Why small businesses need to be present online

Why small businesses need to be present online


Lyn Ola

Lyn Ola

120 week ago — 8 min read

Owning a local business can be a competitive playing field, especially if your service is competing with a more prominent and well-known brand. Though it  might be difficult, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to being an underdog in your local market.
Nowadays, you have one of the most accessible tools in your power – the internet. If you're having trouble finding your way around using the internet and using social media to your business' advantage, you can look for two solutions to your problem.
The first is to consult those who have been doing ecommerce for a while, learning their tips and strategies that benefited them. Research, as well, can go a long way of the different do’s and don'ts of ecommerce. Agencies such as Chimes Consulting that offer both marketing and IT services can provide assessment to your current model of ecommerce and online advertising to ensure that you’re not doing anything wrong to get your ranking down.

Being The Underdog

There's a reason why local restaurants have stood the test of time against popular fast-food chains in their area. It's because they provide a type of service that these companies can't offer – familiarity and family.


As an added example, these restaurants can quickly adapt to their community by adjusting their prices and menu items depending on the demand of the customers. Unlike large companies that need approval from board executives, local businesses have a smaller chain of command, which makes it easier to implement personal touches to the service that they provide.


Though you might have a much smaller reach, your local establishment keeps you grounded and makes you a familiar name in your area. Local establishments have a much easier way of gaining a local following compared to international brands.


Standing Against the Giant

The most significant setback when it comes to competing with popular brands is that you won't have their reach. Local establishments won't have the range in terms of product placement and logistical superiority compared to business giants. While they might have a nationwide, or even international reach, your business' budget department can only go so much. But you don't always need to defer to physical distances in terms of advertising; that's the beauty of being visible online.


Internet Visibility

Just because your reach is only within a local establishment, doesn't mean that you shouldn't invest in increasing your online presence. It's no longer the wild west of the internet where page-long paragraphs of text are matched with Microsoft WordArt text to impress your readers. Having your page up doesn't mean that you'll instantly have thousands upon thousands of viewers to your site. It takes proper planning and a little bit of tech-savviness to digital marketing to build a following. Here are some suggestions on how to develop your page's quality.


Cater Content To Your Customers

You should always create content to match your customers' needs. Whether it be a promo or information on your latest item on the menu, staying on brand allows you to keep a stable and consistent brand identity brand identity that you customers can recognize. 


On the other hand, you could the complete opposite. One of 2018's viral hit was the social media team behind Wendy's, which brought their mascot into an overnight sensation. The main mascot of Wendy's as seen showing her sass on issues and backbiting on other restaurant chains comically and bluntly gave it a "meme" status. Though its entirely 'off-rand' for the burger joint, it turned out to be for the better as it has become and example how the viral internet status is useful to a company.


Know Your Platform 

If you're using another platform such as WordPress or Wix for you domain, then there's much more freedom in doing what you want. It, however, does come at the price of a minimal reach compared to what innate social media platforms can offer. 


Though it might be confusing for newcomers to see, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook demand different types of content. Facebook and Twitter accounts use queries and promotional blasts. Customer service can look towards using the DM of Twitter and Inbox of Facebook page to address customer concerns ASAP. 


Engage Instantly

Instead of merely announcing promos on holidays, you should also make use of your customers' interaction in social media to get a more organic reach. It has become a famous trick o engage customers in contests designed to raise page numbers. 


This sly but straightforward tactic an give your page a boost in visibility by being seen through your customers' feeds, which are known as organic posts. 


Knowing how your platform works and how frequently you should update it is a step closer to keeping you page engaged.


Modernize Your Platform

If you're still having trouble finding your way around using the internet and using social media to your business' advantage, you can look for two solutions to your problem. The first is to consult with similar services offered by larger companies. You can take a few tips from their successes and their failures when it comes to employing digital marketing tactics without taking the risk of doing it yourself. An ample amount of research goes a long way, especially when it comes to staying competitive in this economy.


The second solution is to seek help from experts in the scene. Agencies such as Chimes Consulting that offer both Digital Marketing and Information Technology services can provide assessment and aid to your current model of ad placements or online advertising to ensure that you’re not doing anything wrong to get your ranking down. They can give you pointers on how you can raise your company’s reach online.


Regardless of which path you take in learning digital marketing strategies, it's important to note that you should stick to your strengths instead of attempting to please everyone. Your brand's image is your own to mold and develop, and it's up to you to take which direction it should go. With the right internet tools at your disposal, you can bring your brand to a higher level of appreciation and reach beyond a few blocks from your main office.


See also: 3 fundamentals to get your business started in digital marketing


To explore business opportunities, link with me by clicking on the 'Connect' button on my profile.


Image source: Canva


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