So your business has a great product, great customer service, competitive prices, expert know how, and a beautiful storefront. So why is your target market going elsewhere? They are driving right past your business to go to your competitor that is just a couple miles down the road without giving you a second glance. Why? Could it possibly be that they don’t know that your establishment is even there? Knowing that they are passing your business on a daily basis not only raises concerns, but also contributes to unnecessary lost revenue.
It may be true that you are running promotions on the radio from time to time. You may be even running commercials on TV, participate in the neighborhood paper and or running coupons and specials when the mood strikes you. However, these methods could become costly if the funds going into such endeavors don’t have any ROI. Enter Local Search and social media for starters.
First and foremost, Local Search and social media is not a secret, nor is it an overnight strategy. Both strategies are long term and do take time to take effect, but if it is implemented correctly results will become visible. It is not the end all be all of Internet Marketing, or overall marketing period, but it does play a great role in boosting your visibility and at least creating the presence that was once absent. Most of all, it is free to do!
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Create your Google Places page as well as Google+: Google is the most widely used search engine in use on the Internet today, with it’s well known counterpart, YouTube, running 2nd right behind it. It pays to be seen there if nowhere else. Be sure to fill out the information accurately and completely, leaving no stone unturned. Be sure to choose the correct category that the business fits under as well.
2. Yelp is another search engine that is used quite a bit. Don’t forget to get registered there either. Again, take the needed time to fill out the information as accurately as possible.
3. Create a Twitter account. It’s estimated that there are approximately 375 – 400 million tweets per day. Why not join in and tweet about why your business is great. There’s no harm in tooting your own horn. However the key here is to create the account and build and engage your audience. The more you engage in conversation with your potential audience, the better the chance of increasing sales, fan loyalty, and brand ambassadors of the product or service that is offered.
4. The same is true of Facebook. Building an audience, displaying your wares, engaging, finding out what needs are being met or not met are critical to gaining brand awareness and building the business.
Technology has leveled the playing field when it comes to small business giving big business a run for the money. Customers are more savvy, cost conscious, and like to be well informed and plugged in today than ever before. Your business needs to be right there with them. All of the mentioned items above don’t cost you a dime. It does take a little time to get things set up but it is well worth it when that first customer comes in and says, “I found you on Google.”
Stay tuned for more tips and low, cost effective ways to market your small business into a BIGGER business.