Bring your local business online #4: Basic implementation and best practices

Hi. I’m Maile Ohye. This video is our
fourth in the series to help you bring your
local business online. Having covered the preliminary
steps, the goal for this video is implementation. My best advice is to begin by
creating or expanding a Google+ page for your local business. Creating Google+ pages
require little technical skill and they’re fairly
straightforward since your value-add is
already determined. Please reference
the second video for background on this topic. Google+ pages help reach Google
searchers on their desktop or smartphone. They accept reviews and can be
used as a lightweight homepage allowing posts, photos,
videos, and interactions with customers. This is especially helpful
if you don’t have a website. After your Google+ page,
the second task is to expand your presence to other
relevant channels through which potential online customers
might find businesses similar to yours. To do this, reference
the customer journeys you identified
in past videos. What are the channels
customers use the most to find businesses
similar to yours? Try to estimate the
time and difficulty of developing a presence
on each channel. Prioritize putting your
business on the most effective and
efficient channels. Remember there’s no
need for you to have a presence on
every channel, just the ones that make the most
sense for your local business, taking into account your
time and technical expertise. After all, you still
have a business to run. Go ahead and develop a presence
on the relevant channels. There’s Yelp, common in
the U.S. for customers referencing reviews. Facebook, often supported
with personal referrals. LinkedIn, common for businesses
when credentials matter. Twitter, for real-time time
info, deals, or offers. And many others. As you’re working
on these channels, remember to put
yourself in the shoes of your potential customer
and address their needs. The third task is to include the
basics– address, phone number, hours, rates, and
areas you serve. This information is
your call to action. For the fourth
task, let customers know that your
business is online. If you have a presence in one
of their favorite channels, it’s easier for them
to write a review. Reviews can help increase
customer engagement. This brings us to
the fifth task, building strong engagement. This topic is covered
in the next video. However, a few quick tips. Remember to state your
value-add and answer potential customers’ most common questions
like, are you qualified? And, are your customers happy? If you have multiple
online channels, the sixth task is to make sure
they cross-link and reference one another. This helps unify
your online presence. For example, you Google+
page can reference your business’s Yelp page,
Facebook page, et cetera. You can find more
information about how to build a cohesive
online strategy in the last video in the series. The seventh
implementation task is to consider building a website
if your online goals can’t be fulfilled with
the existing channels and available resources. I’ve made a video that can
help when designing a website. It’s titled “SEO for
startups in under 10 minute.” Once these tasks are
completed, you’ve finished the heavy lifting
required in this video. Now when you look at
the customer funnel, you should have something to
offer visitors at every stage. You’ve created a presence
on common customer channels, provided a value-add
if possible, listed your business’s
basic information as a call to action, and helped customers
to convert– whether that’s giving you a call,
sending an email, or walking through
your storefront. And of course, once
visitors meet you, your great personal touch
can turn first time customers into loyal repeat customers. Let’s wrap up this video
with best practices. First, facilitate a referral
loop with your customers. Let them know that they
can find you online and that you really
appreciate feedback. Second, avoid copying reviews
from one site to another. Duplication isn’t
helpful and can feel deceptive to
potential customers. Third, remember
your login details– username, email address,
and create strong passwords for each of your
online channels. Fourth, ask tech savvy
friends or family members who love engaging with social
media or online profiles for help or feedback. It’s always good to
hear fresh perspectives. The last best practice
I’d like you to consider is viewing the final two
videos in the series. You’ll learn how to
separate your business from the competition. For now, congratulations on
getting your business online.

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6 thoughts on “Bring your local business online #4: Basic implementation and best practices

  1. Creating your own website as step #7? Well, I do not agree. In think it should be the first step, as you can control everything better than with Facebook or Google+ or Yelp.

  2. Tend to agree with @Tedel. A website should be #1 priority for any business, local or otherwise.
    Social and other platforms should be developed around it. You have full control over your website and don't run risk of getting banned or removed from these social networks for not adhering to their guidelines. Secondly, brand identity of your business is your website (yet) and not a social page. Customers do look at this aspect very closely. Next, a website indicates seriousness about your business. Integrate social media and all possible platforms from within or around your business website…

  3. We are going to start talking about Google+ Pages at our Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. IDEA Cafe Startup Workshops. Visit us when you are in Denver, instructed group each Friday, 4:30 p.m. see

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