Are You Really Online?

small business webinarsWas a time a few years back when I would tell audiences of small business owners that “if they did not have a website, they weren’t really in business.”

Fortunately, small business owners have taken heed and now most concede they must indeed embrace the Internet – of course, now that’s really not enough is it? My soap box speech these days has evolved to something more along the lines of “if you’re not participating in social media and building a total web presence, you’re not really online.”

Even though you may think you have one of the world’s coolest websites, if you aren’t constantly adding educational content, finding new ways to connect with your markets online, building community around your ideas, and ultimately using your website as a tool to convert know, like and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer – then you stand little chance of competing in your chosen industry these days.

I know you’ve heard plenty of late about social media, but this is really a bigger idea still. What I’m talking about is the total integration of your online and offline activity through the use of a primary web hub.

Want to learn more about this notion? Join me Wednesday, September 23rd at 2pm EDT for a free webinar, sponsored by Verizon, titled – How to Get More from Your Small Business Website. Enroll here. Looking forward to expanding your view of the web!


Tags

Small Business, Verizon Communications, Website


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  1. I love your line “total integration of your online and offline activity”. It’s what I call ‘brick and click’, which also happens to be my business name. The digital and brick and mortar worlds – business and social – are converging. Main Street is online AND offline. Business owners have to grasp how consumer habits have changed, and be willing to evolve as well.

  2. I love your line “total integration of your online and offline activity”. It's what I call 'brick and click', which also happens to be my business name. The digital and brick and mortar worlds – business and social – are converging. Main Street is online AND offline. Business owners have to grasp how consumer habits have changed, and be willing to evolve as well.

  3. Yup, even having a website is not enough these days.

    You gotta *connect* with your users and make them *stick* to your website. All these requires:
    1) frequent update of content
    and more importantly:
    2) use of social media elements to draw them closer to your website.

    A FB or twitter profile is a good start though..

  4. The idea of integration is something that some people get hung up on, it’s finding a balance between the cool website and the right social media sites. Updating content and having a simulated conversation with your customers, like telling them what they want/need to know about is also a great way to draw people to your website. If they have something to gain by visiting then they will visit!

  5. I think the challenge for the small business owner is to distinguish the social media fads from those that are genuinely game changers. Being ‘online’ is going so many directions that there simply isn’t enough time to embrace them all.

  6. Yup, even having a website is not enough these days.

    You gotta *connect* with your users and make them *stick* to your website. All these requires:
    1) frequent update of content
    and more importantly:
    2) use of social media elements to draw them closer to your website.

    A FB or twitter profile is a good start though..

  7. The idea of integration is something that some people get hung up on, it's finding a balance between the cool website and the right social media sites. Updating content and having a simulated conversation with your customers, like telling them what they want/need to know about is also a great way to draw people to your website. If they have something to gain by visiting then they will visit!

  8. I think the challenge for the small business owner is to distinguish the social media fads from those that are genuinely game changers. Being 'online' is going so many directions that there simply isn’t enough time to embrace them all.

  9. Good point about adding content. There are so many dead company sites online, if a company’s website doesn’t have updated content I assume they’re out of business.

  10. Good point about adding content. There are so many dead company sites online, if a company's website doesn't have updated content I assume they're out of business.

  11. It’s also important to be careful about how you approach social media with cilents, though. Social media is such a buzzword at this point that businesses are running around signing up for twitter and facebook and linkedin without a strategy or goals in place. Then what happens is that you have a completely off-brand, lackluster and never updated social media profile that just looks bad for the company.

    We have been stressing recently the importance of not getting caught up in the buzz, but rather developing a compelling story, then using a comprehensive social media plan to distribute your story to a targeted audience.

  12. It's also important to be careful about how you approach social media with cilents, though. Social media is such a buzzword at this point that businesses are running around signing up for twitter and facebook and linkedin without a strategy or goals in place. Then what happens is that you have a completely off-brand, lackluster and never updated social media profile that just looks bad for the company.

    We have been stressing recently the importance of not getting caught up in the buzz, but rather developing a compelling story, then using a comprehensive social media plan to distribute your story to a targeted audience.

  13. In today’s world it’s not enough to have a site. Personally I agree that using social sites to connect with different people has become a necessity for small business owners but they ought to make their unique and updated content. These two factors can allure more users and subsequently lead to sales generation.

  14. In today's world it's not enough to have a site. Personally I agree that using social sites to connect with different people has become a necessity for small business owners but they ought to make their unique and updated content. These two factors can allure more users and subsequently lead to sales generation.

  15. Your way of writing posts is great and I think this was and will be your best strategy to win the attention of your readers. This is a fabulous post. I do many of these things already, but look forward to implementing the others. Keep blogging.

  16. Connecting to your customers is easier than ever. Small businesses who do not embrace social media are sure to be left behind. I like your statement, “building community around your ideas, and ultimately using your website as a tool to convert know, like and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer”, (a complete summation of actions that drive and establish customer relationships in a few simple words). I have seen the same idea take place on the social buying site eWinWin, where products that have already built a strong appeal with its buyers can be purchased in a social pricing atmosphere and relative price savings shared between different networks. The refer step even involves direct links to be posted to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

    -Christine LaBon

  17. Connecting to your customers is easier than ever. Small businesses who do not embrace social media are sure to be left behind. I like your statement, “building community around your ideas, and ultimately using your website as a tool to convert know, like and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer”, (a complete summation of actions that drive and establish customer relationships in a few simple words). I have seen the same idea take place on the social buying site eWinWin, where products that have already built a strong appeal with its buyers can be purchased in a social pricing atmosphere and relative price savings shared between different networks. The refer step even involves direct links to be posted to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

    -Christine LaBon

  18. Connecting to your customers is easier than ever. Small businesses who do not embrace social media are sure to be left behind. I like your statement, “building community around your ideas, and ultimately using your website as a tool to convert know, like and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer”, (a complete summation of actions that drive and establish customer relationships in a few simple words). I have seen the same idea take place on the social buying site eWinWin, where products that have already built a strong appeal with its buyers can be purchased in a social pricing atmosphere and relative price savings shared between different networks. The refer step even involves direct links to be posted to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.

    -Christine LaBon

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