Stand Out from the Crowd: Why Small Businesses Need an Online Presence

In today’s world, it is more important than ever to present your business in a professional manner to as many people as possible. Luckily, since a majority of your target market has a smartphone, getting your product, message, or brand in front of hundreds of thousands of people has never been easier. If you think of every potential customer’s smartphone as your company’s pocket-sized billboard, the possibilities for direct marketing and customer engagement become endless. However, becoming more connected to your followers can backfire. If you can’t keep up with your social media or your app, you risk being viewed as obsolete. If your app and social media don’t look professional, that will affect the way everyone who interacts with you online perceives your brand.

Perks of Having Your Own App

Most businesses don’t have their own app; they either make use of someone else’s app or they don’t use an app at all. The most likely reason for this is that they don’t know how to create an app that would be useful, professional, and easy to use. But having your own app makes your company stand out. That’s why mobile app developers like Ruby on Rails Consulting have seen an explosive increase in the number of businesses utilizing their services. They offer the expertise and analytical skills necessary to help your company develop a mobile app faster and more efficiently than you would be able to alone.

Now, you may be asking “why should I even have an app? Isn’t that just for massive corporations?” Of course not! In fact, more and more small and midsize businesses are developing their own apps. An app allows your company to be visible at all times, without you having to do anything. It also creates a direct marketing channel between you and your customers, allowing you to provide any information you may like to them and you can notify users through push notifications at any time. Apps also help to cultivate your brand and with a strong brand comes strong brand loyalty from your customers.

Choose Your Social Media Platforms Wisely

Social media requires nearly constant upkeep. Being connected to your customers 24/7 can only help you as long as you are able to stay active. An inactive or irregularly active account is almost the same as having no account at all. Social media is a two-way street; if you aren’t engaging with your followers, they aren’t engaging with you. If your social media marketing department consists of only a few people, or just you, having an account on every social media platform imaginable isn’t feasible or helpful. While Facebook’s universality makes it a necessity when talking about social media, you could stop at Facebook or find an additional social media platform that complements your business.

If your business is all about customer service and you like to be able to interact with your customers and social media followers, Twitter is the social media for you. Twitter keeps your message short and sweet, but it is also one of the most personal platforms available. If you are trying to sell more of your product by capturing your company’s visual aesthetic, look into starting an Instagram for your small business. If you are big on community involvement or event planning, something like Snapchat or Periscope, a live-streaming service, may be what you are looking for. Both apps would allow you to build up the buzz around your events while they’re happening. One important tip for almost any social media platform is to never neglect your hashtags. Hashtags get your message or product in front of more users; this increases both the number of followers and customers you can interact with on social media.

There are many obvious benefits to being connected online to your target market. If you think of it as a direct marketing channel, being connected becomes even more important for a business of any size. Starting your own app makes you stand out from your competitors and gives you an easy way to communicate directly with your customers at any time. Social media can grow quickly and soon become too much to handle for some small business owners, so it’s important to know what social media platform best fits your needs depending on what you want to communicate, how you want to communicate it, and who you want to see and hear your message. Apps and social media are extremely important tools to build brand loyalty and they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use.