Welcome to ZettaMobile’s “Power 21 Blog”. This blog is meant to help you, the Small Business Owner, with tips and advice to help you promote and grow your local business. We will provide you with resources to better understand the power of local mobile advertising, as well as advice from other small businesses. We want to hear from you, let us know your own thoughts and advice.

Tricks to Help Your Small Business Through the Dog Days of Summer

July 25, 2014 · zettamobile
panting-dogWe’re in the “dog days of summer,” and unless you have a seasonal summer business, like a Frozen Yogurt Shop, your local business is probably feeling it.

We can thank the ancient Romans for coming up with the term “Dog Days of Summer.”   “Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August, when the brightest star in the sky, Sirius (aka “Dog Star”), would rise and fall with the sun.  Ancient Romans thought this added to the summer heat.  [Credit: weather.com]
The middle of summer doesn’t mean your business has to stop; on the contrary, it can be a time to turn up the heat a little on your digital marketing efforts.

Here are some tricks help your local small business:

1. Check/Update Your Business Listings
There are many directory and search sites that have your business listed on them.  There are big ones like Yelp, Google, YP, Facebook, Yahoo, Foursquare, Local.com, CitySearch, but there are a lot of smaller ones as well.Many of the sites are free listings and, as a business owner, offer you the ability to make changes as needed.

Your Goal:

Make sure your business information is consistent on them

    • Have you claimed/verified your business with the site, or did they just get your information from another source?
    • Is your business name the same on all sites?
    • Is your phone number right?
    • Do they have the right URL?

Benefit to your business:

  • Inexpensive and effective way to increase visibility
  • Helps with your SEO
→Hot Tip: Use www.yext.com to see how your business appears on many search and directory sites

2. Improve Your Reputation
Many small businesses have a love/hate relationship with review sites.  Great recommendations and reviews from customers are shown to increase business:
A study by the Harvard Business School, “Reviews, Reputation and Revenue: The Case Of Yelp.com,” found that a positive evaluation on the popular review site Yelp.com does, in fact, appear to lead to increased business for restaurants: A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.

Your Goal: Take the time to respond to customers to increase your rating

  • Respond to customer reviews on Yelp directly, both positive and negative
  • Thank customers that write a positive review and let them know you look forward to seeing them again
  • Address concerns from a bad review and encourage them to come back for another experience
  • For a really bad review, you may want to send an e-mail with an incentive to come back

Benefit to your business:

  • It shows that you care about the customer experience
  • Those that wrote a bad review may be inclined to come back and update their review with a positive one
→Hot Tip: Do not solicit customers to write a review, but let them know you have a listing on a site like Yelp, Foursquare, or Angie’s List

3. Promote Summer Specials
Give potential customers and clients an incentive to come in, or call.  Provide a discount or special offer that will motivate them to act now.  However, the offer is only good if people know about it, so you need to get the word out to local customers/clients.

Your Goal: Increase awareness of your business and special offers

  • Use social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and email marketing to let your followers know about special offers and events
  • Try local mobile advertising to reach more local customers that are already in proximity to your business.  It can not only reach customers that live nearby, but can also reach those that are visiting

Benefit to your business:

  • Keeps your business top of mind for local customers
  • You may attract new customers that come back again
Hot Tip: Some companies, like ZettaMobile, offer a FREE 30-Day Trial for local mobile advertising
Whether your local small business is an “old dog,” or a relatively new "young pup," in the neighborhood, these tricks can help during the Dog Days of Summer.  What a treat!
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