Starting your own small business can be a wonderful, exciting, and yet often very scary task! And getting your business noticed, can be an even bigger task. There are so many ways to gain attention for your business and your brand that it can be a job in and of itself to figure out the best way to get that done.
For me, I think the first rule in “branding” with your business is to be consistent! If you have a company logo, be sure to use that photo in every internet profile that you create. Taking that small step can help potential customers associate that logo with your name and what services that you have to offer to them. And be sure to follow that up with the naming of your social media accounts. Strive to stay as close to your business name as you can. For some platforms, it may be needed to shorten the name to confirm with their particular naming schemes, but do try your best to have screen name reflect the name of the business.
Which platform for my business?
This can be a crucial question for many a small business. Because all of the platforms have their own merits as to what they can offer to a small business. First a word of caution: When creating an account on any social media platform, always check to see if there is a “business option” available on that platform. A social media business page will almost certainly offer you better ways to engage, track, and communicate with your customers over the “personal page “option.
When choosing your social media platform, take a look and see what your are comfortable with! Facebook has the “comfort level” that brings the most people on-board. You may already have a personal page, so using it create a business page would not be a stretch for most. If your business is more of a visual medium, try taking a look at platforms such as Instagram, or consider Pinterest if your business is that of arts and crafts, or a restaurant! For the more adventurous, open a YouTube channel for your business to post “how-to” videos.
Location, Location, Location!
For many small business owners today, sometimes the task can be getting noticed. Many consumers will just check for a business on their smartphone using Google Maps, Search, or Yellow Pages. A simple step many business owners forget to take can help them in search engine results. That simple trick is “verification”! If you google the phrase – “Google for Business” you will be given a link to where you can actually verify all the information about your business to make sure that it is correct! You will also be given the option to receive a postcard from Google with a verification number on it. This lets Google know that the business is in operation and ready to go! You can also follow the similar steps for Microsoft Bing. The folks over at Yelp and YP.com have a free basic listing that will allow you to offer customers coupons for percentage off at your business. And a Foursquare account will allow your customers to “check-in” and spread the word about your business.
There are a number of avenues for businesses both large and small to use social media and local services that are internet-based to “brand” and attract, retain, and engage customers and bring them to your door and to inquire about your services. Taking just a little time to look over each one, can be one of the most important tasks a business owner can do!
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