Getting an Online Presence for Your Small Business
Is your business online? Can you be found in a Google search? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Four-Squared? If not, you could be missing out on a big source of customers for your company. Whether you serve other businesses or consumers, many people are working on the go and if you can't be easily found online, you will lose business you never knew you had the opportunity to get!
The most basic piece of information you need is a website. It doesn't have to be super sophisticated, but it should be reasonably professional and attractive. Your website also needs to include the basics -- your phone number, location (with a map if possible), hours, and services available. The more you can add, like frequently asked questions, an 'about us' page, portfolio of work done, testimonials, a contact page (with a form or an email address), or other information that will make make your potential customer look to you as a source of knowledge on the subject is very helpful. At least get the basics out there. If you need someone you can trust, we would be happy to let you know who our go-to web designer is.
The other day, I read a fabulous article on precisely how to create a Facebook page for your small business. To gain followers to your site, many people offer a coupon or other item that is only available to people who "like" the page. I would suggest that you post something at least weekly to maintain interest in your company.
Twitter is very similar to Facebook except the conversation is much more real time, if you will. One of the keys to twitter is to follow people in your field, who might like your product, are in your service area or who influence others. You can find them by following the twitter handles provided by authors in industry publications or articles that you found useful. You could also find out if there is a hashtag (begins with a #) related to your area or market and follow those people and conversations. In a few weeks, I will share how you can get your business to show up in other places online, including Pinterest, FourSquare and local business listings.
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.