Are you online?

June 9, 2016

business safe computerHave you ever googled your business?

  • Was your Facebook Page listed?
  • Is your website appearing because it’s Search Engine Optimized?
  • Do you provide a virtual tour on Google Maps?

Are you online?

Today’s world often searches Google first, hunting for reviews, images of store fronts, and recent activity or community engagement. How do you tell your business story? Today, businesses can combine text, images, audio and video, online to engage audiences and prospective customers they’ve never been able to reach before now.

However, you don’t have to be everywhere. Some forms of online media don’t fit every business. Pinterest and Instagram are more visual mediums that every business doesn’t need to market. Then, you have modes like blogs and LinkedIn, which are beneficial to every business, sharing information, stories and customer reviews.

online-chat-websiteThe first step is to identify your target audience. Where do they spend time online? This audience may be broad, but when you consider it, it’s much easier to consider when you break down into smaller groups and create a specific target message. Then, consider in what subjects the audience regards you as an expert. This will allow you to develop creative and engaging content geared toward those specific audiences.

Realize online marketing takes trial and error. No two businesses are exactly alike. The same goes for their methods of marketing. What engages some customers, won’t engage all customers. It’s hard to gauge online marketing’s success by tallying likes and clicks. What creates conversations? What exactly do you hope to gain from your online content? Once you identify this, it will help steer your online activity.

Many small businesses complain about not having time to post online or not having a staff person dedicated to creating online content. Who can tell your story better that you? No one! There are multiple means of online content management systems, like HootSuite, that allow you to schedule content whenever you have the time to do so. Even now, social media platforms like Facebook and Blogs allow page administrators to “schedule” posts days and weeks in advance.

Honor's computer lab, Stone Center.Your customers are already online, having conversations and searching the internet 24/7. As long as you create content regularly, daily if possible, you will remain visible on social media platforms. As long as you dare to be different, creating engaging content with images, links and videos, you will grab the attention of prospective customers through the vast and sometimes cluttered World Wide Web. Don’t think that success is overnight! Realize it takes a minimum of three impressions or more, meaning three plus times consumers see your online posts, to effectively communicate a message.

Remember, people do business with people they know. It’s not just about being social online. It’s about being visible and active in your community, attending events and meeting the movers and shakers. It’s about meeting your customers where they are, in your communities, online and offline.

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