In our weekly blogs we have posted ways in which businesses can increase sales through self promotion and social media in the form of pictures, but we never really started from the beginning by having an honest discussion about the internet and how much internet is right for businesses within the industry. And let me preface by saying that it’s O.K. if you haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon.
Having a fully functioning Website is key
I was recently speaking with a distributor in California and she put it well by saying that in this industry, if a business does not have a Website, then it does not exist. Having a Website allows a business to show potential clients and customers that it believes in its future. By giving customers a place to go that shows them a company product and/or service, a Website allows businesses to stay competitive and relevant. And with two billion people using the internet each day, the internet is the easiest way to spread the word about your business.
Having a Webpage will allow potential clients and customers to view your company’s business model and it will be a huge factor in whether your customers contact you or not. Websites are an investment in your company; even if you cannot afford to pay for an elaborate site, an online place of reference is necessary and there are easy ways to go about creating your own Website. Begin by having a Webpage that advertises business operation hours, contact information, a company mission statement, products and perhaps a history of your business.
Social media: It’s not just for the young folks anymore
If your business already has a Website, the next step is to decide how much, if any, of your internet exposure should be related to social media content. Social media, when used correctly, can be a great benefit for your company. And it isn’t just for young people. In a study done this year, Pew Internet said nearly 72 percent of U.S. adults use social networking sites and 60 percent of internet users ages 50 to 64 are social networking site users, as are 43 percent of those who are 65 and older – these results have nearly tripled in the last four years alone.
Social media is one way to use the internet to advertise your business, but it must be done well. The first question you must ask yourself is if social media is right for your business.
Deciding on social media
Does your company like to produce news about products, discounts or specials? If so, then it could benefit from using social media. Having a deeper tie into social media not only allows you to promote deals in real time to customers, but it also humanizes your business and allows you to personally connect with clients. However, you must educate and train employees to successfully use social media: how to send a tweet, how to “like” pages on Facebook and how to connect with clients and colleagues via LinkedIn.
Having a Facebook page just to have a Facebook page is not good for your business. It isn’t necessarily bad for business, but if clients find your social media site and see the content hasn’t been updated in three months, that reflects negatively upon your company. It is possible to have social networking sites simply to house information such as hours of operation and links to your company Website, but in the end, if you don’t believe you will update your social networks often – at least once a week – then it may not be the right kind of internet marketing for your business.