Is your brand known online? It’s a common misconception that having a site, maybe a blog and a Facebook profile or Twitter account is sufficient branding. The reality is, everyone has those things now pretty much, but not everyone is leveraging them effectively. That is what separates those businesses that have a “real” online presence and those that are simply present and somewhat accounted for.
Many companies start by slamming their online profile into every business directory and local review site they can find. Others concentrate on simple SEO, trying to rank up for long tail keywords.
That’s all well and good, but showing up in the searches isn’t enough. To really build an online presence you need to be active online. That is how you create buzz and stay at the top of the search engine rankings. That is where social networking comes into play and takes you to the next level.
The first thing to do is start connecting with people that need to be connected to you! Building up a decent base of followers can take time but it is worth it. Remember, this isn’t about raw numbers, it’s about getting the right followers. Ask your current clients to follow you – leaving a note with their bill that provides your online information should usually do the trick. This helps because their friends will see you on their wall, roster, etc… and your name will become what they think of when they need an auto mechanic. They are familiar with your name and how to contact you.
Use your social media to get the word about your business out! Don’t share that you got a new whipper or something equally useless, use it to create business. Remind people they need their gutters cleaned before the fall. Let them know what area you will be in each day – and that you can provide job estimates by appointment in those areas each day. Let people know about if cinch bugs or some form of weevil is out of control in the area – and that you know how to control them and save their lawn or garden.
Finally, be social! It is social networking. Answer questions for people when you can. Provide a free helpful tip now and then. maybe you can even provide perks for your loyal followers who help spread the word. Try to remember to wish clients and friends a happy birthday, anniversary, or whatever pops up on the social calendar. By keeping connected on the business and the personal level to some degree, people won;t just think of you as their mechanic, you’ll be a friend as well and that is good for the long term!