Small Businesses Need to Embrace the Internet

by Matt on February 19, 2010

I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine today about Yelp.com. IT was a great look into how the Internet is changing the way companies are doing business and interacting with customers.  I was surprised to read about businesses that hate Yelp for various reason and one being that they are getting bad reviews.  I was blown away by this mindset. Businesses should want this type of feedback.  How will they know if they are doing a bad job or offering a poor experience?  Businesses just keep thinkning that nothing is wrong and it is “Business as usual.”

Small businesses really need to delve into the online arena of social media and marketing. Facebook pages, a Twitter account, a Yelp profile, foursquare…etc.  The list can keep on growing and it will.  Businesses need to embrace this new idea of instant feedback via the web.

I have been personally adding local business to foursquare because I like foursquare and it is fun for me. Just think if businesses knew of this and were aware of the mayor feature of Foursquare. They could advertise a dinner special for the Mayor of their establishment or offer a free monthly car wash at a gas station to the current Mayor.  The possibilities are endless.  This plays even further into positive reviews and return business.

I tell friends of my good and bad experiences.  I tend to be too nice and I do not offer the proper feedback that I maybe should but the online space makes it easier.  Some people do not like this unfettered ability to be negative about a business.  It you are getting negative reviews, FIX IT! Don’t complain about it and have a “whoa is me” attitude.

I think location based advertising is coming on strong with the advent of “super computer” smartphones with GPS and all the bells and whistles. Join in. Add a QRcode to your business hours sign or on the back of a business card. Welcome Yelp users with a sign that says you are on Yelp. The options are endless. Businesses need to reach out and grab these opportunities by the horns before the go right on by.

Feel free to contact me with your thoughts or if you would like some help developing these strategies. The internet is big…get on it.

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