The first and most obvious job you have as a small business owner is to manage your online presence. That is, all of the people who could potentially become customers of your brick-and-mortar store.
Regardless of your industry, more and more individuals are researching their problems online and finding solutions in the ways of products and goods. It is, therefore, vital that you become a part of the solution.
To do this, you need to address three key elements: Reputation management, social media advertising, and content marketing.
Online reputation management is of the utmost importance in today’s digital age. This includes building out a website that conveys everything that is unique and remarkable about your business. It also means establishing a presence on social media channels and managing the major small business discovery and review platforms such as Yelp and Google. If you haven’t taken ownership and built out your profiles on these sites yet, now is the time. Here are the links to get you started: Yelp for Business Owners and Google Places.
I’ve seen people walk up to a restaurant, open their Yelp app, read the reviews and then turn around and walk across the street because of what they’ve read. Do yourself a favor and manage these forums to your advantage. You’ll be surprised at how much this change can boost sales for your business.
Social Media Advertising
Obviously we in the vape industry are restricted to what we can advertise online. However, the best workaround I've used was to have my customers post and talk about us on their pages, theres nothing better than word of mouth, social media is the new word of mouth. To get your customers talking about your store you'll need to give them something to talk about. Put something cool for them take a pic with (i.e.6 foot inflatable mod) you get the idea. Use snapchat its super easy and fast. The younger crowd will love to follow your snap. I have tons of other useful tips we will cover separately in future post.
While it may be necessary, it’s not enough to just be reactive and manage your online reviews as they come in. Casting a wide net online is about intelligently engaging your target audience. You can’t just sit around and wait for customers to find you.
If people are looking to inform themselves online instead of in store, you simply have to meet them where they already are. This means becoming a part of the conversation online by engaging in proactive content marketing.
Suffice it to say that it can be difficult for small businesses to compete on price, so your survival depends on your ability to add value to the customer’s buying experience. Intelligent, useful, and engaging content is your way of demonstrating the value you will add. And through this, boost your retail sales in the process.