Dog groomers. Fast food restaurants. Physical therapists. What do these three things have in common?
They are businesses that can’t be done remotely—at least not yet.
So why would a dog groomer, a fast food restaurant, or a physical therapist need a website, much less a social media page? If your business is location based rather than e-commerce based, why do you need a web presence?
Three Things an Online Presence Does For Any Business
If the Internet runs on content, the world runs on information. The Internet has now become our preferred source of information.
Having an online presence—usually a website and/or a social media account like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn—does three things for all businesses, whether they rely on online sales or not.
An online presence advertises your business. More importantly, it advertises your business for free, or at least for very cheap. It’s Business 101; people will not come to your business unless they know you exist and where you exist. Your website is a shortcut to this information.
An online presence is your business’s information channel. A channel runs both ways: to one place and from another. Your web presence does two things. It’s a place where people can find out more information about you. And, by means of your blog and by linking to other industry-specific information, it’s a place where you provide information about your specialty. If you have comments enabled on your blog and/or if you post feedback on your site or social media page, you bump up the information people receive and value to a new level. People tend to trust online reviews, whether they know the reviewers or not.
An online presence keeps you in touch with your customers. Have you ever wondered why grocery stores and other retailers use Twitter and text marketing? It’s not like they have to notify you about their location, as do food trucks and pop-up stores. These physically based stores use Twitter to get your attention, advertise sales, and basically keep their brand at the forefront of your mind. By using social media, e-newsletters, and blog posts, you can keep your business front and center for your customers.