Taking your business from strictly brick-and-mortar, or even an idea in your head, to a business that can be found by your customers online, can be daunting.
It seems like everyone is always talking about some new social media platform that is all the rage, and just when you start to think “hey, maybe I should try this.” everything changes and your back to square one.
I’m here to tell you that that isn’t the case.
Step 1: Get a Google “My Business” Page
Google My Business is those boxes you see on the right when you search for a company on Google.
It usually gives information like location, business hours, pictures, reviews, etc. and, unlike even the most basic of websites, its free.
Google My Business helps give people who may have been searching for you anyway an overview of your company, that you decide.
So while it is only a starting block, its one of the easiest and most powerful things you can do to help your business get found online, as well as giving your most appreciative customers a place to leave their loving reviews!
Step 2: Create a Facebook Page
It may be tempting to avoid social media altogether, but that is a mistake a lot of companies make.
Facebook is the largest social media platform for businesses.
It gives you an opportunity to share, in almost real-time with your customer base.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be personal.
Even if you just update the page with simple items, like today’s lunch special, or your revised hours for Christmas.
Having a Facebook page can help you and your customers feel more connected, increasing loyalty.
All while being free.
It also gives you yet another platform to advertise your products, and another location for customers to leave you reviews.
The more places customers can find you, the better!
Step 3: Get a Website
So you have your Google My Business page and a Facebook page. Now what?
Websites are key to a company achieving online success.
It gives a completely customizable face to your company for anyone looking online.
It additionally comes with a whole bunch of new things a savvy business owner may find helpful, including:
- Visitor tracking for everything from age and gender to what they looked at on the site
- The ability to add e-commerce (purchasing online)
- A place to showcase your branding, and help customers identify you more easily
- And more
There is a lot of advantages to a website, but it also begins to cost.
Websites can be made anywhere from free (if you use the website hosts URL, for example, mysite.wix.com), all the way to thousands of dollars if you have a giant e-commerce store that you are setting up.
If you’re looking for a ballpark number, we have found that most start-up businesses can get a basic website done, including design and their own domain for about $100!
Step 4: Post Daily
So you have a website, Google My Business, and Facebook page?
The next step is to start posting daily.
Posting daily helps you get seen, and helps you stand apart from your competition.
Social media in 2019 really is one of the most underutilized areas by most companies.
The average person spends 144 minutes, or about 2 and a half hours per day looking at social media.
This has the convenient effect that social media posts are far more likely to be seen, and far more likely to grow.
Having an extremely active social media also helps customers feel that your company is doing well.
Have you ever seen a company’s Facebook page and the last post was 6 months ago?
I’m willing to bet that you questioned if they were even still in business.
Posting daily is one of the easiest things to do on social media.
It doesn’t cost any money, only time, and if you make it part of your daily routine (or even weekly, since you can schedule posts ahead of time) it can help more people find you and your business in the online world.
Step 5: Expand
“Expand” is very broad because it is different for every type of business.
It could mean putting yourself on more social media platforms.
Or posting more.
It could even mean expanding your website to offer e-commerce in addition to your brick-and-mortar store.
Whatever the choice is for you, once you have the foundation built, and the previous 4 steps completed, you’ll be ready to expand into everything online for your business!