It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and you’ve decided on an impromptu date with your significant other. You want to go to dinner at a new place but have no idea where to start. What do you do? Naturally, what the vast majority of us do. We take to Google or any other number of search engines/review sites to hear what others are talking about. In short, if you’re not online, you’re missing out on traffic.
Why You Should Have a Website
Keeping abreast of your competition is important. Making sure you’re doing at least as much as they’re doing is more important. Did you know that approximately 65% of small businesses have a website? To be honest, I’m a little surprised that this number is so low. It’s that important to have a website.
I’ve heard people try to argue that they don’t need a website with all of the social media platforms out there. I won’t bore you with the techie speak that explains why it’s important – but just know that if you have social media platforms and nowhere to point those platforms to, you’re doing your business a disservice. You’re missing out on SEO which helps move your business’ website to the top of search engines.
Unlike social media platforms (which I’ll talk about in a minute), you have the ability to really make your website fit your brand. Social media platforms make you create profile pictures, cover photos, posts, etc… to fit their cookie cutter sites. With your own website, you can go into as much detail as you like. Post as many creative photos of your products and services as you like. You control and create everything – or you direct someone to control and create exactly what you want.
Why You Should Have a Social Media Presence
Again, to refer back to keeping up (or staying ahead) with competition, almost 80% of small businesses choose to use one or more social media platforms to help promote their business. Each branch of marketing has it’s own advantages and social media certainly has a clear advantage.
Whether you choose to promote on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat or any combination of those (there are more platforms than that too), one thing is certain. This is your chance to really start building trust with your potential clients. Whether it’s Pinterest where you’re re-pinning your client’s pins or engaging with them on Facebook, these platforms give you a chance to really engage and earn your client’s trust. You know what they say about sales. People buy from people or businesses they trust.
Why You Should Stay In The Know Of Review Sites
Platforms like Yelp, Google My Business and TripAdvisor are very popular – especially among people who travel to places they know little to nothing about the area. All 3 are fantastic places to send clients who have used your services or products.
Yelp is a questionable tool for businesses, but consumers still seem to eat it up. It’s been at the heart of multiple complaints alleging everything from extortion to review manipulation. And still – it stands. As long as it’s there, people will go on the app and check to see what others are saying about your business. The first thing you want to be sure you do on Yelp is to claim your business. If you’ve been in business for very long, chances are that your business is already listed. You may have reviews already and not even know it. Once you verify that you own the business, you’ll be able to respond to Yelp reviews. Responding to both good and bad replies are really important.
Google My Business and TripAdvisor also allow replies and people take notice! If you only respond to good reviews and leave the bad reviews dangling, people will start to make comments about it. It looks to your audience as if you don’t care about the bad experiences and that’s not the impression you want to leave about your business.
The takeaway, in case you haven’t guessed by now, is that you can’t afford to be offline. Your competition is likely doing at least one of these three things. Why not stand out above the competition and do all of the above? Go the extra mile and you’ll earn the extra dollars.