Business and the Internet

What have Business and the Internet got to do with you? Here Peter Hanley tells you how important it is for your financial future.

Change is here, get on the train for the ride.

Image of a train
A journey to change

I am a business owner plus I also follow and blog about the internet for business. I see changes every day that impact small business and those that don’t take these opportunities to fall behind.

10 ways to business improvement

This was a training method of the past that told us to make a lot of small changes to improve the final result. If you were to make a 1% change in ten different areas you could end up with a 10% improvement.
Now a one per cent change is not a whole lot say we ramp that to 5% change in ten different areas would we get a 50% increase? the percentage matters not but we definitely would get an increase.

However, if things are failing may be read here.

So why is the Internet different

If you were to use everything available on the internet and got a small percentage increase would this not increase your business?
It would have to so let’s look at a few ways to achieve this.

Let’s start with your web page

A great percentage of people going to your website is using a mobile phone and seeking either a phone number or address.

  • Check if your site is mobile-friendly.
  • Do you have your phone number above the fold
  • Can you see the address above the fold
  • Is there a contact button?

So often I am out and about looking for something and searching your business from my mobile only having to go on a long trek to find an address.
Is your site mobile friendly checker

The new leading social media

We will look at Social media and the impact on your business by different elements. The first is;

Business and the Internet
The new kingmaker


If you have not noticed Instagram is taking over from Facebook and others. Businesses are finding a greater response on this media than on all other forms of Social media. Why
I don’t really Know as I confess it beats me but my feedback is positive, it works.
In part, it is because of the changes in Facebook and the attitude of Gen x and Millenials to change.
Instagram is a more visual approach and can build to tell a story to keep people coming back.
The important issue is to post regularly at least daily for better impact.
It is a chore so get someone to do it for you either internally or external.
Just do it.

Twitter the trendsetter

This is an interesting one and many of you will snigger at me suggesting this as my number two application but hear me out.

An old guy has made an art form of this. He does not have the highest number of followers at 53 Million yet retweets probably outclass everyone else. His name is Donald Trump.

Again I say as a member of the silent generation I was very slow in accepting this. I now see the rise of followers on world leaders, singers, actors and even Soccer players. as example Cristiano Ronaldo at 148 million followers.

Every day I see new Twitter feeds pop up that get my attention. Because they are live comments the ability to brand build is excellent.

It takes but a few short minutes to do a tweet.

We now come back to Facebook

The old favourite is still in play and needs attending on a regular basis.
Facebook is used in many ways and one is to form an opinion on your business. I will often look at a Facebook page to see who and what posting showcases you.

If I see a neglected page, posts 2 and 3 months old I change my mind and move on.

Facebook is also an excellent source of information. I often search the About section to obtain addresses and other information>

Although there have been a host of changes Facebook is still a must-do product.

like all forms of social media, it must be current and posted to on a regular basis

Retargeting or remarketing

These are those adverts that pop up after you have visited a website or a Facebook page. They recognise that you have an interest and will keep hounding you until you wear them down with a lack of response.
You pay when someone clicks on them and comes to your site. You need to be professional but it does work. The important thing is to earn more than you spend.

LinkedIn a must-do.

If you are in business you really should have a LinkedIn profile. Whilst it might not deliver a bundle of enquiries it is an oft-searched media.
When people want to know more about you it is generally for a good reason so tell them in glorious detail and have them come away with a pleasant image. Update regularly and even do a few posts.
You can use LinkedIn far more aggressively as a marketing platform if you choose this as your platform of preference.

Advertising on Social media

Businesses make a great return on using paid response marketing.
It could be Ad-words to drive your WebSite presence or Retargeting.
Facebook and Instagram advertising also show a great return if done correctly.
It does depend on the commodity being sold and the return on what you spend.
As it can be expensive I would leave it to an expert

Email marketing is still viable.

You may have thought this had gone away but it works as well today as at any time.

You should have a monthly newsletter at the very least. Not a selling newsletter but an informative article on something useful. Recently I wrote on the 7 touches
where your customers need constant support and this age-old rule applies equally today.

Collecting emails and entering into Auto-responder guarantees you will get some return from the might buys.

You can do wonderful things with personal emails by target marketing what their interest is.

The visuals on actions taken by your customers will provide a road map of what they want.
To this day I can still generate an open rate of up to 40% on random customer emails so you can too.
I use Constant Contact but MailChimp, Aweber and others are just as good

SMS for an instant return

I love SMS and use and recommend it in many situations.
The beauty of an SMS broadcast is that you get almost instant feedback, those that are interested generally respond straight away so it is easy to test market and change to meet monetary goals.

Another use is general contact. I have several customers that have Bi-monthly supplier functions. The old way was to call each customer and have a chat, time-consuming and costly.
Now they send an SMS one week prior and then on the morning of the meeting. The attendance rate went way up and the cost and effort way down.

Inbound SMS

This is a bit different and not for everyone but when it works it is a great service.
An inbound SMS service delivers a mobile message to a computer so that it can be actioned by any staff.
Appointment cancellations or contacts make it easy for those busy people on the go. They don’t want to talk they want to message. They may be at work, in a meeting or an area where a conversation is limited.
Sending it to a computer allows any staff member to action the result. You can even get an automated reply that says the message received.

Remember your list is an asset that can be sold with the business.

Finally, number 10 is the support

In any business, this has become critical to your success. You must action any request or complaint immediately to stop the trolls from badmouthing you in writing.

Adverse reports are devastating even if the customer is wrong, accept it and move on.

Requests for support or complaints are in the same basket, fix them or face the penalty.

Trade shows a bonus

Trade shows external and internal, popup stores and product presentations all add to your brand and sales. I wrote about this recently on what to do at Trade shows for your business. It is great for branding and lifting sales.

Need internet training for you or staff.

You can view some of the free training by clicking here to enter the first of many episodes that cover everything on the net for business and private.
Keep up to date on all things Internet, it changes daily.

Business on the internet by Peter Hanley

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Peter Hanley

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