People use the Internet and social media to find information – provide it! If it is difficult for people to easily find information, they will quickly move on to another option. A web presence has become a necessity for businesses to succeed. Today, the first thing we do to find information is not to go to the Yellow pages or the encyclopedia, but to search the Internet. If you ask a friend for a recommendation, you are likely to ask via social media and, when given a recommendation, you will be told to “check out their website.”
I know some people will disagree, but I firmly believe that if you don’t have a presence on the web, you lose credibility. Before you start engaging on other social media, make sure you have a website up and running and that it contains the information that people will look for – in a user-friendly format. Have a restaurant or café? Make sure there is at least a sample menu. People want to know (depending on the sort of business) about the company, your mission, hours, directions, contact information, prices, specials, happy hours, special events, community involvement, links to partners, where to go for help, staff, management, board members, FAQs, interesting facts, how to get involved, press releases, etc. What questions are you asked on a regular basis? What information is most requested? Unless there is a privacy concern, consider putting this info on your website.
Once you have your key information source available (your website), take your business to applicable social medias. Do your homework to determine the best options for reaching your particular audience and then add one or two channels at a time. This will allow you to keep your media responsibilities manageable. Make sure your website and media sites link to each other, making the search for information as seamless as possible. Keep your information up-to-date and post regularly.
The Internet and social media have made it possible to be almost anywhere and everywhere. Make sure your potential and current customers, clients, supporters, and fans can find you quickly and easily by using these available and affordable communication tools.