Owners of new businesses are often too busy with physically pressing needs to pay attention to their online presences. However, it’s critically important to “open” your accounts to establish your social media presence. This is as important as opening the front door on day 1. It’s also critical that you do the first two steps, in order, before the rest.
We’ve been working with a few new businesses helping them to create accounts to establish an online presence on key websites such as Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. We’re going to share here how we help new business owners.
We cannot stress enough that you should do this BEFORE your first day of business with customers or clients. You’ll save yourself major “cleanup” headaches.
Follow these steps, in order:
Many business owners these days rely on their Facebook pages instead of a website. This is a serious mistake for 2 reasons:
- By not having a website, you’re giving up major leverage in search engine results. Google mines ALL data and compares it. If you have a Facebook page but not a website, you’ve robbed Google of critical data to compare to your Facebook and other pages. You are doing yourself a huge disservice if you do not create or a website.
- Google My Business will not allow you to create your business with Google without a website address to identify your business.
It’s simple and clearcut: every business MUST have a website, even if it is a basic placeholder site. CONTACT US to create your site. Then we’re on to the next step:
Google My Business
The information you provide about your business in Google My Business can appear on Google Search, Maps, and Google+
Again, you MUST HAVE A WEBSITE to create your business on Google.
This is the one most business owners are familiar with – Create a Page.
Caveat – if you, as a business owner, do not create your page, your clients will likely cause Facebook to create a placeholder page that you cannot control without going through the “verification” process. It’s a huge nuisance. Create your page BEFORE you open your business to avoid multiple pages being created every time a client checks in but uses a variation of your spelling or location. You’ll then have a big headache going through the claiming/verification process.
This is what it looks like when you’ve created your own business and have it verified:
That’s a professional look and presence you want for your new business.
If you’re in a lodging, restaurant, or tourist business of any variety, you’ll want to create your online presence in TripAdvisor.
You’ll want to get registered with TripAdvisor for all the obvious reasons of “control” – hours, photos, replying to reviews, etc. In addition, if your business gets good ratings, you’ll get the coveted graphics to put on your business’ website, menus, marketing brochures, and more.
For all the same reasons as Facebook and TripAdvisor, you’ll want a Yelp account for your business if you’re in the services industry. Yelp used to be mostly known for restaurants, but now they are giving Angie’s List a run for their money by including all these business types, too.
Once you have your Yelp account, your activity feed will provide very valuable feedback:
Whether you create TripAdvisor before Yelp or vice versa, does not matter, but it is imperative that you create your website first, Google My Business second, and because of their popularity, your Facebook page next.
Atlantic Online Services is here to help with all your online presences from website design and development, social media accounts, SEO work, content creation, and social media publicity. CONTACT US for help.