6 Steps to Owning Your Digital Brand

Today, potential customers use hundreds of different review sites and forums to research businesses, making it more important than ever for a company to proactively manage and improve their digital brand. Here are six steps you can take to ensure that your online presence is positive and easy to find.

This post is part of a series celebrating National Small Business Week, June 17-21.

Years ago, local discovery was simple.  Everyone used the same printed yellow pages book to find local businesses. Nowadays, however, potential customers consult hundreds of different online directories, mobile apps, social networks and review sites to find local businesses.  Quite simply, local search is incredibly fragmented.

What does this mean for you as a business owner?  You need to make sure that your business is listed accurately in all these different places.  If your information is incorrect or missing, potential customers won’t find you and will move on to a competitor. And that’s not good for your business.

Here is a checklist, brought to you by our friends at Yext, which outlines the necessary steps to make sure that customers are finding your business in local search.

  1. Get listed everywhere – Customers use an average of five sources when researching purchases, so you need to get listed everywhere they are looking.  An easy way to get started is to understand your presence on top sites like Yahoo!, YP.com, MapQuest and Facebook– but it doesn’t end there.  You also need to understand how you appear on mobile apps, maps and navigation services.  Since local search is incredibly fragmented, you need to make sure that customers can find you at every point of local discovery.
  2. Correct your digital location information – If your location information isn’t correct, your customers won’t be able to find you.  So make sure the basics, like your business address and phone number, are right.  Don’t make it hard for the customer to find you.
  3. Complete your business listings – Make sure you are giving the customers the information they want and need.  Customers need to know when they can come to your store and what to expect.  You can provide this by adding hours of operation, search categories, a business website and a business description to your listings.
  4. Share deep local content – Provide customers with the reasons why they should choose you over the competition.  Add product and services lists, menus, bios for your staff, and calendars of upcoming events.  Make sure that you are differentiating yourself from your competition at the point of online local discovery.
  5. Keep your location information fresh – Quite simply, your customers are interested in new content, so make sure you update your location information at least once a month.  Change your featured message every month or add new business and photos – the more you engage your customers with new content, the more interest they will have in your products.
  6. Track and optimize your listings’ performance – Like with any part of business, you need to monitor what your customers respond to and give them more of it.  You can figure out what type of content your customers respond to by monitoring profile views, tracking featured message clicks and keeping an eye on reviews.

yextThis post was written by Tyler Donahue at Yext, a tech company that syncs business listings information across 50+ sites like Yahoo!, Yelp, Facebook and Bing.  Find out how you’re listed across the internet with a free listings report from Yext!

Enter the ScanSnap Small Business Contest!

In honor of National Small Business Week, ScanSnap is sponsoring a contest to celebrate small businesses across the US. Enter your small business for a chance to win an awesome prize, including a free year of Shoeboxed!

This post is part of a series celebrating National Small Business Week, June 17-21.

Attention all small business owners, employees and patrons: our friends at ScanSnap want to hear from you!

In celebration of National Small Business Week, ScanSnap is launching a contest to honor small businesses that help build their communities and our economy. Nominate your small business before Friday, June 21, for your chance to win. The top three nominees will all receive awesome prizes– first place will even win a free year of Shoeboxed!

  • scansnapFirst place will receive the Ultimate Efficiency Package, including a ScanSnap iX500, ScanSnap S1100 and carrying case, one year of free Shoeboxed Classic and three one-year licenses for Evernote Premium
  • Second place will receive a ScanSnap iX500 and three one-year licenses for Evernote Premium
  • Third place will receive a ScanSnap iX500

Head on over to the ScanSnap Community to learn more, and enter the contest using this form!

Every year since 1983, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week to celebrate and honor the small business owners and employees that help build their communities, support our economy, and create jobs for our fellow citizens. Sponsored by the Small Business Administration, National Small Business Week features events and speakers that highlight the importance of small businesses in our country. You can learn more about National Small Business Week on the Small Business Administration website.

To celebrate National Small Business Week, Shoeboxed will be sharing interesting articles and news related to small businesses all week. Make sure to stay tuned to the blog for small business facts, history and latest innovations!