Make Sure Your Business Can Be Found Online
Depending on the report you read, roughly 40 percent of small businesses today do not have a website. And those businesses that are slightly savvy with a website typically have one that is static which does nothing to help bring in sales or even engage with customers or potential customers online – another valuable channel to bring in customers.
(This is a good read from the New York Times small business blog featuring a limousine company that for years treated its website as if it were an online brochure… one day this business owner made some changes and today, 85 percent of his business comes from the Internet… his website!)
Today Verizon launches a new TV spot featuring small business customer Elizabeth Heins from Long Island and a mother of two teens and an eleven year old. She recently opened a retail store selling unique clothing, accessories and jewelry. The last thing on her mind was setting up a website for her business.
Heins said, “I knew I needed a website and had the resources from Verizon, but I thought the process wouldn’t be easy so I put it off…”
Coincidentally, Heins was randomly contacted by Verizon’s small business team inquiring if she had set up her company’s website with Verizon Websites powered by Intuit. The call prompted Heins to give it a good look and she found it was very easy to set up her company’s website. Click here to see Heins’ website.
At Verizon, we serve many business customers. We’re seeing that with many small businesses, they are not embracing the web as a marketing tool. This puts them at risk of becoming invisible to today’s consumer, who typically turns to the web first to find information on local businesses, products and services.
We know many of you are busy running your business and don’t have the time to figure out what easy to use and essential tools can quickly elevate your online presence.
That’s why Verizon offers a total solution of essential tools so you can focus on running your business and not on figuring out what online tools your business needs.
Today, if your business subscribes to Verizon’s bundled solutions of Internet and phone or TV (or both) you'll get this powerful package at your fingertips:
-- Verizon Websites powered by Intuit (an easy do-it-yourself website “kit”)
-- Google Apps for Verizon with three free user accounts including a domain name and domain name email (i.e. @youbusinss.com)
-- Verizon Internet Security Suite (to help protect again virus, spam, malware and more)
-- Verizon Online Backup & Sharing (all data are backed up in the cloud)
-- free Wifi access
-- 24/7 technical support
Think of Verizon as your company’s virtual CIO here to help – offering up key tools, resources and more.
Should you have any questions for your virtual CIO, just enter it below in the comments section.
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- website small business leads
Use Social Media to Bring in Sales for Your Business
Kicking off the 2011 series of free webinars presented by the Verizon Small Business Center, award winning social media publisher John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing started by showing how easy it can be to search for business leads on Twitter. The tips John provided will greatly help to refine search to find good leads.
Returning again last week to provide more tips, John provided a plethora of tips (seven steps) to convert those leads to sales. The free webinar entitled “How to Create a Social Media Conversion System” presented by the Verizon Small Business Center is now available for replay. Giving a historical account of how social media marketing was originally perceived as spam, he brought us forward to the current day and encouraged attendees to realize the value in their social media presence. Converting customers, according to John, is like courting them. It’s a slow process that requires building trust and value. Once you have your customer’s attention, you must then provide them with a reason to keep coming back. Here’s where the content you provide solidifies the relationship, along with the strategic use of various tools to assist you in automating the process.
John advised businesses to tie the various social media systems together, creating a personalized campaign that incorporates landing pages with a clear call to action and ultimately conversion.
View this webinar, as well as many others, in the Verizon Small Business Center located at http://business.verizon.net/webinar. Or check out some of the notes “tweeted” by followers… go to http://search.twitter.com and search for #vzsmb. Of course, once there, sign up if you don’t have an account and follow VZSmallBiz on Twitter to get the latest news, tips and more.
If you are using social media to promote your business, tell us how you are doing in the comments section.
How to Use Twitter to Turn Up Leads and Opportunities
Guest blog post from John Jantsch, a marketing consultant and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine.
The combination of Google and Twitter now allows you to create very powerful searches and alerts to help you filter out 99% of the information that doesn’t directly apply to your focus while zeroing in on the leads and opportunities that pay.
The basic and advanced search options in twitter do offer valuable function, however, it only searches what’s being said and where. When using Google and Twitter, the valuable information of who is saying it is also available.
1. Target your search by occupation
Instead of simply searching every mention of the word attorney on twitter, narrow your search to basically ask Google to look in the title attribute of profile pages on Twitter.
2. Target your search by bio
In some cases, a person’s username or real name does not allow you to receive complete results on what you are searching for. Learn how to use Google search to search bios for a key phrase.
3. Target your search by location
Twitter advanced search tool is great to search for people on Twitter in a specific location. When combining Google search with Twitter, you will be able to search for specific occupations in your area of interest.
4. Reach out to new sign ups
Using the combination of searches listed above, you can use the information you learn during the webinar to set up Google Alerts. For example, every time a new attorney signs up for twitter, you will be notified and able to be one of the first to reach out to them via Twitter.
5. Search shared links on Twitter
A great resource on Twitter is taking advantage of the links that people post. Using Google, you are able to set up a filtered search to receive results on specific link topics.
6. Do competitive eavesdropping
You can not only search what is being said about your competitors, but also what is being said directly to them and from them.
7. Find trending photos on Twitter
Set up a search using services such as TwitPic to receive real time results on images only.
To get more information or to ask a question or two, join us tomorrow as I describe how to make Twitter simple and effective for any business owner. To register for this live free webinar tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. EST, click here or visit www.verizon.net/webianrs. Follow @VZSmallBiz tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST to get tips from John or search for #vzsmb in Twitter.