Does my Business Need to Be Online?
The quick answer is YES!
Think of it like this-establishing yourself online is like establishing credit when you enter adulthood. The more credit/exposure you have the more people will trust in your company and choose to utilize your services.
Three simple reasons you need to be online
1. Branding-You can reach a variety of audiences.
2. Exposure- The more places you are listed correctly online, the easier it is for a consumer to find you.
3. Stay Current-Let people know your business is alive and thriving.
Now more than ever is it imperative that your business be represented online.
We are living in a technology filled society. Sure there are some areas of the world that don’t have as much online activity, but if you are not there with them then you need to be online with the rest of us.
Its simple math
Making 3 phone calls or clicking on 3 website links is much faster than visiting 3 business store fronts (especially if they are on opposite ends of town). The internet is the quickest way to research and compare. Even though many are shopping locally, the majority of consumers are doing their homework first, so there is a good chance they have looked into the product or service they want to buy before they flip the bill.
The first thing you should do is see what you currently look like online. Who knows, maybe there are already reviews written about your business.
Claim and set up your business anywhere possible
Be complete and consistent with your profiles
Don’t disappoint your potential clients with lack of data. Tell them the things they want to know about your business, what you offer, what areas you cover, price, etc. Link each of these sites to your website where you can elaborate more about your business. Once your profiles are set up, ask your clients to leave a review for you on Yelp, Yahoo, Google, and City Search. Check your reviews regularly to ensure your reputation is maintained.
Social Media Sites
It is vital that you set up and maintain social media pages. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. It can take some time to get the number of likes/followers you want and need to get your name out there, but it can be very rewarding in the end. There are certain things you can do to increase your likes and follows. You can spend some of your advertising budget to market directly through the social media site you are using, or you can put in a lot of hours doing it yourself. There are companies that can help with this task like Electronic Playground, this can be very cost effective especially if you are paying an employee an hourly rate to help you. Hiring a third party might just give you a better bang for your buck.
1. Set up an ad to increase likes and follows for your business profile
2. Send invites to all of your contacts
3. Cross advertise in your store front/business cards/website including the link to your page or a qr code
4. Recruit your friends to help draw attention to your page
Now that you have People that like/follow you-Don’t abuse it! They already know enough about your business with the complete and consistent information you have provided them. They do not want constant solicitations from you, if they get too many, they may “unlike/unfollow” you. Be creative in your posts, make them fun, thoughtful, and community based.
Manage your time to include this vital piece of your relationship building, whether you add a reminder into your google calendar, desk calendar , phone, mental calendar, an old fashioned to-do list, or even a post it note; it must be done. You may spend as little as 15 minutes a day, or unlimited hours, the more you put in to it-the more you will get out of it. Its adding to your business so its worth it right?
Ask and you shall receive
Ask your fans what they want. When they answer, Listen! If you can capture their interest, they will give you suggestions when you ask for them, but its important that you listen and the best ways for your fans to know you heard them is to either act on what they have asked of you, or to at least respond to them. Whether you like or agree with their suggestion, a simple “Thank you for your suggestion insert name, will usually satisfy your potential client and gives that personal interaction that consumers want from businesses, especially ones they open their wallet for.
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Founder and CEO