I often get asked if local businesses really need a website with all of the focus being put on social media? The answer is a resounding “YES!” Even with social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Yelp!, a website is still the centralized home base of your business’ marketing efforts. Think of it as your main storefront. The best part about having a website for your local business, is that no matter which other information outlets come and go, you can always adapt a website to the latest and greatest, while maintaining a consistent presence online. Read more
The #1 reason businesses struggle with growing their following on Facebook is that it is not easy for customers to find them or even know the business has a page. While Facebook is a great resource for businesses, they have not perfected the search capabilities that make it easy to find specific businesses. It is getting better though. Getting Facebook Likes for your local business page is the first order of business for marketing success. Read more
Does your business have a Facebook page? If not, it should. Facebook is by far the most popular online activity for the average consumer and believe it or not, you can connect directly to your customers without spending a single dime with Facebook business pages.
As Facebook business pages have evolved over the last few years, they have quickly become an effective way to market small and local business. The only problem is that while many businesses have them, very few actually use them correctly. Read more
As 2012 passes and 2013 begins, what are your plans to improve this year? While growing business is always the goal, there are many thoughts on just how to go about it. Take a few minutes and reflect on how you have helped your customers and clients over the last year. There you will find your answer. This is what you should use to market your business in 2013 Read more
Social Networks Are Story Pages, Not Billboards
There are thousands of businesses jumping on social networks as part of their marketing strategies. And why not? It is almost essential to competing in any market today and the fact is, they are free to use. With the majority of civilization connected in someway to a social network of some kind, there has never been a more direct way to connect with an audience. Especially on the local level. The goal is to have a positive connection but for many, the spirit that has made online social networks so effective is being replaced my un-engaged drones that post a link or re-tweet a post but obviously know little more than what is printed in the catalog. Read more
Whenever you are talking to your current clients, try to keep track of the conversation. The questions they ask and the answers you give are valuable content for your blog. Scale your message.
Whether it is in person, on the phone or via email, there are other clients and potential clients that want your input on those topics as well. Why not be proactive and make them available on your website, blog and social media outlets? Not only will it help attract people to your business, it will also save you from repeating yourself so much.
Several weeks ago I was talking to a local business owner and asked him if he was using social media to promote his business. He said they had a Facebook page but other than posting a copy of their weekly flier, they didn’t really use it. I asked him if anyone had “Liked” their page. To my surprise, he said “Only about 200 people.” Amazed I replied “Only 200 people!!? For a small, local business that’s a great start!”
He didn’t understand my excitement, asking why that was so great when there are many more people than that who visit his store every day. This is a perfect example of how local businesses in the area seem to be missing out an opportunity that could significantly change the way they reach their customers. You see, after a little more conversation I discovered that those 200 people represented about 8 to 10% of his weekly customers. I also found out that this store was paying thousands of dollars per week in marketing through printed fliers and ads. These are dollars that have no solid way of tracking their return.
As we were finishing up our conversation I asked him, “If you could sit down and talk to 5% of your most loyal customers and get their feedback and thoughts on the way your business serves them, what would that be worth to you?” His eyes lit up. He got it.
You see when someone “Likes” a business, it is in turn giving that business permission to…. Wait, scratch that. They are asking for that business to sell to them. Facebookers are well aware of what it means when they Like a business. But in too many cases, the business that has been liked is letting that customer down.
Promoting Your Brand Will Connect To Your Clients! But you have to market yourself properly. Forward thinking and knowing your message will boost your results.
Here are 3 things to think about when developing the online image of you and your business.
Who Is The Authority?
If you are viewed as the authority in an industry, and let people know how you solve problems, then you will be the one clients call when they are in need of help. Promote your knowledge and experience proactively, and when they need you, they will call.
The internet gives you unlimited platforms to connect current and potential clients with your expertise.
What Do You Look Like?
Images are powerful ways to engage with others. There is a sense of trust that comes with the E-mail, Newsletters, Websites, and most importantly Social Media, you can build an image of stability and professionalism.
Combine personality, interesting information with great images, and clients will connect you and your brand as the solution to their needs.
Can They See The Results?
Anyone can tell you what you what to hear. Everyone can tell you why you should choose their product or service. But when you demonstrate the results of what you have to offer, they will want to find out if it will work for them too. Seeing that you have already solved a similar problem, assures them that you are the one that will be able to help.
Be sure to document your results whenever possible. Always be on the lookout for ways to magnify and multiply your successes. Take pictures, write down customer quotes, and ask for opinions. These will come in handy next time you want to show other clients that they can trust you.
Putting yourself out there and showing people how you can help them will help new customers find you. If they find you and contact you first, you will be the one they trust.
Whether your business is grocery or tax preparation, local business needs to look at diverting marketing efforts and dollars to Facebook Advertising. With the majority of the population participating on a daily basis, Facebook’s reach is almost unlimited. But here is the best part. Your ad targeting is too. The amount of information that Facebook provides is the key to how you can use its power to connect directly to your exact customer base.
The targeting options are almost endless. Here are some examples. Read more