The Importance of Web Presence

There is no excuse for any type of business to avoid a presence on the Internet today. In fact, not being on the web can hurt your business, especially if you own a retail location. Whether you are involved in social media or any number of check in websites, something needs to exist. Many businesses find that they are on these sites whether they choose to be or not. 

Sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and others allow customers to create your business location for you. This takes things out of your control. While this may be ok, it is preferable to be engaged with your customers and embrace the new type of social networking. Many of them allow you to post coupon's for those willing to check into your business on their site. Taking advantage of this and other promotions can actually increase customer loyalty by providing bonuses for those who checkin a certain number of times. 

Having a presence on Facebook and Google+ can increase exposure as customers will "Like" or "+1" your page which exposes you to more potential customers. This provides another set of platforms to engage your customers. It is important to remember that you can't just exist, but need to engage as well.

Many business owners will find that they are in fact already listed on these social platforms through the checkin process completed by their customers. What many owners fail to realize is the impact reviews have on these sites. Nearly every site is mobile capable, which means your customers are checking the comments and reviews as they walk down the street making their decision on where to go for coffee or lunch. You need to be aware of customer complaints and suggestions. 

Nothing makes a bigger impression (negative or positive) than an owner that is engaged on these sites. When a customer complains or complements the business style or staff, having a response from the owner can thrill everyone involved. These days, most customers don't feel that business owners are responsive to customer needs. When an owner says, "I'm listening, " the customer will highly value the experience. Potential customers will also respond by giving you their business.

The result of being aware of and engaging customers through social medial and the web can have a potentially huge impact on your bottom line. Showing that you care enough to pay attention to their needs, suggestions, and complaints means you are one of the few rare business owners that makes the customers a priority. Even if you cannot always give the customer what they want, being appropriately engaged will impress them.

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