With an ever-evolving world and technological landscape, customers are interacting with businesses in ways that they historically did not. Due to the convenience and efficiency of searching for businesses online, it has become the default method for many people. In fact there are businesses that are entirely run on the Internet, meaning customers never come into physical contact with them to make purchases. While this is an extreme, the Internet is a resource that can massively benefit everyone. The fantastic accessibility allows you to tap into the advantages of the Internet easily and cheaply.

So what can the Internet do for you? Depending on the type of business you run the Internet can offer different opportunities. For example a retail business might benefit from offering customers the chance to purchase their goods online, this could lead to improved sales and possibly lower costs if less shop space is required as a result. Something that all businesses can use the Internet for is to raise awareness of their brand and conjure up some goodwill. There are countless ways in which to go about this and the limit really is your imagination. However we do have some tips on how to get started.

Firstly you need a website. Think of it as a small place on the Internet that is dedicated to showing off you and your business. As such it should give a good reflection of you and give potential customers a view of what makes you unique. An important thing to remember is that this may be the only way a customer can get an impression of you so you should strive to make it as favourable as possible. Ensuring a professional appearance by using appropriate page titles, pictures and language is essential.

A large consideration with your website is whether you appear in search engines, as this will dramatically improve the likelihood of new customers finding you. The designers of search engines are constantly changing the way that they work to eliminate people targeting loopholes to get their site noticed. Due to this, it is difficult to offer definitive advice on the matter. However, content that is relevant to the search and is well written will get you noticed, so try to focus on producing quality text that will appeal to customers. Another factor appears to be the amount of links from other sites to yours. Therefore, if someone recommends you on their site, and uses a link, not only will it be extra advertising, but it will also help push you up the search engine rankings!

Social media has become massive. Facebook has recently announced its 1 billionth member, that’s one billion opportunities for your business! Creating accounts for and managing different social media can seem time consuming but we at DEB feel it is a worthwhile activity. There are tools that allow you to manage different social sites at once to streamline the process. Using social media may not instantly get you a sales boost, but it isn’t necessarily about that. It’s about getting your brand known to more than just your current customers. It allows you to build relationships and puts your business in the minds of people that otherwise would not know you existed. Further down the line these people may require goods or services you offer and there is always the chance they will choose you!

There are many ways you can make use of social media, for example if you have a great offer that you need to publicise it could be a free way to get word around, with little effort on your part. Again these pages should appear professional and be a reflection of your business. It’s important to try and strike the right balance between being a trustworthy, reliable business and not being boring. This is something that you will be a better judge of over time and if you are unsure there are lots of companies already using social media to take inspiration from.

At DEB Chartered Accountants we are really trying to make a social media push so please feel free to have a look at our pages if you’d like to see what we are up to:

The Internet is a wonderful tool and there are so many different ways to appeal to customers that it would fill thousands of blog posts to list them all. Obviously one of the ways we want to offer information to people is through this blog, but its just a small part of what is possible. We would love to discuss with you what you are doing with your business to raise awareness so drop us a comment and please subscribe to this blog for regular updates!