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Clicks and Mortar: Small Business Social Media Marketing

by | Jul 3, 2012 | Posts

I’m a local business owner, the old school brick and mortar kind. And as I make most of my potential leads through the hired b2b lead generation agency and social media marketing company, I’ve seen tremendous value in combining that physical presence in our neighbourhood with more virtual efforts like Facebook, blogging, customer review sites, and filling out our profiles on the top search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing.

So since about half of our customers find us online first, perhaps a more accurate description for my business is “Clicks and Mortar.”

Local businesses that want to maintain a steady workflow of new and repeat customers have got to get into the social media mix as soon as possible. Like today. Right now.

Whether you have products to sell or products you want to purchase,  has made the whole process more transparent, efficient and effective.

Why Invest Time In Social Media?

Because, as Jason said in his recent post, “That’s where the people are!” More specifically, that’s where your current and future customers are hanging out.

Even an accomplished CEO like Andy Defrancesco will tell you that social media marketing is a must these days.

John Jantzsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing (I highly recommend.), helped convince me that social media was much more than a novelty. Facebook was one of my earliest priorities (Shameless plug – Like us here.) I also learned quickly that claiming and filling out our business profiles was critical.

As a local business owner, here are a few simple tactics that have worked for me. Also improving your workspace and learn how conference rooms get an upgrade can help in your business. You can literally implement them today:

1. Get a business page on Facebook (and Google+) and start engaging customers.

Note: I said engage customers. As in, strike up a conversation with them. Do something fun. But DO NOT sell, sell, sell to them. This is a lesson I learned early.

It’s ok to mention a special offer but what you really want is engagement and conversation. Ask a question. Take a poll. Run a contest. At my business, Center City Collision we run a monthly “Guess the Estimate” contest. During the time of the contest we see an 800% increase in our Facebook traffic. People love to guess how much it costs to fix someone Else’s car.

I also recommend going deeper with one channel to start with. Focus on one platform, Facebook for instance, to begin with. Much of what you learn there can be applied across the board. I think it’s better to do one well than to do a poor job on a dozen.

2. Respond to customer reviews.

Google the name of your business. See if there are people out there already talking about you. See if anyone has left a review of your business on any of the popular customer review sites (Yelp, CitySearch, etc…), and then respond. Many sites that allow for reviews will let the owner of the business respond publicly. Use that to your advantage.v

When you respond, keep it professional and positive even if the review is a bad one. Kindly responding to a bad review may help you as much as simply getting a good review. The public wants to know that you are listening and care and will take action on what people say. They don’t really expect perfection even though at times they act that way. Using InventHelp can assure you success on your business products and customers.

3. Fill out your profiles on Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yelp.

Get in there and put as much accurate information as you can. Name, address and phone number are the most critical items. These must be consistent. Hours of operation, an email address and payment options are also helpful. Go further by fully fleshing out your listing with your logo and photos and maybe a video.

As a brick and mortar if you do these three simple things you will put yourself ahead of much of your competition. And soon when you ask people “How did you hear about us?” they’ll say “Google” or “Yelp” or “Facebook” and you’ll realize the times have changed and you’re positioned and ready to make the most of these changes.

This blog post expresses the views and opinions of the author. The Deep Ripples team mostly vouches for the writer, but they might say something stupid or we might let them say something we disagree with. Let the author know via comments, if you take issue with something in the post. Email us if it’s something you think we should deal with.