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Growing Your Business and Brand: Why You Need a Stellar Presence Online

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Several years ago, around 2001, you might have been of the thinking that the internet had had its day. After the bust around that time, you might have naturally thought you can’t change the way people do business. That the internet is just a bit of a fad. But now, several years on, it couldn’t be more opposite. The internet has grown and grown, and business has had to change along with it. Being able to use the internet allows business to be closer to their customers. It allows them to improve customer service and also reduce costs. When things are most more online, it can be cheaper. It has changed working patterns of staff, making things more effective and streamlined. As a rule, staff are running a more effective business as their working patterns have changed.

You can see the business that are savvy in the way they use the internet. As well as their social profile being raised, they are seeing the results in the bank too. There are still many businesses that are stalwart in their business approach, though. They are reluctant to use the internet or make any changes. It might just be through being scared of the unknown. But if a business wants to grow, the are missing a trick if they have no online presence. So here are some of the ways that you can use the internet to accelerate your business. If you’re not sure how then after reading this, you will know what steps to take.

We have to face facts that everyone is online. So if you are trying to reach those online customers, you need to be online too. There are people out there that want and need your product or service. So you need to make sure that they know about it. Gone are the days of sending money to place an ad in a magazine or newspaper. While they are still an option, they are more things that you could spend the marketing and advertising budget on. Think about social media, for instance. You could make sure that you build up a stellar social media following. Then, you can spend some money on the optimization of certain posts or promotions.

 

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The great thing about social media, or the online world in general, is that you can be specific. When you place an ad to show in between a television program, you don’t know who will be seeing it. If it is a children’s program, you might imagine parents will be around too. And if that is your target audience, then great. But if it is just a general program, who will be watching it? You can be specific when it comes to social promotions. If you’re a wedding planning company, you can target engaged females over the age of 25, for example. So you can be sure that the people you want to sell to, are the ones seeing your ad. Something like that would be no use if it was going to male pensioners, for instance. So you can be specific and get the customers that you want, talking about your product or brand.

You can also use the internet to build up your searchability. How much do we hear of people ‘googling’ things? The chances are high that people will turn to the internet to look something up. Let’s take the wedding planner example again. Unless someone knows of a specific name to look up, they will just search for something like ‘wedding planner in Atlanta.’ If you are a wedding planner in Atlanta, you are going to want your site to come high up, right? Then they can click through and find out all about your services and prices. If you aren’t online, you can’t even do that. But once you’ve got your own website, it isn’t enough to just have that. You need to work on building up your website and making it more searchable. Search engine optimization is pretty key for a lot of businesses. If you’re just starting out, then it can make a massive difference. Large, established brands don’t need to do it as much. As people would know their web address or, just search their name. But if people don’t know your name, you need to get it out there.  

Lead generation is another thing that you can do online. It is a really powerful way to reach a whole new audience. It helps with a high volume of leads, from people that are interested in your product or service. If you’re not too sure about it, then sourcing it out could be the way to go. Why not take the expert advice from someone who knows that they are doing, so you can get on with it right away? Somewhere like https://flagshipdigital.com.au/ could be a place to look. You could give it a try yourself and do your research into it. However, it might be a bit of a slower process this way.

Once you have raised your profile and are getting more and more customers, you need to be present. If you’ve got plenty of social media profiles, then you need to make sure that you are there. Rarely do people call a company up if they have a comment or complaint. They take straight to Facebook or to Twitter and get in touch that way. It is quicker and easier as a consumer. You can just do it right from the apps on your phone, rather than having to find out a phone number, for example. So if you are present, your customers will want to get in touch that way. It helps to build a relationship and provide amazing customer service. We live in a world where everything is very instant. If you can resolve a problem for a consumer quickly, then they will be back. If it takes a long time and it is a hassle for them, they more than likely won’t.

Dealing with customer service online can also help to reduce costs. Say someone has bought something online and had it delivered to them. It might have arrived broken or faulty. You can ask them to submit or email a video or picture of the product. If it really is broken, as you’ll be able to check, then they could just throw it away. In the past, they would have had to have sent it back to you and then have you reissue another one. All at your expense. So if you cut out that middle cost of returning, it will save money. It is much less hassle for the customer when that happens too.

As well as the customer service side of things, you can allow people to get to know you and your brand. So you don’t just have to tweet or post about your websites or offers you have on. If it’s appropriate, then comment on current affairs. If you have a light-hearted brand, then perhaps some comical tweets to amuse and attract followers. Having a specific social media team is a good idea if you can budget that in as your brand grows. It really is an important part of it all. Then they can tweet or post things during ‘out of office’ hours. They can tweet during popular shows, for example. So when users search hashtags, your brand’s tweet will show up. It makes your brand more approachable and normal if that makes sense. A British brand called Innocent, have a really light-hearted approach on their social media. Their Twitter profile is https://twitter.com/innocent. So it might be worth seeing how they approach it all.

One big thing that can make a difference is that you can cut costs when your business is based online. Your team might be growing and growing, for example. But it doesn’t mean that you have to relocate or get a larger office. Your team can work remotely and just come into the office on set days. All they need is their laptop, phone, and an internet connection. More and more companies have employees that work from home on certain days. It helps everyone all round really. Employees can schedule appointments for around their ‘lunch break’ on that day. So it means they will take less time off when they are in the office. Flexible working is the future, and it is great for employees and employers alike. Employees like that they have a break from the normal routine a couple of days a week. But they still get their work done. Some employers are happy too. Do you have any experience of flexible working?

So if your business is not currently online, you can see that it is important that they are. There are many benefits of it and let’s face it, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you are online but haven’t done much to increase your presence, I hope that this has helped to motivate you. It doesn’t take too much to get things going, and it will pay off.

Main Image:  Flickr

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