Written for ScoopOTP.com September 2013, revised April 2015 for FlyMediaProductions.com.
If you’re reading this article it’s likely that you’re a small business considering one of the following: 1. How you can develop an online presence for your small business. 2. How you can expand upon your current online presence. Or 3. You’re wondering what the hell milkshakes have to do with the internet and social media!
If you’re here for my milkshake recipe, hang on, we’ll get to that in just a minute. ;)
For the sake of time, I’ll assume that most of you already realize the importance of an online presence - whether it be in the form of a website, social media, or both - and are simply looking for a little guidance. For the rest of you, who may not yet be convinced, I ask you to consider the following questions:
1. If a potential client or customer is looking for the product or service that you offer, how do they know that you are a potential supplier?
2. When researching competitors, how does a potential client/customer determine if you are a viable option?
3. Could you benefit from your current clients/customers knowing when you have new discounts, promotions, or offerings available?
4. Could you benefit from answering less phone calls about basic information, such as location, hours, directions, policies, etc?
5. Could you benefit from the ability to weed through potentially poor or mismatched clients/customers before spending valuable time corresponding with them?
Now consider this: according to Google data (2013), “Over the next three years businesses that make use of the web are expected to grow 40% faster.” - via Atlanta Tech Edge. But, did you know that also according to Google data, a whopping 60% of all small businesses are still operating without a website?
...My thoughts exactly!
As a web designer I come across businesses every day, who due to a lack of time, or straight up intimidation – you know the ones, people who are intimidated by computers, let alone the internet (It’s okay we still love you!) - either don’t have a website or an online presence at all, or businesses who DO have an online presence, but have no idea how to truly benefit from it.
If that’s you, I’ve got good news and bad news…
The good news is that there are ways around the time thing (such as scheduling posts), and education is readily available to those interested in finding it. The bad news? You’ll still need to find some time (or a few extra bucks to pay someone with time), and I’m afraid you’ll have to go back to school - well, not really, but some education is in your future as you learn the ropes of social media.
Either way you look at it, it’s a problem with a solution. And of all the problems you could have, I’d say it’s one of the better ones. Why? Because at least people want to buy your milkshake (whoop, there it is!). Okay, maybe your milkshake isn’t currently bringing ALL the boys to the yard, but with a little guidance and the right recipe, just like Kelis, you too could have one that does!
Okay, so just in case I’m not quite as clever as I thought, and you’re still wondering what the hell the milkshake is - it’s your product or service. Get it? Got it? Good!
So, while my milkshake recipe is top secret - “I can teach you, but I’d have to charge!” - there is another recipe I can share with you. A recipe with just 3 major ingredients: the internet, social media, and you got it – your milkshake!
In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing a tried and true recipe for online success via web savvy articles geared specifically towards developing a first time online presence, expanding upon a current one, and of course how to find and make use of the tools that are readily available to you.
If you have questions in any of these areas, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to tweet us your comments or questions below, or send us a message. Then be on the lookout, because we may just answer your question in an upcoming post!