If you want your business to be successful, you need to be discovered online. It can be overwhelming trying to determine exactly where your small business needs to be found online. There are so many search and social outlets, and not all of them are necessary for your business. However, some are absolutely vital for the success of your business, and here they are:

 

Google

1.17 billion people actively use Google. In fact, over 77% of online searches are through Google. That is a lot of potential business to miss out on, simply because you’re not showing up on the dominant search engine. Not only should people be able to find your business on Google, they should also be able to leave and read reviews about your business there. Did you know that 90% of consumers check a business’ online reviews before going there? And of those, 88% actually trust reviews just as much as they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from a friend or family member. With so many people caring about reviews, it’s important to build those up on the top search engine, Google.

 

It’s true that if your business can’t be found on Google, your business can’t be found. People are searching for things like, “landscaper near me” and “HVAC in Lehi, UT” all the time. If your business isn’t showing up in those searches, all of those consumers will be going to your competitors instead. If your business isn’t already showing up on Google, now is the time to create a google listing for yourself — it’s free!

 

Facebook

There are over 2.20 billion active users on Facebook. Over 1 billion of those users access Facebook multiple times a day from their mobile phones. If your business isn’t one of the 3 million that are currently on Facebook, you need to be. Creating a facebook account for your business is free and it’s a great advertising tool. Facebook can be utilized for so many things that will help your business, including:

 

Posting frequent updates for your followers

Providing valuable information about your business

Running ads for your business

Gaining reviews from your customers

Interacting with your current and potential customers quickly & easily

And so much more!

 

Facebook is the top social media site and is the perfect place for your business to build up an online reputation. Your customers are there- both current and potential, and they’re ready to find your business!

 

Yelp

Why Yelp? There are a number of reasons that your business needs a profile on Yelp. Perhaps the first of these reasons is that over 142 million users visit Yelp each month. These users are in search of information about businesses just like yours. They go to Yelp to view reviews, photos, contact information, and more. Yelp is another great tool for connecting with your customers, because so many of them are coming here to find out more about you. Again, Yelp allows you to set up a free business profile by claiming your business on their platform. Similar to Facebook and Google, you can respond to reviews from consumers on Yelp, and view photos that customers have uploaded of your work.

 

Why do you want to be on Facebook, Google and Yelp? It’s simple. Different people prefer different platforms. You don’t want to miss out on any of your potential customers simply because you weren’t in the right place. In order to have the best online reputation, you need to show up on multiple outlets and have profiles on several online platforms. Since all three are free to use, there’s no reason not to utilize all of them and have the best chance of reaching every possible customer.

 

Instagram (sometimes…)

Instagram is almost as popular as Facebook, in regards to social platforms, with about 1 billion active users.  When it comes to online profiles, the more the better! However, we say Instagram (sometimes..) because it’s not as necessary for most businesses as Google, Facebook and Yelp are. Instagram is perfect for those who are selling online, and who would like to reach out more and interact with their consumers. Instagram is a great place to post updates about your business, and respond to comments from your followers. However, there are some differences that make it less-than-necessary for some small businesses, like:

 

No ability for customers to leave reviews

Not as simple to search on as Google and Facebook

Not AS MANY users (but almost)

 

To sum it up, your small business needs to be found online on Facebook, Google and Yelp. If you have time to add Instagram to the mix, that’s a great idea (and keep in mind, you can easily post to Facebook directly from Instagram). However, if you determine that Instagram isn’t the best place for your business, then just stick to the mighty 3!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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