How often have you seen personal posts from the owner of a business on the business Facebook page? What was the first thought that came to your mind? If you are like me and the vast majority of Facebook users, that business just lost a little credibility in your mind due to their lack of professionalism.
I am not saying that you aren’t allowed to create a comfortable atmosphere for your customers to speak their mind, I am saying there is a time and a place for everything. Your business page is not the place, and a public message forum should never be a place for questionable material, personal conversations, or family matters.
Your business page should be a forum for your clients to tell you exactly how your business is performing. Take full advantage of the feedback you receive. If your customers are all saying that your pizza sauce is too salty, change it and thank them for the feedback. If your clients say that your salon offers the best keratin treatments at a great price, thank them sincerely and tell them to let their friends know. Use your Facebook page to establish a good, professional relationship with your customers and if need be, make sure your friends know to contact you on your personal page instead.
Even though it’s been around for a while now, there are still many business owners that are absolutely clueless about Twitter and what it can do for marketing and customer interaction. To make it as simple as possible, Twitter allows a user or a business owner to share what is happening to them in real time.
People that share what they are eating for breakfast (which is too much information unless you are Wolfgang Puck and you are advertising one of your new dishes). Some individuals use Tweets to share how they are feeling like, “I just feel sad today:(“. Some people actually make good use of Twitter and tell people about what is happening that others may want to know about like, “30% off sale @Kohl’s today, #newoutfit”. Here is a quick infografic from edudemic.com that shows the scope of Twitter in today’s society.
Business owners have an awesome opportunity to reach a wide range of people in a very short amount of time, get this, for free! Gone are the days of extremely expensive direct mailers, newspaper ads, billboards and the like. Twitter and social media allow you to share specials, coupons, daily deals and great customer feedback with your customers and people that you want to become customers. Take the time to read up on Twitter and see just how easy it is to grow your business with this easy and inexpensive social media tool.
When thinking of your website and what it needs to succeed, think of it as a baby. A baby needs constant attention, it needs food to grow and remain healthy, and it needs to be changed frequently. Your goal as a parent or caregiver is to help the baby as it learns, and adapts to its surroundings.
Your website is no different. Just as a baby needs food, your website hungers for updated and interesting content. It wants to grow and succeed and it needs the food that will bring it more traffic and more inbound and outbound links. Your site also needs to be changed to fit the needs and desires of your target audience and to allow for browser upgrades and technology advancements. Remove old and outdated content and keep your website fresh and clean. When you take the steps to maintain and update your website, you will see it grow and flourish.
According to Basekit.com there are some common steps to keeping your site fresh and current. Take a moment to view them here.
There are so many different variables in earning the top spot in an organic search. Time, links, great content, SEM campaigns, and keyword management are just a few examples. If someone comes to you and guarantees that they can get you in the top spot for the main keyword categories people would search for your business with, Run Away!
No one can guarantee that they will be able to consistently have your business in the top spot for every search engine query that pertains to your business. If you hear someone say that to you, what they are basically telling you is that they are about to charge you a ridiculous sum of money to try their best to get you as high as they possibly can in a search result.
While it may be possible to get a small business with no direct competition to the top of the list in their area, if you are a small business that operates in a large metropolitan area, it is going to be very difficult to win first prize. You will be fighting against time factors of who has had their site up the longest and has been keeping it current. Who has the best keywords in their meta data and throughout their website to match potential searches, and honestly, who has the most money to hire teams of individuals to handle all their online and inbound marketing. If you are a small mom and pop shop, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle against the large corporations in your same line of work.
An example of a great business that easily rose to the top of the pile is one of our clients The United States Hot Air Balloon Team. As a very well established niche business with a quality website, it was pretty easy to give them the boost they needed to consistently rank first in the search results for the 3 main locations they want to target. However, if you are lets say a contractor or a doctor, you have much more competition in the marketplace. There are always things you can do to improve your overall online marketing success, but never trust anyone that says they can get you to the top every time.
In the last few years, Facebook and other social media websites s as Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, and YouTube have completely transformed online marketing.
Why hasn’t your business joined in on one of the largest word of mouth advertising opportunities out there? Social sites like Facebook easily allow your best customers to rave about your products and services and thereby let their “friends” know that you exist and that your business is one they frequent.
Facebook is also a fantastic avenue for you to interact with your customers. Answer their feedback as quickly as possible whether it’s good or bad. Your customers want to know that you are paying attention to them and value their input. Whether you are a large chain store or a local mom and pop store, your customers want to feel that they are getting the very best treatment around. In many cases, they may even be willing to spend more if they receive excellent customer service at your store and online.
Check out what Facebook itself has to say about the topic and give Social Solutions a call if there’s any confusion. Now get to it!