7 Sure Fire Ways to Put Your Brick and Mortar Business Out of Business, by misusing or not using Social Media and free Web Resource by Martin Brossman and Jody Murphy
No, I don’t think it is all that black and white. But after seven years of getting results in Social Media for small business and seeing so many of them go out of business in part because they were not willing to learn a few new behaviors, I felt I had to write this blog post. Sometime people learn best by understanding what NOT to do so we wrote this.
If getting new customers from the internet or from out-of-town is important to your business success, then this is a very important article for you to digest.
The invitation is to read them and see if you are doing any of these actions. We think if you are it will be obvious what you should start doing:
1) Don’t make any effort to be sure you are correctly listed on the free internet directories.
Not getting on the maps, into key free directory sites and not claiming your listing on sites like Google Maps is one sure-fire way to put your brick and mortar business out of business. Learn more about how to get found online here: https://www.google.com/+/business/befound.html
When you create any online listing for your business, be consistent. Use the precise name, address and phone number that Google is using to “find” you online. Referred to as NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), your business’s NAP info must be identical. Wherever it appears online = identical. That means the formatting of your phone number, using Street instead of St., etc. Whatever Google has for you, match it exactly everywhere else it appears online. If there are variations in your NAP info, Google interprets each listing (also referred to as “citation”) as a separate business. This weakens your local search optimization efforts, so don’t do it.
And don’t overlook hidden opportunities to expand your online visibility. For example, if you’ve paid for a local Chamber of Commerce membership, be sure you’ve correctly filled out your directory listing on the Chamber website. That’s another “citation” Google can find for you, which boosts your online reputation and authority.
2) Don’t generate a steady stream of relevant content and cross-promote it where it matters in personalized ways.
If you’re not willing to get your entire team to create relevant content that is worth your customers’ and prospects’ attention, you’re losing ground. And, if you insist on creating content for social media posts that constantly pushes “ads” and self-serving announcements, you might as well shoot yourself in the foot.
Produce and share content, including photos and videos, that truly serves the needs and interests of your customers and prospects. Be helpful. Answer their questions. Listen with both ears. Build relationships. Solve their problems.
3) Don’t pay attention or care what other people are saying online about you and your company.
Take a few simple (and free) steps to monitor your reputation online. Set up Google Alerts to track mentions of your company name and keep up with what’s being said about you online. Set up HyperAlerts so you get an email notification whenever someone mentions you/your company name on Facebook and Twitter. With these two methods, you will also have a heads up if you need to respond to a public comment or question.
4) Don’t make it easy for people who love you to leave a positive review or connect to you on social media.
In your brick-and-mortar location, be sure you make it easy for shoppers to stay connected online and tell them exactly where you’d appreciate their leaving a review of your business. Add info on point-of-purchase signage, have business size cards with all the ways to follow you online and be sure employees have been well trained in how to talk about all the ways to connect with your business online and encourage happy customers to leave a positive review.
If you don’t leave links from your website to the place on top review sites where they can easily leave a review for your business, you’re missing an excellent opportunity. The people who like you and want to help your business grow may not go the extra mile to find out how or where to leave a positive review, but someone who’s had an unpleasant experience won’t stop until they’ve left multiple negative reviews. Give yourself the edge and make it easy for your fans to leave a good review.
And, you might be tempted to incentivize customers to leave a positive review, but that violates all the guidelines. You’re inviting trouble and in the end, you may end up damaging your business reputation more than if you hadn’t gotten a review at all.
5) Hide behind your logo.
You can do something the big box stores struggle with and often pay big bucks to fake — putting a human face on your business. If you don’t bring your best people out front and create a personal bond, you miss a golden opportunity to connect at an emotional level with customers and prospects.
Try as they might, the big box stores cannot be as responsive or personal as your locally-owned business. Still, many local business owners fail to seize this competitive advantage. Make sure you’re not one of them.
6) Make sure your website isn’t easy to read or navigate on a mobile device.
Having a mobile-friendly, findable presence online is no longer an option for any business.
56% of American adults are now smartphone owners. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013)
57 percent of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Similarly, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience (Source: Compuware, 2012)
4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. (Source: comScore, 2012)
74% of smartphone owners used their devices to get directions and other location-related information as of February 2012 — up from 55% last May (Source: Pew Research Center, 2012)
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly or your mobile site isn’t working correctly, 46% of those who visited your site will never return again.
By the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on Earth than people. (Source: Cisco, 2013)
48% use or would like to use a smartphone to shop while in-store or on the go. (Source: Cisco, 2013)
80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores. (Source: Moosylvania, 2013)
Mobile searches related to restaurants have a conversion rate of 90% with 64% converting within the hour. (Source: xAd and Telemetrics, 2012)
Do not kid yourself. You cannot afford to wait any longer to have a mobile-friendly website.
7) Refuse to work collaboratively with other locally-owned business to learn new things and cultivate a strategic competitive advantage over big box stores.
Take the opposite approach of these negative attitudes and you will come out a winner:
Hold tight to the the attitude that you “tried the Chamber and it did not work.” Don’t join, dive in and ask how you can help. Or refuse to get over the fact that 10 years ago someone from the Chamber offended you and never give them a second chance.
If you are in North Carolina, come up with constant excuses why you can’t make time for the training and consulting offered by the Small Business Centers at the Community College.
Avoid working with others in the community because of personality conflicts rather than rising above and speaking to a great community commitment.
Don’t participate in any business roundtable or Technology Sharing/Educating Roundtable that would help you stay current with what is going on in technology and give you endless opportunities to expand your network and referral sources within your local community.
OK — enough talking about behaviors that will put you OUT of business. Turn those negatives around and you have a roadmap for success — helping more people find your business and spend money on your products and services.
Creating plenty of opportunities for others to share your images, comment on your posts, like and +1 information you share, leave a positive review (all important “social signals”) does not happen by accident or overnight. All require sweat equity investment and staying the course.
Just remember, your competition does not want you to learn and practice these new behaviors. In fact, they are banking on the fact that you won’t take the time and expend the effort to figure out how to leverage these strategies to your advantage. Surprise them.
I know how hard it is to manage everything. In many ways, a core cultural change is required from the owner on down through the ranks – going through the discomfort of learning new skills and developing habits that stick.
I cannot tell you how many times in my classes when a person says, “I finally get how different the new social marketing is from traditional interruption advertising, but without the owner here it will be hard to convince him.”
If you are a manger and just want to turn a crank to simply push things out over social media or you believe you don’t have time to learn how to put the new media to work for you, then your business may be in serious trouble.
Please share your thoughts and what other behaviors business have that keep them from enjoying more success. We love comments.
By Martin Brossman and Jody Murphy
You can found on-line Martin Brosman here: http://mysocialmediamastery.com/martin-brossman-on-social-media-on-the-web/
– to contact Martin for consulting, coaching or training contact Colleen Gray at Colleen@MartinBrossman.com or call her at 919-656-3264
and you can reach Jody Murphy at www.interplaymkt.com or email email@example.com