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small business owners
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web presence
business methods
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social networks
virtual world
business plan
left behind
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Build Your Web Visibility As A Small Business Owner
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Build Your Web Visibility As A Small Business Owner

For small business owners today, being social on the internet is what getting a telephone number was 20 years ago. You have to make it easy for your customers to reach you. Millions of potential customers are searching for businesses like yours through the world-wide-web. Without a web presence, you could get left behind.

Customers still love to talk on the phone but in today’s virtual world, we appreciate being able to research a company before calling them. The phone is still very much needed but has become a secondary contact method for customers so it’s important that your email and phone contact information are somewhere on the web.

A web presence can be as simple as a Yellow Pages listing, Facebook business page, a LinkedIn profile or a WordPress blog. It can be anything that gives your customer a way to read more about you and your business and most importantly an email or phone number for contact.

A web presence doesn’t have to be complex, but it does need to convey the right image to your market. Going back to your business plan may be valuable when considering your web presence because it will direct you to your original mission, your target market and advertising considerations. Once you are refreshed on the business plan, you can consider your current brand and how to best promote it online.

When you have outlined your brand to be visible online, you’ll need to hire a designer. You’ll need help creating various logos, backgrounds, headers and taglines that you can use for each social network that you choose. If your budget is limited, finding a good designer, reviewing many portfolios and setting aside $500 for a logo and brand is worth the effort. Take the time to review your current logo and make sure it is the image your customers will be attracted to.

Once you have an effective designer in place, start creating your business accounts on various social networks that you feel will serve your business methods. There are advantages to each social network and certain customers are attracted to each:

- Facebook is a powerful tool for most business owners as it enables you to list the most information about your company in one place and is great for more personal communication with individual contacts

- Twitter is a great customer service method to track and resolve customer issues

- Pinterest is a perfect platform to advertise your business if your services are heavy on images

- LinkedIn offers a professional way to highlight your expertise or specialties as a team or a company

- Google+ has a tremendous method of marketing directly to large circles instead of direct communication with a few

- Youtube can be a strong ally if your business is video-centric

- Yelp allows your market to leave powerful reviews for your company and is a great way to monitor customer service issues

Once you create effective profiles with your preferred social network, you should consider what anchor to tie in these social networks. More to come on creating websites on a budget for small business owners.


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