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Whether you’re traveling, need a specific service, want to try a new restaurant, or need some other type of information – at some point you've had to search for a business online. Scoping out a new company online can sometimes be a greater hassle than we’d like.
Within a few minutes, anyone can conduct an in-depth search of the companies around him or her. Searching for pictures, reviews, and websites can leave either a bad or good first impression on a potential customer.
This means within just a few clicks, your company could attract new customers by simply being online. What are the benefits to your business?
The main reason your small business should be online – that’s where your customers are. You may not know who or where they are but trust that they are there. And with a small amount of effort you can put your company’s name in the palm of their hands.
Most people search online the same way they would use a phone book. They use the web to check your store hours, find your phone number, or fill out an online form to contact you. With a little work, you can ensure their first impression of you is a good one.
You can do this by making sure your business information is correctly displayed on multiple channels (i.e. websites, Yelp, Google Business, social media). This will automatically increase your chances of being seen by more people.
Building A Relationship
With the rise of social media, consumers expect to have more two-way contact with businesses online – by developing relationships online with your customers you can help legitimize your brand.
This can be as easy as commenting back to customer comments or as tricky as replying to bad reviews online. The main point here is to reply when possible. Show your customers there is an actual person sitting behind the screen. Give them another way to get in touch with you; it may feel informal or strange, but the relaxed relationship can be very beneficial.
Free or paid – online marketing is a crucial part of doing business in 2018. Setting up your social platforms, updating your website content regularly, and sending email updates are all ways to advertise your business online for free.
Think of your website, your Facebook, and other platforms as your company’s virtual storefronts. Each can have basic information about your business so that no matter how someone finds you they can get the information they need.