There’s no denying it, there is no point in history when we are ever more connected than we are today. This spells a lot for businesses regardless of size and scale. Statistics from Google suggest that 97% of customers use the web to search for local businesses. The question now, is whether you are harnessing the potential the internet-driven economy has to offer or are you lagging behind?
In order to tap into these opportunities, having an online presence is paramount.
Your online identity reinforces who and what you stand for. You are the best person who knows what you have to offer and the internet is a great way to share your products and services to your target clientele and to the world at large. A solid online presence not only fosters trust but also increases customer satisfaction since you make it more convenient for existing and prospective customers to find and reach you. In addition, likes in your post, page or blog; visits to your site, and followers of your social-media accounts can translate into leads and ultimately, profit.
What is Online Presence?
Online presence can be defined as the totality of your digital profiles, activities, interactions, etc. on the web. This includes social networking accounts, blogs, posts, websites and so forth. This is how your customers see you online and equally important, how you would like to be seen online.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. are popular tools to market your products and services. For these types of platforms, consistency is key. The challenge is to regularly post timely, relevant and appealing content that promote your business. Social media accounts can be very effective in this aspect especially in keeping clients engaged.
Social media accounts are good but can only go so far. Options to customize the look and feel, content, layout, structure, etc. of your page or account are oftentimes not available. This is where a website comes in. Your website connects all your social media accounts and marks your very own space in the web. A dedicated site tailored specifically for your business can go a long way.
I want to but..
Some people have reservations that online presence is only for technology-inclined enterprises; that traditional/local businesses have nothing to gain from venturing online. Do not fall into this trap! Getting clients to notice your business (if you are starting out) and ensuring customer loyalty (if you are already established) rank high in priorities of most if not all businesses. In addition, making it convenient for customers to reach you can make the difference between a lost opportunity and a closed deal. Building your online presence significantly helps in achieving these goals as this increases the visibility of your brand as well as puts your business on the online map – further strengthening your brand.
There are those however, who are faced with the harsh reality that even keeping their business afloat is a struggle in itself. Do they need online presence? A cost-benefit analysis could answer this. If you want your business to grow however, investing in your online presence is one the best choices you could possibly make! Even if under a tight budget, one only has to be resourceful. For instance, popular social media sites are free to use. You could start from there. If you opt to go for the next level which is a website, there are affordable options and our company, CarveonTech can help you with that.
It Takes Time
Assuming you proceeded with building your online presence.. What’s next? Two things come to mind – trust and credibility. As cliché as it may seem, these two are never out of style. A credible business is trusted by its customers. People invest their time and money in things they believe are worthy of their trust. Loyal customers are not made overnight. For established businesses, gaining trust of clients might come easy however, achieving this status takes time, patience and most importantly, effort.
Of course, there has to be a way to measure the reach of your online presence. Social media accounts have different ways to track these (such as number of likes, visits, etc.). When it comes to your website, the traffic (you can use Google Analytics for this) that your site is getting is an excellent indicator. You can use online ads, SEO, among other things to increase your reach. Visits, likes, etc. can turn into leads, leads into opportunities and ultimately, profit.
Sometimes, businesses are too caught in their processes that client satisfaction is left wanting. Always strive to communicate effectively and deliver accordingly. This has to be at the core of your business. If for some reason you are unable to do so, make sure to keep your client in the loop. These things build your credibility. Customers who feel valued are likely to be loyal. Also, they can refer your services to their peers and colleagues.
To sum it up, your online presence should be a reflection of your business. Aspire to be relevant to your clients. Online is the ultimate medium. Don’t be the one who misses the boat! Get started if you haven’t yet. Now’s the time.