– By: Sebastian Rodriguez –
Most small business owners when asked why they don’t advertise will give the same reasons, “everybody knows me” or “I’m already busy enough.” Now, don’t get me wrong, every business should care about their social media presence and have some sort of reputation management program, but strictly relying on word of mouth advertising is wrong for more reasons than I can ever fit into this small blog. Simply put, Word of Mouth is Not a Marketing Strategy. If you are guilty of any of the below points, please stop or start whichever fits but make a change!
1. No Website
I don’t know how many times here at the Vivial offices in Honolulu my coworkers and I have tried to find a website for a local eatery with the best “whatever” in town. I will tell you that 100% of the time that we can’t find that website, we don’t go there. It’s that simple. When thinking about investing in a new website take into account that a study by YP.com shows that restaurants is the number one searched category across all mobile devices regardless of operating platform, i.e., android, iPhone. That should be enough to help you make that decision.
2. Lack of a Reputation Management Program
I will never understand why any restaurateur would not want to engage with their customers. After all, many restaurants claim that “everybody” knows them. Why then would you not care about what’s being said about you? Yes, you may be very busy during the lunch hour, but maybe people are writing about how there’s never enough parking because you’re always so busy. Maybe they like the food but are unwilling to wait in long lines when they only have one hour for lunch. The biggest benefit of a reputation management program is that it shows potential customers that you care about what they think.
3. Outdated Website
At some point you decided that you needed an online presence so you had a website designed and officially opened for business in the online world but then you left and never returned. The point of your website is to communicate what your business offers to customers, old and new. You want to keep your website fresh and clean, just like your brick and mortar location. You can invest a relatively small amount into a search engine optimization program that can help you put a fresh coat of wax on that old website.
I know that for many small business owners that simply thinking about these things can be overwhelming. And, after all, you do have a business to run. Fear not, there is help.
Meet the Author
Sebastian Rodriguez: As a part of Vivial Hawaii I have been fortunate enough to be in several different roles. It has been very rewarding to partner with small business owners, many of whom have very little experience with advertising and to be able to show them real results. There are many different types of advertising solutions that we offer here at Vivial and I look forward to sharing tips and tricks as well as success stories from the Hawaii market.