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Tag : business owner

How to Optimize Your Local Business’ Online Listings

How to Optimize Your Local Business' Online Listings
27Mar

Social media is an exciting opportunity to engage with your customers, reach new audiences, and all of that happy jazz…but only if you’re smart about it. You wouldn’t believe how often I see local businesses that don’t have consistent, clear listings across social media. Why even advertise on social if nobody can find your store?

I don’t want your local business to fail at online marketing like the others, so I’m going to break down how you should be listing your business online!

Finish the Listing
You’d think this would go without saying, but I can definitively tell you that people need to be told this.

Partially filling out your online listing is not nearly good enough. If people don’t know your hours, it’s not really worth anything for them to know your address, is it? The same goes for photos of your store, your phone number, etc.

If your business is in some kind of middle ground right now, you still have to fill out the entire listing. Maybe you’ll be moving locations soon and don’t want to post the old location—do it anyway. Post whatever is accurate at this moment, then update it when it changes. Which brings me to my next point…

Keep Everything Updated
If your social media page, website, online listing, etc. lists your business’ information, that information should probably be accurate. In my experience, what happens is that people input that information correctly, but it becomes outdated. Hours change, stores get moved around, and suddenly the people Googling your business have no actual means of buying anything from you.

Don’t just think about text, though; visuals can play a huge role in your online listings too. 60% of consumers say that local listings with quality images encourage their business. What does that mean for you? Your images need to be a.) appealing, with no garbage or other clutter in the shots and b.) recent! If you recently updated your storefront, make sure your listing photos match. The last thing you want is for a customer to walk past your business because it doesn’t look like what they saw on the listing!

The solution is simple; just check your business’ listings every now and then, and be especially watchful when big changes are happening. My one caveat is to remember to check more than one platform. Just because your Facebook hours are right doesn’t mean the same is true for your Google listing, so be proactive and thorough if you want people to find your business!

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Have a Consistent Style
If you want people to take you seriously, then the written parts of your online listing need to share a style. For example, if one listing has your business’ name as “The Brewery Co.” and another lists it as “The Brewery Company,” you’ve got a problem. Your business looks unprofessional, and it’ll be more difficult to have a uniform brand identity if you can’t keep the name straight.

This also becomes an issue when listing your address (“road” vs “rd” vs “rd.”), and while I understand that these can sound like nitpicky details, they’re things that all come together to either make your brand look experienced and professional or amateurish and lackluster. When you’re checking up on your listings, just make sure that these stylistic issues are consistent across platforms, or you may be spreading the wrong idea about your local business.

List Wisely
Online listings are must-haves if you want to see your local business grow, but they’re only as valuable as the effort you put into them. Without optimized listings, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get any traffic to your business. Save yourself the hassle and use these tips if you want to save yourself a lot of headache!

Do you have questions about your online listings? Let’s talk about them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Shop Owners, Here’s How You Can Be Successful on Instagram

Shop Owners, Here's How You Can Be Successful on Instagram
20Mar

Is Instagram right for your business? I tend to see a lot of uncertainty in local store owners with this question, but you should have some confidence! There are plenty of ways for local businesses to use Instagram, and small shops are no exception!

I’ve been at this a long time, and I’ve seen every kind of business you can imagine give Instagram a shot. And local shop owners have been some of the most successful! Here, I’ll give you the tips that helped them get tons of attention on Instagram!

Give Them a Tour
What does the inside of the store look like? What’s actually on the shelves? Is this somewhere I want to visit?

These are all questions that your audience is going to have when they first stumble upon your Instagram account. So answer them with a video tour through your store! Take your viewers through the front door, guide them through the different sections, and overall do anything you can to convince them that your store is somewhere that they want to be.

Keep in mind that in no scenario is this a license for you to walk through your store and say “Here’s where we keep X. Here’s where we keep Y. Here’s where we…” You need to make it interesting. Talk to your viewers like they’re there in person. If you’d try to be friendly and charming with a customer in your store, then try especially hard for Instagram, because you’re potentially talking to hundreds of your customers!

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Offer Exclusive Deals
One of the best things you can do is give people a reason to follow your Instagram account. And what’s a better motivator than the chance to save money?

Try posting a code of the week that visitors to your store can use for a discount on their next visit! You can go cute and make the code your tag line or something relevant for your brand, or simple and just say “Mention this post to get a free gift with purchase!” Your customers are incentivized to follow your page, and you can guarantee they’ll be regularly checking your content if you’re sharing discounts!

I know a lot of small business owners will point out that weekly discounts might hurt their bottom line. But I promise you that (as long as you’re not offering 50% off) a successful Instagram marketing strategy will more than make up for any losses from modest deals to drive customers to your store.

If you’d consider running an ad for a special discount in your local paper but not on Instagram, then the problem is how you’re undervaluing social media, not the discount itself.

Highlight New Products
Rolling out something new? Tell your audience about it! Instagram is a visual platform, so share pictures of your new releases. If someone loves your store, they’re absolutely going to follow you to see what your next release is.

If you really want to make the most of this strategy, you might even want to share products on Instagram before they’re available in-store. That way your shoppers are encouraged to be loyal customers and check your Instagram regularly if they want to stay up to date with the newest products. And why not reward the people who are engaging with your brand online?

Post Away
If you’re seriously considering posting on Instagram, then it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and get started. Just because you’re a local business doesn’t mean that you can’t find huge success on social media. Use these tips and start sharing content that your local audience will get engaged with!

I’ve got even more tips to help your local business succeed! Let’s talk about them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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