Halloween Week Countdown Spooktacular: #3 Werewolves

werewolfWe are half way through our Halloween Week Countdown Spooktacular and my #3 monster is the werewolf.

These big, bad beasts roam the night during a full moon. Much like vampires, these villainous creatures suffer from a curse – they walk the earth as humans until a full moon hits whereupon they transform into a half-wolf, half-human beast that hunts other humans. If you are lucky enough to survive one of their attacks, yet were bitten, you can now count yourself among the damned.

Werewolves, Your Business and Social Media

The big difference between a vampire and werewolf is the ability to choose. Vampires can choose – though driven by an insatiable thirst for blood, a well-disciplined vampire can resist and find other ways to survive. Werewolves have no choice – once the full moon rises, the human host’s mind disappears and the beast takes over.

Now ask yourself this – when it comes to social media, is your business a vampire or a werewolf? Let me put this another way – do you have a choice between using social media? Can you compete in today’s marketplace without a presence on the Web? Have you been able to resist the urge to jump on board the Facebook or Twitter trends?

Yes, I’ve Resisted (Good Vampire!)

It is perfectly possible to thrive in today’s world without a presence on the web. Thousands of small businesses do it everyday. Let’s say you’ve developed an amazing business that people love. Your customers are taking about you. They love your products and/or services. But…

Every time they try to contact you, they can’t find you on the Web. Here’s the problem you face. That big yellow book that shows up on your doorstep every 6 months or so and quickly lands in your recycling bin (or trash), isn’t getting used like it once did. More and more people are jumping online expecting to find your website or blog. Desktops, laptops and increasingly mobile phones are becoming the de facto way people find you business. If you aren’t there, they will find one of your competitors.

I’m a Werewolf

The truth of the matter is that if you want every advantage possible, using the Web and social media really isn’t a choice any more. You have to let go and become a werewolf. But that doesn’t mean you should run off, spend tons of money on a website, set up a blog, facebook fan page and a twitter account. Unlike the crazed werewolves you see in movies, you have to a smart werewolf.

How to be a Smart Werewolf

Web marketing is far from a perfect science, but there are some things you can do to help you be successful:

  1. Talk to your customers and find out what services they are using. Share your ideas about developing a website or blog and find out what online tools and information they would like to see you offer. Ask them what social networks they currently use.
  2. Talk to your team. Find out what they use and what expertise they might have. Get their feedback on what information they would like to see offered on a site.
  3. Think very carefully about the site you might develop. One problem that I have seen small businesses make over and over again is that they build gigantic websites and then leave them sitting there unchanged. Here’s a tip, unless having a big website and spending a lot of money on development is key to your business, you might be better off thinking small. Build a single page website that offers your basic info (contacts, addresses, etc.) and support it with more substantial social media tools like a blog, facebook and Twitter.
  4. Let me repeat point 3 again. Think small. Build a simple site. Support it with social media
  5. Before you build a site or start any social media efforts, sit down with an old fashioned pencil and paper and write down 1) your vision for what you hope to accomplish with your Web efforts, 2) your business objectives, 3) how you will measure your successes and failure, and 4) how you will used each tool to communicate with and engage your customers.
  6. Take your time. Build each tool properly, make sure it works to your specifications, and then move onto the next tool.
  7. Think about integration. Decide how your web-efforts will look from one tool to the next. If you run a promotion on your blog, how will it show up on your facebook page or on twitter? Does a promotion have to show up on all of your sites or just one? If you are using multiple tools, will they all have the same content? Ultimately, you want to do one of two things – either drive you customers to your retail location or to your online “homebase” (site or blog) where you can provide them with valuable information about ongoing/upcoming promotions, events, and other content.
  8. Thing about value – why should your customer visit your site? Are you offering them something they really need or want? If not, you might want to step back and figure this one out. If you don’t, your Web efforts might end up stalling out before you ever get any real momentum.
  9. Measure results. Look back at your business objectives and constantly measure your online efforts against them. If they are not helping you get results, make adjustments and try again.

Are you ready to become a small business marketing werewolf? Ouch! You’ve just been bitten. Resist all you want. The moon is full.

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