Marketing today is completely different from what it was just a few short years ago. Even within the last year there has been a great movement towards online and social media marketing from traditional methods. This can be attributed to the free online marketing tools that are rapidly expanding and advancing at a feverish pace. If your company is not savvy to them, it can have detrimental effects on your business.
1. Allocate time for managing your online reputation
Your company‘s online reputation is becoming increasingly important and can make, or break your business. Monitoring your reputation on a daily basis is essential. Ask your friends and clients to post positive online reviews frequently. Reviews on Yelp and Google have the most weight on your business’s reputation. Reviews on websites such as Glassdoor.com are also crucial to your reputation as an employer. Be aware that the front and back ends of your business are exposed on the Internet and both should be consistent. Don’t be discouraged by negative reviews. Turn them into opportunities for “wow-factor” customer service. It’s no secret in business that loyal customers are many times the result of corrected negative first impressions.
2. Have a social media plan
Not having a Facebook, or Twitter is like not have a dot com ten years ago. Social media websites offer personalized customer service and are the quickest way to communicate with your consumers. The majority of them are also integrated with useful marketing tools that can better identify your demographics. Proper use of them can increase popularity and build a culture associated with your product. The social media related websites that small business owners should be aware of are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pintrest, Instgram, Foursquare and Tumblr. If you looking for an easy way to raise funds for a project, or idea, Kickstarter is great tool to find investors and supporters.
While it is not essential to have a mobile app for your business (yet), it is essential to have a mobile version of your website. In regards to using apps for your business, there are a wide array of apps available for faster and easier marketing. Apps like TweetDeck can help you manage all your social media websites at the same time and Social Mention and Google Alert are great apps for reputation management all from your phone.
4. Geo-Target your marketing
Geo-targeted local searches have been a major trend lately and are becoming more and more popular. People want to know the best businesses near them, big, or small. Small businesses have the upper hand when it comes to this because they know their local neighborhoods better than anyone else. Ads on Yelp, Foursquare and other online social platforms can build your brand and notoriety among local consumers. Also offering discounts associated with these ads can help track its effectiveness, increase business and consumer referrals.
– Brad Dowies, Acorn Woods Communications