When it comes to small business, and business in general, the Internet has become an indispensable part of most company’s business strategies. The reason is simple: using the World Wide Web as a marketing device is one of the most powerful ways to get your brand out in front of your demographics. This practice has become standard procedure among many businesses and those that fail to adapt are finding themselves left further and further behind. There are many ways to have an online presence for you business and finding the best ones is a matter of understanding your demographic and how you want to reach them.
Having a website is the most basic form of having a web presence but also one of the most important. When someone does a search for your company, or for the products and/or services you provide, you have to have a location for them to go to that will show up in the search results. A website fulfills this need perfectly and allows you to have a consolidated area for your brand.
One word of caution though, the website itself will serve as an overview of your brand, not the end destination of your marketing efforts. Your marketing efforts will need to drive consumers to a more specific location depending on what the goal of the effort is. One such option is the use of social media.
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter allows you to have a much greater deal of interaction with your customers and also allows them to have a great deal of interaction with your brand. This is a great way to build consumer loyalty to your brand and get a very down-to-earth view of just how your demographic feels about your brand and how they are interacting with it.
You must remember though that using social media is a double edged sword. By allowing a greater deal of communication and interaction you will naturally have some trolls (people who cause trouble online for fun) and haters (people who hate your brand regardless of logic) who will try and tear you down. Strict moderation may be needed to keep negative influences like trolls and haters under control. However, too much moderation will be a turn off to your supportive customers. Finding the perfect balance will depend on what type of business you run and who your demographic is.