Take Control of Your Online Presence

February 18, 2015 | 2 min to read

Now more than ever, customers are doing their research online before coming into the store. Online "word-of-mouth" shapes your customers' perception of your business and brand before they even walk in the door.

Are you the one controlling that perception? Here's how:

Claim Your Listings

Google and Yelp are popular sites for business reviews. It's up to you to appreciate the positive reviews and promptly address any negative reviews.

Claim Your Google Listing:

  • Search for your business on www.google.com/local/business/
    • If your business doesn't show up, you can add your business to the directory by clicking on the "None of these match" option in the search dropdown.
  • You will be prompted to create a business Google+ page if you don't already have one.
    • This page will act as your business listing on Google search and is where reviews of your business will be shown.
    • This page will also appear in your store's listing on the store and event locator.

Claim Your Yelp listing:

  • Search for your business on biz.yelp.com/ and click "Claim this business" to start managing your business page and reviews.
  • If your business isn't listed, add it to the Yelp directory here.
    • You will be prompted to create a Business Owner account for Yelp.

Engage Your Customers

Find out which social media channels your players and other customers use. Popular destinations in the U.S. are Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Create your presence on one or all of these channels and start engaging with your target audience. Set the tone for how you want to be perceived before someone else does.

Tip: Do you provide the best events where people come from miles away in order to participate? Reward those loyal customers with a small gift and highlight the occasion by posting a picture of them with the reward online. (Be sure to ask for permission first!) Include a brief quote of what they like most about your events that keeps them coming back.

This will show potential customers that your store has great events and how much you appreciate your customers.

Build Your Brand

Creating and engaging in your online presence not only gives a customer access to your product or service, but it also provides a window for the customer to build a relationship with your business.

As smallbusiness.chron.com puts it, "Online reviews, your interactions with other customers, and the frequency and quality of your posts help to form a positive impression of your company in the potential customer's mind, making a future sale more likely."

Taking control of your online presence will help you stand out from the competition. So what are you waiting for?

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