In the lastest series of posts we have attempted to explain (using a great deal of research) why it is extremely important for businesses and individuals to have an online presence. This may include but not be limited to: Websites, Blogs, Facebook Page, Twitter Account, etc.
Our team of researchers came up with some interesting facts when researching for our article about the Benefits of Websites and Social Media Use for Businesses. This interesting information discussed how websites give business owners greater control over customer feedback which is VITAL to maintain positive branding.
When looking at these facts I started flashing back to my college days when I wrote a research paper on How Social Media and Blogging Affect the Way an Organization Handles Customer Feedback. I started digging around and I actually found the old paper.
This was written several years ago and there are a few gramatical and spelling errors throughout and I apologize for that; however, I decided to go ahead and post on here since this information is very informative and relavant to the content we have been discussing.
I believe any business owner struggling to see the importance of online marketing should read this paper. It includes many real-life stories (both good and bad) about how organizations have been affected by Blogging and Social Media.
Click to Download Research Paper (.PDF)
Interested in having better control over your image/brand? Creating a blog is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to do this (as you can see in our research). We recently wrote an article with a video that explained how you can create a blog in literally a matter of minutes. We encourage you to check it out!
Over the past decade things have really changed in the world of business! Almost every field of business has seen a rapid and drastic growth in competition. We no longer live in a society where large corporations completely control the market; in fact, society in general seems to be pushing back at these large organizations. The changing economic climate can 100% be associated with World-Wide-Web.
The internet has turned into a hub for consumers to research businesses, services, and products. No matter if you are from a large city or a small town, people use the internet to make purchase decisions. As a result, many small businesses are able to compete with larger businesses in specific niches when they master and take complete control over their online presence.
If you are a business owner and do not have a website or social media presence (no matter what field you are in) you are going to be left behind and perhaps even watch your business slowly fade profitably. Having a web presence is simply no longer an option; in fact, even having a mediocre web presence is no longer optional. You MUST take time and resources and develop a GREAT/INFORMATIVE website and take control over Social Media branding.
Our team of researchers searched to find the top excuses business owners gave for not having a website. Take a look at some of the results they came up with:
Business Currently Does Not Need One (41%)
Too Costly (19%)
Lack of Time (16%)
Too Complex (9%)
Business Will Never Need One (4%)
Not Sure (1%)
When I looked at the results of this study I was seriously astonished. For the most part business owners are very smart individuals but too many fall victim of their own success and believe that adaptation is no longer needed. Anyone who takes the time to research will see that businesses without a web presence perform drastically lower than their competitors with a strong web presence.
I understand that many individuals believe that it is costly, takes a long time, or even too complex to create a website but honestly these misconceptions could not be further from the truth. In fact, with increased technology individuals with little to no technology experience can create a website or create a blog. And the cost of having a website or blog is actually extremely low, our partner web hosting company Bluehost offers web hosting for as low as $3.95 a month when you use our exclusive Bluehost Promo Link. (AFF).
The benefits of having a website and a social media presence are endless! Take a moment to examine this infographic and research our team developed to give you a visual on how important the web is for your business.
Benefits of Social Media Presence:
Over the past 4-5 years Social Media as a whole has become essential to business marketing. Failure to develop a strong identity and brand on social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter can spell disaster for any business. Social Media sites are free to use and when used properly can provide some huge boosts to your sales and brand recognition.
Some other great benefits that businesses receive when they utilize social media sites include:
Increased Brand Awareness
Increased Traffic to Business Website
Greater/More Favorable Perceptions
Greater Ability to Monitor Business Conversions
Ability to Better Target Marketing
Better Understanding of Customer’s Perceptions of the Brand
85% of all internet users have Facebook. No other website in the world has ever or most likely will ever achieve this feat. Facebook no doubt is the number one place that businesses can turn to for marketing. With the ability to market locally and/or globally Facebook has produced trillions of dollars of revenue for companies world-wide! Sadly, there are still hundreds of thousands of business owners missing out on this important revenue channel.
1 in every 5 Facebook users report that they have purchased a product solely based on a comment they have witnessed while on Facebook. This is astonishing and should be a major eye opener for all business owners out there. Our researchers also have found that 67% of twitter users report that they are more likely to purchase products from brands that they follow on the popular social networking site.
The last few years have been particularly interesting for business owners in a time of a struggling economy. A study by New Charter University shows that large populations of people world-wide actually make purchase decisions based on coupons and discounts that they see from businesses. Businesses have been able to capitalize on this trend; in fact, the most successful businesses have turned to Social Media to promote exclusive discounts and coupons. Our team of researchers found that 80% of individuals prefer getting and finding these great savings from brands on Social Media sites like Facebook.
Setting up a Facebook Page is extremely easy and marketing your page can actually be quite fun. Businesses that have their own private website and/or blog and use it in combination with Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter cash in on the biggest financial and branding gains!
Benefits of a Business Website:
Numerous times we have stressed the importance of having a business website; however, it is almost equally as important to have a nice looking and informative website or blog. Creating a website or blog is actually quite easy and can be completed for very little cash in a matter of minutes. We produced a few videos that show how you can easily setup your own blog and another video on how to setup a website! Utilizing these step-by-step guides will get you up and running in no time.
If you absolutely are set in your ways and have no desire to build your own site, you can always turn to a professional web designer to give your business website a cutting edge look! Even if you pay a couple thousand dollars on the high end site, I will personally guarantee you that your business will make 10-20x your investment into the website.
If you want to go this route and are looking for an amazing website design I suggest you turn to LouderThanWordsDesign. I am very close with the owner (Heather) and will stake my reputation on her work, you will not be disappointed. Just as you can tell the difference between a house built by a good contractor, you can tell the QUALITY difference when Heather builds a site or logo for you! Tell her Jonathan Burdon sent you and she might even cut you a small discount ;).
Our researchers came up with some of the top benefits of having a website:
Cost Effective Advertising – creating a website has a few minor startup costs; however, once you get it up and running the cost to maintain it is VERY LOW. Thus resulting in one of the best and most cost effectives means of advertisement.
Analysis of Customer Behavior – when you have your own website you can use popular free analytics tools to monitor customer behavior. This data can be used to improve marketing and customer relations.
Round-The-Clock – Having a website allows you to communicate and advertise to your customers 24/7, even when you are asleep. For example, if someone’s air conditioner goes out at night they may research HVAC companies online that night to decide who to call the next morning.
Customer Feedback – Several years ago in college I wrote a research paper on How Social Media and Blogging affect the way an organization handles customer feedback. Perhaps one of the biggest examples of a company underestimating the power of the internet and IGNORING customer feedback was United Airlines, when an upset customer had his guitar broken. Being able to monitor and control customer feedback regarding your business will help your maintain a positive brand image.
Niche Markets – Perhaps one of the most obvious and largest benefits of having a website is that it allows small and mid-sized businesses the opportunity to cater to the needs of niche markets. This not only is an advantage for the customer but also for the business! The cost is relatively low to start a website but the reward is very high!
Business Profile – The internet gives small businesses a chance to create a brand for themselves and the potential to directly compete with large corporations for customers.
If you were to site down and ask 10 random individuals from your local community if they search and research businesses online before they make a purchase decision, I would venture to guess 7 out of 10 would say yes! Personally, I base many purchase decisions and decide who to hire solely on their online presence. It is simply the new trend! If you do not have a website or blog, it is time to get one!
There are many advantages to having a website and a strong presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter! Despite what preconceived notions you may have had, creating a website/blog, is actually very easy and affordable.
We have partnered with Bluehost.com, one of the largest web hosting providers in the world, to give you an exclusive discount on hosting. If you click on our partner link a special $3.95/month promo discount will automatically be enabled!