How businesses can quickly build an online presence

by Winston
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Developing an online presence is key to your success as a new local business. The internet has really taken over the world of marketing in recent years and it’s become vital for companies of all types and sizes to maintain a strong online reputation.

The good news is, new online businesses have equal opportunities to larger, more established ones. You just need to know where to start. Here you’ll find 3 easy ways to build your online presence.

1. Perfect your website

The number one thing that’s going to determine your online presence is your website. It’s the hub of your online presence and is where you’ll be directing consumers to find out more about the company, to sell your products and services and contact you. It needs to be attractive, easy to use and informative.

Look at your website from a visitor’s perspective. Can they easily find everything they need? Once you’ve perfected your site, you can then work on your marketing materials.

2. Be present on social media

You should ideally have two-three social media accounts, though starting out with just one will help you to become familiar with how it works. Social media gives consumers the chance to chat with you directly, leave reviews and find out about latest news relating to your business. A company blog is equally important. Blogging and social media together can help you to give your brand a more personal voice, which will really help to attract new customers.

3. Encourage reviews and testimonials

As a new business, reviews and testimonials are extremely critical in producing sales. Consumers today go online to see what other people have to say about businesses they haven’t used before. Having these reviews and testimonials can catapult trust in your company pretty quickly.

How many social media accounts does your business currently have? How many do you regularly use?

You may not know that social media is valuable for building up your online reputation. It’s not enough to simply set up an account and sit and wait for customers to join you. You actually need to take the time and effort to get them to come to you.

How? By being active, responding to your customers and showing you’re there, you’re present and you’re ready to talk.

Over time, you can encourage your existing customers who engage with you on social media to write reviews and testimonials.

You have to go about it the right way in order to get results.

With social media, it’s all about connecting with people. Consumers expect a business to respond to them, to listen and to care about their feedback. They aren’t looking for just another sales page. If you’ve been using your accounts to simply advertise new products and services, you’re doing it all wrong.

Being more social enables you to develop better connections with both existing and potential customers. It gives you the opportunity to develop a voice for your brand– before social media, this was something that set the major companies apart from their smaller competitors.

After a while, if you’ve been sharing relevant, useful posts and corresponding with customers on your page, you’ll be seen as an expert in the field. As a result, many of your customers will want to tell the world how great your company is, which significantly boosts your reputation.

If you’ve been ignoring your visitors and simply using social media as a hard sales platform, stop. Start being more social and your reputation will improve effortlessly.

If you really want your online reputation to soar, you’re going to need to make sure your customers trust you. How? With complete transparency.

Nobody likes to feel misled. You only have to look at the thousands of complaints companies have received due to cleverly hidden terms and conditions to know how important transparency is. Without transparencythere’s no trust, and without trust you’ll have very few customers.

Be honest about your services

The first step to full transparency is making sure you’re honest about the products and services you provide. Never over-sell or make them sound too good to be true. Of course, you should never be negative about your business, but avoiding unrealistic statements is definitely recommended.

You’ll also need to be honest about any fees you may charge. This is the one thing that can save you from developing a really bad reputation. As long as you’re honest and don’t try to hide any fees or potential problems, your customers will trust your reliability.

Don’t ignore employees

Your employees are the face of your business so keeping them happy is essential to your reputation. This means you also need to be 100% transparent with them too. Keep them in the loop, don’t shut them out of important decisions, events, and other value-boosting activities. If something is wrong, tell them. If they feel included and valued, they are going to do their best to help and provide the best service to your customers.

Transparency improves both customer and employee relationships, which in turn really boosts your reputation. You need your customers to trust you otherwise they’re going to head over to your competitors.

The one thing you need to remember is that you aren’t going to develop a strong online reputation overnight. It takes time and a lot of continuous effort to establish your business online.

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