Attracting local customers is the lifeblood of a small business. Being nearby allows you the opportunity to foster healthy, personal relationships with your clients. Nevertheless, attracting local clients does not require a ground-based, grassroots advertising campaign.

Small businesses are now adopting many of the technological tools global conglomerates use to promote their businesses xpau se. The reason for this is the expansion of social media, and specialized internet services that use this global mechanism to connect with the stranger next door. The following are five ways to attract local customers to your small business:

1. Facebook Fan Pages

In the early days of the internet, many small businesses created websites in hopes of finding new ways to market their services to customers. However, these pages existed on islands, lost in the haze of data floating on the internet. With Web 2.0, websites were able to link their pages with Facebook and Twitter, which not only allows customers to get information and coupons off the web but promote your company to their family and friends. Taking it one step further, companies can now create Fan Pages directly on Facebook, where customers can gather and offer feedback without having to visit your company website.

2. Twitter Promotions

People love sales. Research shows that consumers are more likely to buy an item if a sale price is temporary than if the price were permanently slashed. The reason is the sense of urgency that a sale invokes. The same theory applies to restricted items, as the need to buy now creates competition among the masses. Typically, such transactions require big advertisement in the newspaper and on television. Twitter, on the other hand, not only provides a forum for quickly spreading promotions, but optimal use of the hashtag can attract other bargain hunters searching for deals.

3. Encourage Customer Reviews

When people buy products online, the first thing they read is the customer review section. Unlike the product description, consumer feedback promises to be unfiltered, mainly when provided by users who have a history of unbiased criticism. Getting positive reviews on sites such as Yelp are critical for those in the restaurant and catering business. For small businesses that sell items on Amazon, bad reviews can significantly damage sales by hurting consumer confidence and preventing your product from showing up at the top of a related search.

4. Search Engine Optimization

Search can make or break a small business. When people need something, they turn to sites like Google to find answers and the order in which those answers are displayed profoundly influence where they will click. Make sure to register your website with both Google and Yahoo’s local business directory, and verify that your business comes up when searching for services in your region.

5. Market Your Small Business

There are no shortage of blogs, newspapers, and opinion related sites on the internet. In addition to drawing fans with social media, try proactively marketing to bloggers and tweeters who hold influence. Restaurant owners, for instance, can contact local food blogs and offer a free meal in exchange for a review on their site. Products can be sent free of charge to influential reviewers, which in turn will provide free advertising to their legions of followers Atube catcher error 204. Best of all, any positive reviews will come from a source they trust rather than the hyperbolic ramblings of a paid advertiser.

Steven Richards is a business writer for IndemnityInsurance.net – a dedicated business insurance resource.

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