Online Media You Can Use to Grow Your Business

Most everyone today knows that you can generate real buzz for a business using online media. With many companies implementing online-only business, imagine the success you can have if you combine that online influence with your business, either online or on the ground.

In no particular order:

 

Offline

Before you spend time marketing online, make sure you are doing all you can offline. Real life networking, such as with a chamber of commerce, can generate you real leads that lead to real sales.

Talk to your friends and family and get the word out. Your real life, offline connections may be the most valuable.

 

Facebook

With more people on Facebook than live in the United States, the potential power of Facebook is unmistakable. If you do not have a “page” for your business, you are missing out on a unique venue to spread your message and publicize your business for free to millions of people.

Creating a page is easy. When you are logged in, click on this link to start the process. Once you do, you can connect that page to your blog, Twitter, or other social media through Facebook apps. The possibilities are huge.

 

Twitter

While far fewer people use Twitter than Facebook, the active community is a great way to spread your message and interact with your customers. It is often used by large and small businesses to connect and converse with new, potential, and regular customers.

Visit Twitter.com to sign up. Like with Facebook, you can automatically publish blog posts and link to other social media using apps.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional Facebook for grown-ups. It can be used to connect personally to customers, vendors, clients, and other professionals. I have seen it used for networking, career development and job placements, and building a resume with strong references.

You can get a LinkedIn account for free and get access to premium features for a fee.

 

Company Blog

Does your company have a blog? In many cases, a company blog is not worth the cost or effort. However, it can be a powerful method to build a community and awareness around your brand if you are in the right industry.

Company blogs are best for attracting new customers and retaining repeat business. For a plumber or carpenter, it might not be worth it. However, for subscription and order based businesses, it can be very powerful.

You can get a domain for about $10 per year and hosting for as low as $50 per year depending on your needs. From there, install self-hosted WordPress for free and you are up and running. If you already have a website, adding a blog is a quick addition at no extra cost.

 

Yelp

While blogs are not great for local businesses like plumbers and contractors, Yelp can be a goldmine for local brick and mortar businesses and service providers.

Yelp is an online business directory complete with ratings and reviews. Do a good job for your customers and you will get a high rating, which will ideally lead to new businesses. I found my dry cleaners on Yelp and searched for a plumber on Yelp when my shower was clogged. A bad review meant they had no chance and a good review put previously unheard of businesses on the short list.

You can manage your business on Yelp using a free account.

 

How Have You Built Your Presence Online?

What has worked well for you and what have you struggled with? Please share your stories and experiences in the comments.

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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