, campaign, scheme, spamming users or sending a chain message; or
‒ an investigation such as tracing the whereabouts of any person.
• No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend:
‒ to be someone else (eg an expert, another user or anothermember of our team); or
‒ that you are unconnected to a topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
• No linking or copyright infringement
You must not insert links to websites (URLs) or submit content that would be an infringement of copyright.

Who can comment on articles, questions and discussion boards?
Only registered members are permitted to make comments on articles, ask questions and respond to questions.

How do I decide what is acceptable?
In deciding what is acceptable, please respect the spirit and tone of the FAQs, the pledge and the terms of use, as well as the best interest of the community.

Why would you suspend or terminate a member's registration?
We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
• If the terms of use, the pledge and additional notes found in these FAQs are breached.
• If fellow SimplyBiz members are spammed or harassed.
• If the spirit and tone of the community are not respected.
• If the conduct or comments of the member demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse SimplyBiz members.

The length of a suspension and whether or not we ban someone depend on the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.

If we suspend or ban your registration, you may not reregister or submit content without our permission, for example by using someone else's account.

Contact Request

TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY POLICY

These terms form a binding agreement between Nedbank Limited ('Nedbank') and any person who uses or accesses the SimplyBiz® site at www.simplybiz.co.za ('site').

1 Interpretation and definitions
1.1 Unless otherwise specified:
1.1.1 the term person refers to natural and legal persons or groups of persons;
1.1.2 the singular includes the plural, and vice versa;
1.1.3 words that have been defined in these terms will have the meaning attributed to them in these terms, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise; and
1.1.4 references to Nedbank, will, where necessary to limit its liability or enforce its rights, include its service providers, agents, clients, officers, shareholders, directors and employees.
1.2 The following words will have the following meanings:
1.2.1 'Use' means any of the following actions: accessing, viewing, sharing or commenting on the content on the site for any reason, and/or creating, posting, copying, editing or otherwise contributing content to the site.
1.2.2 'Content' means material in any form or of any kind, including text, files, documents, software, code, videos, photos, podcasts, member details or other multimedia works.
1.2.3 'Post', read as a verb, means submitting, uploading, creating, transmitting, disseminating, sharing, commenting, storing, copying or otherwise making content available on the site.
1.2.4 'User' is any person who merely visits the site, as well as a person who posts content in his/her capacity as a registered member or otherwise, and includes Nedbank employees.
1.2.5 'Member' is a registered user.

2 Nature and purpose of this site
2.1 This site is meant to enable members to provide guidance and information to one another on business-related topics, to access articles and download tools, to highlight Nedbank services and products, along with other exciting developments in the small-business industry, on a public platform.
2.2 The site allows members to profile themselves and their businesses for networking, document processing and mentoring purposes.
2.3 The content on this site may only be used for the purposes stated above.
2.4 The site contains, among others, the intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, of Nedbank and its members.
2.5 No portion of this site may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent.
2.6 Once a member has registered on the site, the following will apply:
2.6.1 You will be able to request contact with other members for information or networking purposes.
2.6.2 You can accept, ignore or decline a request to further a business relationship.
2.6.3 You can accept or decline a request Nedbank generated through the site to contact you with discussions, topics, content of interest or information regarding those of its products and services that it believes would be relevant to your business. You will be able to opt out or amend this feature.
2.6.4 Any contact uploaded or shared is done at the risk of members.
2.6.5 Interactions on this platform are classified as social media interactions and are governed by Nedbank's social media policies. Members are encouraged to bring to our attention any incorrect, defamatory or inappropriate content or conduct by sending an email to simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

3 Prohibited content
3.1 While Nedbank respects and encourages the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, in the interest of all users the content listed below may never be posted on the site. This applies regardless of whether you are posting your own content or using content created by a third party.
3.1.1 Content that in Nedbank's sole opinion is or can generally be considered to be obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic.
3.1.2 Content that is illegal.
3.1.3 Content that you know to be false, or is designed to be misleading.
3.1.4 Content that is defamatory, intimidating, harassing, hateful, injurious, racist, sexist, abusive, malicious or threatening to any person or group of persons.
3.1.5 Content that incites hatred or violence.
3.1.6 Content that is frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or posted in bad faith.
3.1.7 Content that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property rights of any person or legal entity. This includes content that you didn't create or that you do not have permission to post.
3.1.8 Content that constitutes or may constitute an invasion of the privacy rights of any person.
3.1.9 Content that constitutes or may constitute the wrongful or unlawful disclosure or publication of confidential information or trade secrets.
3.1.10 Content that is otherwise injurious to any person.
3.1.11 Content not expressly authorised by Nedbank that endorses, offers or promotes any product or services for commercial purposes.
3.1.12 Content that contains viruses, worms or other destructive code.
3.1.13 Content that may expose Nedbank or any other users to harm or liability.

4 Right of use
4.1 You may not use the site to do any of the following (whether for yourself or on behalf of any other person):
4.1.1 Impersonate any person.
4.1.2 Harass or intimidate any person.
4.1.3 Collect the personal information of any person.
4.1.4 Post spam.
4.1.5 Expose Nedbank or any other users to any harm or liability.
4.2 If you are unsure whether your conduct or content will amount to defamation or infringement or cause any harm you must not post it but obtain legal advice first. Nedbank is not in a position to assess whether this is the case and cannot advise you on this.
4.3 Nedbank reserves the right to remove any prohibited content and suspend or terminate your right to use the site immediately.

5 Desired behaviour
5.1 Make comments, share articles or repost opinions that are true or amount to fair comment and that are in the public interest in the context of the site community. If you fail to do this, you may be held liable for defamation (causing harm to a person or legal entity's reputation).
5.2 By posting content on the site you warrant and represent that you either created, own or otherwise have the right to use or post that content.
5.3 You warrant that any content that you post does not infringe any party's intellectual property or personal rights, including, but not limited to, his/her/its patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy or other personality rights. You also warrant that your use of the content or posting thereof constitutes fair use or fair comment or truth that is in the public interest.

6 Complaints
6.1 Any product or service complaints about non-Nedbank products must be directed to the product or service provider in question to ensure resolution.
6.2 Any product or service complaints about Nedbank should be directed to the correct channels within Nedbank.

7 Licence
7.1 By posting content on the site, you grant Nedbank a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual and worldwide licence to use your content in connection with the operation of the site and compiling information on its products and/or services.
7.2 By posting content on the site, you grant users/members permission to share your comment on social media platforms.

8 Registration
8.1 When you register to use the site (become a member), you must provide information that is true and accurate.
8.2 You must keep this information up to date.
8.3 By registering to use the site you warrant that you are over the age of 18. Alternatively, you confirm that your parent or legal guardian has agreed to your use of the site.
8.4 In the case of business registrations you warrant that you are duly authorised to register the business on the site. Businesses and individuals that register on the site may be vetted with a view to excluding any businesses or individuals deemed to be inappropriate by Nedbank. This will be at the sole discretion of Nedbank.

9 How we protect your user information
9.1 All users must be registered to become members.
9.2 On registration members can choose which of their details are available for other members to view.
9.3 On registration as a member on the site your personal and business information will be available to all registered members of the site.
9.4 Members have the ability to omit information that they do not want to publicise.
9.5 Personal and business information is made available in line with the nature and purpose of the site, and may not be used beyond this framework.

10 Privacy Policy
10.1 Nedbank recognises and respects your right to privacy. Accordingly we are committed to the protection of your personal information and the appropriate use of that information.
10.2 Access to this information is limited to the site, Nedbank and any member.
10.3 The information will be used to communicate with you only if you have selected to receive marketing information in your member registration form or profile.
10.4 Cookies accessed or stored by our site may retain personal information such as your name, email address and contact number, but you have the choice to switch off cookies on your computer.
10.5 No personal information gathered by us about you will be shared with any other person or entity without your prior permission, except as provided in these terms or as required by law.
10.6 Be aware that communication between you and any other member of the site can be accessed by other internet users.
10.7 Please do not use email if you want to share confidential information with us.

11 Your login details and duty to log out
11.1 You agree to keep your login details secret, including your username and your password, which you must select.
11.2 You must not give third parties access to your account or login details.
11.3 You must log out after each session to prevent other persons from accessing your account.
11.4 As we deal with each other in a non-face-to-face environment, we are entitled to assume that any content posted on the site after login with your username and password was posted by you or with your consent.

12 Nedbank's role and responsibilities
12.1 Nedbank merely provides a site for the use and appropriate enjoyment of its users.
12.2 Nedbank reserves the right to screen users after registration.
12.3 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, delete or modify any of the content posted on the site from time to time, and to perform checks on members.
12.4 Nedbank respects the rights of all persons and requires that its members do the same.
12.5 If you believe that any person is acting inappropriately or performing any of the prohibited acts or posting prohibited content, you may contact Nedbank to report the matter, and Nedbank will take the appropriate action at its sole discretion.
12.6 Complaints that are frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or in bad faith will not be entertained.
12.7 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, or participate in, any disputes between members.
12.8 Nedbank's publication of any content posted by any member on the site does not amount to an endorsement of any kind.
12.9 Before relying on any product information, opinion, guidance and/or service you should verify that the resource, guidance, content, product and/or service is accurate.
12.10 While Nedbank will regularly back up site data, and endeavour to recover data that may be lost, it is not obligated to do so.
12.11 The availability of the site and its content, including data stored by members, cannot be guaranteed.
12.12 Nedbank reserves the right to discontinue the site at any time.

13 Disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability
13.1 Nothing on the site constitutes an offer.
13.2 You agree that Nedbank will not be liable, under any circumstances and in any way, for any errors or omissions, loss or damage incurred as a result of your use of or reliance on any content posted on this site.
13.3 Nedbank is not liable to any person for any losses or damages that arise, directly or indirectly, from any content appearing on or originating from this site, or the actions or omissions of any members of this site or Nedbank in regard to this site.
13.4 This site is provided as is and as available.
13.5 Nedbank makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the site's operation or the content included on the site.
13.6 Nedbank cannot and does not verify the accuracy, truth, ownership rights or nature of any content its members submit.
13.7 Nedbank will not be liable for any damage of any kind arising from the use of or inability to use the site.
13.8 To the full extent permissible by law Nedbank disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose.
13.9 Information transmitted over the internet or stored for display on the internet is susceptible to unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.10 By using the internet you accept the risks associated with unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.11 Comments on the platform may be shared outside of the platform and Nedbank will not be held responsible or liable for any effects and/or damages that may arise as a result of this.

14 Member indemnity
14.1 You agree to defend and indemnify Nedbank against and hold it harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, losses, costs and claims, including reasonable attorneys' fees that may arise or result from your use of the site, or that was caused directly or indirectly by you or any person whom you allowed to access the site, whether by posting content on the site or otherwise.
14.2 Without derogating from the foregoing, you agree that Nedbank will at its sole discretion have joint control over litigation that arises as a result of your use of the site
14.3 No undertakings, settlements, public communications or statements that refer to or implicate Nedbank, directly or indirectly, will be issued or given without its prior written consent.

15 No responsibility for third-party sites, content and charges
15.1 From time to time Nedbank or members may provide links or access to third-party sites and content.
15.2 Nedbank is not responsible for such third-party sites or content or actions.
15.3 Nedbank does not provide any warranties about such third-party sites or the content or the operators of such sites.
15.4 Nedbank in no way recommends or endorses these parties, their sites or their content, products, opinions, advice (if any), relevance, currency, security or privacy.
15.5 Third parties may levy additional charges for using or accessing any of the content made available on the site, including cellphone or content service providers.
15.6 It is your responsibility to check charges before downloading content onto any device.
15.7 You agree that you must evaluate and assess content independently.
15.8 You will bear all risks associated with the use of any content. If you download any software by means of the site, you will be bound by the relevant software licence agreement.
15.9 You agree to exercise caution when accessing links on the site or links that are emailed to you. The disclaimer in 13.3 above will apply to your accessing any links as stipulated in these terms of use.

16 We may modify these terms
16.1 Nedbank reserves the right to change these terms at any time and at our sole discretion.
16.2 You are responsible for regularly checking whether these terms have changed.
16.3 Any amendments will be binding on all users of the site.
16.4 A certificate issued by the webmaster will serve as prima facie proof of which version of the terms applied at a specific date, or which content was posted on the site on a specific date.

17 General
17.1 Entire agreement
17.1.1 These terms constitute the entire agreement between you and Nedbank regarding the use of the site and replace any previous agreements.
17.1.2 If you download any software from the site, the licence agreement applicable to such software will also apply to you.
17.2 Non-waiver and severability
17.2.1 Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these terms will not constitute a waiver thereof.
17.2.2 If any provision of these terms is held to be invalid, unlawful, void or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms will continue in full force and effect.
17.3 Governing law
17.3.1 The laws of the Republic of South Africa will apply.

Unregister Notice

You have clicked the unregister button, are you sure you want to unregister from SimplyBiz?

Using social media to profile your business
By SimplyBiz

5/25/2011
header image

Social media can be used by small businesses to market their products and services, and to interact with customers.

According to a 2009 report by TNS Research Surveys and MWeb, the most popular social media networks in South Africa (in rank order) are Facebook, YouTube, MXit, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and BlueWorld.

16% of respondents surveyed in the report indicated that they used social media to promote their business, while 15% used social media to market a product or service.

The importance of social media as a potential marketing and communications platform for small businesses in South Africa is borne out by recent independent research on usage statistics:
• There are an estimated 3.8 million Facebook users in South Africa, and the country is ranked 31st globally in terms of the number of Facebook users
• There are an estimated 1.1 million LinkedIn users in South Africa, and LinkedIn is the 11th most visited website in the country
• There are an estimated 55 000 active Twitter users in South Africa (unique users who Tweet at least once per month), and Twitter is the 7th most visited website in the country

The issue for local small businesses is how best to leverage these social media platforms. Developing a formal or informal social media strategy is a good place to start, identifying which particular social media networks to target based on user demographics and other criteria relevant to your business.
As part of the strategy, it is important to understand the tone, style and format of communication on the different social media networks in order to develop the right content for blogs, podcasts, photos and videos. This is particularly applicable when using various social networks in combination with each other.

A distinctive characteristic of social media is that it facilitates two-way communication between a business and its customers (and the wider public), and requires businesses to be more consultative and open to feedback. If done well, the information and relationships established in this way can be used to co-develop products and promotional materials, easing pressure on businesses to guess or anticipate customer needs and wants.

By the same token, small business owners should avoid trying to transplant traditional marketing and communication techniques (which tend to be formal, impersonal and ‘top-down’) into the social media space as this can alienate target audiences and cause reputational damage.

Small business owners in South Africa should boldly embrace social media as it allows them to compete on a more equal footing with more established or bigger companies. Social media also presents opportunities for small businesses to play a leadership role by introducing innovations in this dynamic arena.

Written by Fadzai Munyaradzi for Simply Biz

 

What is your take?




Comments

    • Avatar
      625 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Crisis Management - when things go wrong :

      - respond online and take it offline for resolution - even though you maybe keeping the entity who created the crisis informed offline (telephone,email,etc), please make sure you update the page followers on whats happening

      - be transparent - even if you are wrong, say so, don't hide. But provide a solution to the problem, and a sustainable way forward

      - ask others for their opinion on how they feel about the crisis - if you pull the rug out from under your critics, they will have nothing to hold you at ransom over

      - Close the matter online (the way it started)

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 625 days ago 1 0

        Yavi, I quite like the inline/offline strategy and being open to advice from others, and then closing the matter online. 

    • Avatar
      625 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Some rules of thumb :

      - choose your tools last not first : check where your target market is and go there.If your target market is 50 year old males, you will not put your brand on Instagram and Snapchat

      - Donot isolate your online activities from your offline activities - make them work together. leverage it for maximised effect

      - Social media does not replace traditional marketing, it simply provides your already current efforts with another platform, with more reach

      - Its NOT about YOU ... ever! Its ALWAYS about them (the customer), so don't push product, brand and image. Its a PULL strategy,so bring people to your brand and products through effective content marketing

      - Have a weekly plan for at least 6 months, so you don't have to think every day about what you are going to put up on social media. If you don't have engaging content, don't put anything up of your own, rather retweet someone else's

      - Be Authentic... Be Genuine ... Be Real ... Be Transparent (get the picture of how important this is)

      - When in Doubt, dont

      - Internet = FOREVER (even if you delete it someone may have taken a screenshot),so think carefully and with deep consideration before you put something out there

      - Respond quickly and efficiently on queries, questions, and concerns.Be extra vigilant about a complaint -remember others are watching, so this is not a one-on-one as would be with a telephonic or emailed complaint. 

      - Be bold, be unique, be innovative, be clear in your call to action

      - KISS - Keep it simple stupid

    • Avatar
      625 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      More tactics :

      Follow the WIIFM philosophy : "Whats in it for me" (this is what your client is thinking always) - Do some basic research on things of value in your industry or in your clients industries - provide some factual information that could help them, and is relevant to your business e.g. you are a payroll processing business - with the last Budget speech, the tax structures changed, so your value would be not to just readvertise the new taxes, but to give information about how it would affect someone earning R......, and what that means for their pocket and relevancy thereof, so maybe the tax increase pertains to you not buying your daily cup of coffee from your local coffee shop, or one less visit to a nightclub in a month of weekend entertainment, then show them how they can make up their money, by cutting down on mobile data maybe and finding wifi hotspots (give a list of franchises with free wifi), and so on and so on.

    • Avatar
      625 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      More tactics :

      - 'storytelling is the latest trend in marketing : for social media profiling, make your clients and their stories the heroes of your business story. Everyone wants to know they have contributed to someone else's success, and while they will bask in the spotlight they will reciprocate and peer recommendation is the most impactful form of advertising in todays world. Advertising, as we know it, is DEAD, so please don't use a 'push' strategy EVER (brand push,product push,image push).Its an advertising 'sin' in todays world, so if you want lower/no engagement rates (which assists in SEO), you will basically take a print ad and put it up on your Facebook page. Think about this for a second - when you see an advert by a company in your FB/Twitter feed, do you stop and look every single time (unless its a discount or sale, or something YOU are going to get out of it, but here I am referring to a pure sales pitch about how wonderful the product is because you think so)? I bet at least 90% of you say that you find most advertising useless or intrusive. Unless its about giving you something,you will not be interested. So,why would you think your clients would be different and they really need to see an ad from you.

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 625 days ago 1 0

        Their narrarive matters. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      More tactics :

      - Start a BLOG and if you are brave enough, start VLOGGING (video blogging). A few minutes a week or even monthly will give you the ability to share knowledge and information that is useful to others. When contributing any opinion leadership, ensure that you follow the R-rule : Is it RELEVANT? Is your tone and message RESPECTFUL? Would it be so filled with insight that it will be REPOSTED/RETWEETED many times? Is it Reactive or Proactive - tobe a thought leader, you have to be proactive and visionary? Is it RELATEABLE - are people in the industry (peers, competitors, clients, etc) having the same issue and will understand what you are talking about? Most importantly - Is it RESPONSIVE - are you pulling people in to engage with you, or are you only pushing out information? 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Other social media tactics for online profiling and ORM - things that will get high engagement rates :

      - Thought leadership : on all social media platforms, find chatrooms, discussion groups, and portals. Contribute opinions that are based on skill and knowledge. Ask questions. Comment on other thought leaders opinions.Thank them for insight. Give and receive graciously. You will soon be perceived as an 'activist' in terms of being knowledgeable of the industry and giving valuable insight and opinions

       

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      So, how do you do social media to build your profile? Whats the tactics.

      - engagement is the holy grail of social media (marketing) & the no 1 rule of engagement is : Be AUTHENTIC

      -make sure that the community of followers you have on your business pages know about you and your business, but do it in a way that you are talking about something that would be valuable to your customer, and then you happen to talk about your brand, products and services... so that its not advertising, its called content marketing. Think Knorr Whats For Dinner app that gives you ideas for dinner and the recipes just happen to have Knorr products. 

      - Remember that no matter how many people do what you do, there will always be that thing that is unique to you - thats called a USP and its that thing that defines why you are special. Identify what that is and make sure you 'push' that in your messaging.

      -always always respond to people online, as quickly as possible, because remember others are watching. You are conducting a conversation in public and you have the opportunity of speaking to others while speaking directly to someone. Maximise that and leverage it.

      - keep your pages active. Read up on how SEO works. The more active your page, with a focus on engagement not advertising, the higher your engagement rates, the higher you will rank on Google. The aim is to organically rank in the top 3-5 posts when people search

       

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        Authenticity is fundamental. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Back in the good ole days of traditional marketing, we wished we could have a direct way to communicate with new and existing customers and get immediate feedback. Our wishes were fulfilled in social media. So now we can engage with anyone who is interested in our products and services and have conversations, get immediate feedback (both good and bad) create opinion leadership, and so forth. With social media your profile is brought into the lives of customers on a daily basis and wen they are interested in receiving information about you. 

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        You seriously remind me of how Earl Tupper  as far back as in the 1950s found the formula of social networking when we did not have online social media, only made up of three characteristics - know your clients, what their desires are and a way to rally them at a central place to communicate your brand’s messaging. Tupperware, lunch box was born and sold directly to like-minded people who were gathered. The only difference now is that we have technology at our disposal and yes those three characteristics still stand to date.  Our rallying place is online; data analytics help us understand our clients and what their desires are. 

        • Avatar
          YaviMadurai 626 days ago 2 0

          Absolutely @phindixaba ... Social Media is NOT the conversation, its simply where it takes place!

           

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      We live in a world of 'search' - we search for everything, especially when we are considering to buy something. It goes to reason then, that if you want people to buy your products or services you need to be managing your reputation online. ORM is more than advertising.

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        Exactly the point I made earlier. ORM is important. In complete agreement with you YaviMadurai. 

        BEFORE YOU POST ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

         - Why should I care what people are thinking about me as the owner and my business?

         -  What am I saying about myself and/or business when posting something?

        IF

        -It is likely to cause members of the public to view you negatively or bring you into disrepute, like political or religious statements, swearing or foul language;

        -It is dishonest or unfair towards anyone that it is about;

        -Or impolite towards  other people you work with, or your customers, partners, or competitors or even the general publics.

        Stay away from it as it might not only result in costing you or your business a reputation, but some of it might result in a litigation process. Avoid liability at all costs. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago YaviMadurai started a discussion. 2 0

      Marketing executives or business owners should only be concerned with one thing and one thing alone - ORM (Online Reputation Management)

      • Avatar
        YaviMadurai 626 days ago 2 0

        So, what then is ORM? ORM is about managing your reputation in such a way that people who are considering becoming your customer, understand what you do/sell, how you do it, how your existing customers feel about you, etc etc. So, if this is ORM then it makes sense that social media is a huge part of building your own and your business' profile

    • Avatar
      626 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 3 0

      With all things said, it is possible to build one's small business profile using social media as a tool to effectively market products and services.  The upside is that if based on the fundamentals of a sound social media strategy it can be the most cost effective tool. One needs to understand who their target audience/market is and marry the choice of social media platforms with their consumption. Facebook and Instagram can be quite useful for any entrepreneur who sells visual products as they would serve as one's front end shop display. This reminds me of an article I read on 15 entrepreneurs who built their careers/businesses through social media such as Brandon Stanton - The creator of Humans of New York (HONY) who turned his misfortune of losing a job into a thriving non-profit  venture  through using the Facebook platform and Grace Ciao, a fashion designer and artist who became an accidental social media entrepreneur by using the Instagram platform. These and others had built their profiles and businesses via the social media platforms.   It is doable. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      You want to make sure that you’re engaging in a creative experiment to communicate with other people. If I’m out with friends every Friday and tell the same story over and over again, I wouldn’t have friends to go out with on Fridays for very long. You want to keep engaging and developing partnerships with relevant communities. They can help you understand the broad strokes of all the things they’re interested in, which will help you keep your brand interesting. 

      Finally, take a hard look at your social media strategy and make changes and additions where necessary. Always keep in mind that social media can potentially make or break your business. You want to use the strategies that drive people toward you and your business and make them come back for more.

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        True that, The TastyChef, true that social media has potentil to build or break your business, guard your reputation with everything you have.  

    • Avatar
      626 days ago PhindileXaba started a discussion. 2 0

      5. Protect your reputation

      I do believe that if you do have a few team members you really have to be careful of protecting your reputation, you would want some security internal social media policies in place in your business, because social media has potential of either build or break your reputation after you had painstakingly built your brand and profile positively over time. Your team players should be conscious of what they can and can't post as it could jeopardize the brand. Remember Justine Sacco, a former PR practitioner who had to be sacked by her New York PR Company after posting unpalatable content on Facebook and there are many other examples.  Social Media can be very deceptive, as it gives one an impression that you are alone when indeed you could reach millions of users. One post can expand your reach by 1000x. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago ShaunAnderson started a discussion. 2 0

      Start out with your strategist and social media team to test the waters. Put out a variety of concepts to see what is working with your audience and what isn’t. The more you test out an idea and see if that hypothesis is validated by audience data -- which you can get very easily from social media platforms -- the better feature concept you’re going to be able to build. Learn what works and budget away from the things that don’t. 

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        Starting internally is a brilliant test! 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      4. Don't make assumptions about your audience.

      It is a mistake to think your audience is going to act a certain way just because you think they will. Treat your audience as a subject, not as an object. Your work on social media is a dialogue, a conversation between you and that individual.

      Look at how your audience is changing. Learn about them by communicating with your social media team on a regular basis. They are the front-line people who can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t -- what people are really engaging with and what they couldn’t care less about. This is an opportunity to quickly understand how your brand is being received. 

      • Avatar
        PhindileXaba 626 days ago 2 0

        This is so true The TastyChef, do not assume your audience will take kindly to everything you say. Not everything goes when building a profile and your brand on social media.  What I like about these platforms is that you can actually pull data that informs you of your customer's needs and their consumption patterms. These will give you an idea of their pulse.

      • Avatar
        Clint 626 days ago 4 0

        And also, unless you yourself are a savvy social media strategist, it’s probably worth the energy and expense to bring in someone who is an expert. You need someone who is immersed in these platforms to help you measure your goals. Whether your team is very experienced or inexperienced in application, a good strategy is going to put you in a great place to execute. 

        • Avatar
          ShaunAnderson 626 days ago 3 0

          I agree, having a personal account is not the same thing as understanding the scope of what Facebook ads and Twitter-promoted posts can do. Because these platforms are refining and changing these specific things all the time, having an expert on call is going to save you a lot of heartache in the future. It helps to have someone whose job it is to stay up to date on what’s going on. 

    • Avatar
      626 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      3. Understand your audience.

      It’s important to know who you’re targeting. What do they do? When do they live online? With a savvy social media expert, you’ll be able to figure these things out. Understanding your goals will allow you to see how your successes and failures are working -- social media allows you to see that faster than any other platform.

    • Avatar
      626 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      2. Don't wait until after the fact.

      You don’t want to find yourself without a sense of what’s coming next, or responding to controversy in a way that doesn’t seem like it’s coming from the same person who created a status update or tweet. You can get in a lot of trouble if you say one very appealing thing, but you can’t replicate it. Another problem is if what you say goes against what you do in the company.

    • Avatar
      626 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 3 0

      If you want to guarantee a more effective strategy, a few social media tactics for brands to definitely use and ones to avoid.

      1. Know who you are.

      Understand your identity, your brand's identity and the voice of who is speaking on any social media platform. You’re the one who knows your product, production, company or brand best. Being able to communicate that is the first thing I recommend for clients so that on whatever platform they use, people have a sense of who is doing the speaking. The rest of the tactics come down to language, and specific things that you might do to turn a phrase on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 

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