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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 11:35 pm | Fair 51º

 
 
 

Marc Hyman: Internet and Social Media For Your Business

Even the world of carpet cleaning must confront a new reality in marketing

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Internet is changing the way we do business and it’s time for owners and managers to start honing their Internet skills. An enterprising young client recently launched a carpet-cleaning service. As he had in the past, he placed attractive ads in more than 2 million Yellow Pages directories throughout his market area.

The proud new business owner was expecting a tidal wave of calls since that’s what happened the last time he launched a similar service. What did he get for his $2,000-a-month investment? He got no calls — not one single call asking him to come clean a carpet. That’s when my client realized that traditional advertising and marketing were being replaced by something completely different.

If you’ve also noticed that your advertising is not as effective as it used to be, you’ve got plenty of company. There’s been a shift in the way businesses attract customers and keep them coming back, time after time. Business owners, even those with brick-and-mortar operations (i.e. storefronts, offices, factories) are learning that they need to market their products and services on the Internet. The Web offers a host of new marketing avenues and they don’t involve sending millions of unwanted e-mails for products with questionable reputations.

As the carpet-cleaning maverick learned, there are plenty of new ways to get customers to call you, visit your store or order your products. The process starts with free tools like Google Places, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that help you establish your online reputation. This can be followed by paid advertising with services such as Google’s AdWords or on Facebook that can drive customers to you. You can also choose Pay-Per-Sale advertising in which you pay only when your products get sold. Coupon and group purchase sites like LivingSocial and Groupon provide yet another channel for selling your products and services.

For entrepreneurs who are not afraid of being seen or heard, YouTube, blip.tv and other video sites can help launch your products into the stratosphere. Before releasing your latest video, you’ll have spend time learning what works and what doesn’t work on the Internet. And to make things even harder, that changes almost every day.

If you don’t understand the new language of social media for your business with terms like friending, liking, tweeting, blogging, going viral, you’re not alone! To help your organization grow and thrive in the 21st century you’ll need to change the way customers find out about you. My new weekly column is designed for you, the business owner who wants to join the Internet revolution.

Stay tuned ...

— Marc Hyman is a 20-year Santa Barbara resident. A lawyer by training, he has worked with more than 300 small companies and startups over the years. The Internet revolution has brought new opportunities and new challenges for businesses and his company, Back-To-Basics Marketing, helps clients navigate the new world of marketing and social media. He can be reached at 805.288.2269.

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