07 Aug Connect your Connects
Making another round of interviews in Uptown, I asked four different companies to give their opinions on the value of having a website and here I make my case for the importance of connecting your connects.
Now, some may consider this article title just an annoying buzz phrase but after listening to many comments about business web pages, social media, Yelp, Amazon, eBay, logos (each of which I am calling a “connect”) and more of you I trust will discover the relevance.
During stop number one, I spoke with Owner/Stylist Adel and staff of Spoil Me Hair Salon. Originally at home on the edge of Lakeview, this three year old company moved to Uptown in April. “So, did you have a web-page up immediately or did that come a little later?” I ask. “It came about a year later.” Adel goes on saying the company did put up a Facebook page immediately. Continuing, I ask “Did you notice any improvement with business soon after publishing your website?” Adel responds, “No improvement really, other than traffic.” I question, “Well, what online tool do you feel has helped your sales the most?” “Yelp. The reviews really help,” she replies. “Fantastic, well, thank you all so much,” and I snag some cards and a magnet before heading out.
Stop number two was Shake Rattle & Read by Broadway and Lawrence where I talked with Owner Ric Addy. This family business was established in 1966! “That is really awesome Ric,” I add. Already knowing the answer I inquire, “Do you have a website?” Ric says, “I did. But I got rid of it. I didn’t like the maintenance and I was doing it myself.” Now I want to know what he finds most helpful in his online presence. He reacts, “I have both an Amazon account and an Ebay account and those both work great. Plus, if anyone wants to find us they just use Google.” After our exchange I thank him for his time and start pondering the benefits of a static, no-to-low maintenance page with an RSS feed from Yelp.
Walking home I notice Beck’s Book Store has a new logo (and in the words of Rochelle Weiner, “Now that’s a good egg”) which really caught my eye making it stop three. While discussing with Manager Bob Braje I discover the logo was added only days ago and that multiple Facebook pages exist unique to locations throughout the city. When asked how online sales compare to in-store sales as a whole Bob retorts, “Anything like that I can’t give out. You can call this number and ask for Linda.” I was unable to reach Linda Beck Olson. Nonetheless, their new logo brought at least one new person into their store.
Speaking of stores, scrolling through the list posted on the Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown reveals 169 businesses, 139 of which list their corresponding websites (and one includes a Facebook link). That is a noteworthy 82%. (Also, read about the importance of list directories by clicking on this link.)
When all of your online content comes back to one homepage it is easier to see everything at once. Reviews, photographs, audio and video content, directions, events, contact info and special deals are all literally a click away. Maybe some people prefer to check out your Facebook page over your Yelp reviews or vice versa but having both tied into your main site gives everyone more knowledge of your service or product. And do not forget the value of in-house events. What better way to promote online than with a FaceBook event that ties back to your web page listing a calendar of all the upcoming promotions and noteworthy dates? To each his own.
As for my fourth stop, that will have to wait until next time.
In short, all owners and managers find their niche for upping their numbers but when all your connecting elements lead back home it becomes all the more clear exactly where the feet should go.