When most people need help finding a store with good bargains, a fun way to spend a day, or a good restaurant, they use their smartphones to get the latest news and reviews instantly. A business owner or manager can use the internet to attract new and repeat customers in several effective, entertaining ways. An attractive website with an interesting blog is essential for introducing potential customers to your business, and more visitors will make it even more helpful. You can get more traffic to your website by posting links and information on other websites. Here are some of the most popular sites for promoting your business.
Image via Flickr by Eva Blue
Reddit calls itself “the front page of the Internet” because it’s a great source for news, funny stories, cute cat pictures, and just about everything else. This huge collection of forums is divided into more than 5,400 subreddits for different topics. The most upvoted or popular comments reach the top of a thread, and the best threads reach the front page. Users accumulate upvotes, also called karma, as well.
You can buy a sponsored post at the top of the front page, but posting as a regular user is free. Funny, interesting, or helpful posts will get more views and comments. For example, you can post delicious pictures of some of your restaurant’s dishes in r/food. Plumbers, mechanics, and many others can answer questions from other users on r/DIY, r/AskReddit, and other subreddits. Place links to your website and pictures of your products in most of your comments and posts.
YouTube is a popular video-sharing platform with over a billion users. Every user gets their own channel, and other users can subscribe to learn about new videos from their favorite channels. Even if you don’t feel like making videos, you’ll get your own channel in case you change your mind later.
Most videos on YouTube are only a few minutes long, so there’s no need to create a full movie. However, you should make your videos look professional to attract more customers. To get more views, post links to your videos on Reddit and your blog. Even if you don’t want to take the time to make a video, YouTube is a good place for advertising. Many vloggers or video bloggers use the site to talk about the news, makeup, hilarious accidents, quantum physics, and anything else you can think of. You can ask for a product placement or a more direct mention of your business at the beginning or end of a video.
You may be able to exchange some YouTube ads for mentioning the vlogger on your blog. Other YouTube artists require payment, and you can also place paid ads through YouTube. The company posts ads on several channels at once with a computer algorithm. Occasionally, ads could end up on channels that your customers don’t normally watch, but you’ll influence more people than you could by choosing each channel and talking to the creators yourself.
This site is like Pandora, the music app, but it suggests websites you should visit instead of songs. When you sign up, StumbleUpon will ask you for 10 interests. Then, the app will take you to a random site that matches your interests when you click on the Stumble button. StumbleUpon’s ad system is called Paid Discovery, and it occasionally directs users to pages with green “sponsored” icons instead of other pages.
Whether or not a site is sponsored, you can click on an icon at the top of the page to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Pages with lots of likes get more stumbles. This is an easy way to introduce people to your website. Encourage those visitors to come back by placing a Subscribe icon on the page in a prominent spot. Then, you can send regular emails with news and updates to the potential customers who subscribe to your blog.
Blogs With a Similar Audience
Becoming a guest poster on blogs that your customers and potential customers read can add even more opportunities for you to bring visitors to your website and your business. For example, a plumbing business could post an article about stylish bathroom fixtures on a site that focuses on home decor.
Post on some larger sites like Listverse as well as smaller local sites. Make a deal with a few fellow entrepreneurs to post on their blogs when they guest post on your blog for maximum impact and better search engine rankings. Many people who see a helpful post from your business on another blog will go straight to your physical store as well.
Popular Listing Services
Many popular websites keep detailed lists of businesses. Adding your information to these sites is often free, and you get a chance for a new customer every time someone looks for a product or service you can provide. It’s a bit like being in several phone books at once, but you can add extensive information instead of just your business’s name and phone number.
Create a profile on popular sites like Yahoo! Local Listings, Craigslist, and YellowPages.com. Make sure you include a description of your products and services and use your blog to encourage customers to write positive reviews on these sites. Craigslist alone gets over 20 billion page views per month, so the right information on these sites can introduce your business to lots of new customers.
Facebook is the biggest social network with nearly 1.8 billion active users. After you create a personal account, make a page for your business and invite your friends to subscribe. Make regular posts and invite friends to share. You can also create a group related to your business or participate in discussions with an existing group.
For as much traffic as possible on your website and at your physical location, use as many sites as you can to promote your business. Also, links and information about your website on other sites will increase your ranking in search engines. Even an amazing business often can’t survive through only word of mouth or an ad or two.