How many times have you tried looking for some sort of buzz about your company online and found nothing? None. Zilch. Nada. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Such is the problem of many small-scale businesses that choose to venture online. There’s just not much online buzz about them to start with.
But hey, I think that’s the actual point of starting to participate online – to make some noise for your business and get people to hear it.
The thing about being visible online is, the more people see or hear about you, the bigger your chances of converting them into in-store customers. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
The question still remains: how do you make a buzz for yourself?
The first thing I’d recommend is to open up a blog. This way, you’ll have a place where you can publish useful content for your customers who are possibly online but are just not talking about you.
Aside from sharing content, you can also use your blog to invite people to share their experiences of the company, good and bad alike. From there on, you have the opportunity to rectify negative brand encounters and use the good ones to invite new customers.
From there you can go with social sites. Social bookmarking sites, networking sites, microblogging sites – pretty much wherever your potential customers are lurking.
Social sites allow you to get the word out to the social public. It takes but one person to start talking about you to get the conversation ball bouncing around.
On your social media profile, make sure to provide as much relevant information as possible – store address, contact numbers, email address – to make sure finding your store will be easier for potential customers.
You can also post photos of the store to go along with a set of directions readers can use to get to your store on your blog or the content page of your social media account.
You can use your social media profile as another platform for interested individuals who have questions about your services or location, or if they have something to say about your company.
You can even use your existing walk-in customers to get the word out and encourage people to try your services/products out. Make a newsletter and ask your current patrons if they would like to subscribe to it.
Use the newsletter to share useful information or news with your patrons or to inform them of upcoming promos (product discounts, new service packages, limited time offers, etc.) which they can choose to share with other people or think of as incentive for being loyal customers.
Either way, this offers you a chance to reward your existing clients and get them to talk about you (or their experiences in dealing with you) on the social web. They win (through learning and getting discounts), you win (by getting your name out there on the web).
You can also encourage customers to write online reviews of the service or the company if they have their own blogs. This will give your business it’s much needed exposure. Just be careful not to piss off any customer as this may earn you a thumbs down review.
These are just some of the suggestions I can think of, are there other things you’d like to add? Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas over at the comments section. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
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