Believe it or not, nearly half of all small businesses still don’t have a website. That means, even as more and more purchasing is done through apps and on mobile devices, the use of technology in business still eludes some companies. Those that fail to embrace the place of technology in business are sure to be left behind.
Here are 5 ways that you can use technology in your business to make sure you stay ahead of your competition.
1. Social Media Helps Promotion
One of the best and worst developments of this technological era has to be social media. Social media has allowed us to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, and clients in new and exciting ways. It’s also allowed fake news by bots and content farms to spread like wildfire.
Social media can be used for good when it comes to promotion and building a community around your products and services. Using social media allows you to let your customers and clients know more about your products and services.
If you build a strong profile on Twitter, you can use that platform for getting the word out about promotions. You can have a flash sale for one day only or you can announce a pop-up event.
If you use Facebook, you can add photos of how your products and services are created or delivered. You can walk your customers and clients through the process from beginning to end on a channel like Facebook, where people are comfortable seeing lots of photos.
Build up a profile on every possible social media channel where your customers could be and stake out a claim there.
2. Apps Can Speed Your Sales
Apps can help to increase your profits by streamlining the process from ordering to delivery. By being just a button away in your customers’ pockets, you can reach them faster than ever before.
Do yourself a favor and find ways to integrate your app into their other apps like their social media profiles or Google accounts. You’ll be able to gather more data to target your products even better. Integration is the key to having purchase on their personal device space.
Notifications are your best friend when you’re using apps to improve your profits. Notifications tell users when to reorder something, remind them to complete tasks, or let them know someone is getting in touch. Notifications are a great way to stay at the forefront of the minds of your clients.
You can also sell ads on your app. Be wary of how much space you devote to ad space on your apps as people are getting more literate and building a lower tolerance for ads. Also be sure that you hire a security expert to keep your clients’ data safe on your app.
3. GPS Means User Targeting
If you use a search engine to look for the term “pizza”, you might notice that most of the results you get are for pizzerias near you. That’s no accident. Search engines have realized that when people search, they’re often looking for the closest place to find a specific product.
Search engines use a combination of GPS data from devices, a history of recent searches, and user accounts to figure out where search users are located. They are focused more and more on targeting users where they are.
You can use this technology, along with some search engine optimization tactics to target your most local audience. If you have a website, liberally sprinkle the name of the city you’re located in. On your blog, be sure to mention your city as often as possible.
If you want to get to the top of search engine rankings, you need to use a combination of SEO strategies. Technology for small business is centered around local SEO tactics right now. Take the time to learn more about what some companies have to offer when it comes to search engine optimization.
4. Be On Every Marketplace
All of your customers and clients are going to be using technology to buy their products and services. That’s why you need to be on every marketplace that they’re on. If you haven’t created accounts with all of the major online retailers or service providers, it’s time to.
If you have products that could sit on Amazon, it’s time to make sure that you’re listed on the site. Managing your own company site is complicated for a small to medium-sized business. Your best bet would be to send your products to an Amazon distribution warehouse and let them handle the sales.
If you’re selling digital products, there are plenty of marketplaces for you. If you have app-based or digital products, make sure you build an account on all of the app stores your customers use. Think outside the box, beyond the top few giant retailers so that you can reach every customer possible.
5. Spread Your Word of Mouth, Digitally
More than 80% of people now attest to the fact that they trust the word of an online reviewer almost as much as they do the word of a friend. That means you need to be managing your online reviews.
If you haven’t claimed your listings on every site like Yelp, Yahoo! Local, or Google My Business, it’s time to. You might find that there are already accounts for your business on those sites. That’s because they get populated by users who write about you or from other channels that might have partial information.
It’s essential that all of your information matches, so be sure to go through and make sure every piece of information is true.
The Use of Technology in Business is Essential
If you’re still wary about the use of technology in business, you’re going to be behind the other companies in your industry. Every industry, from blacksmiths to cobblers, has embraced the future of technology. To keep your business competitive, you have to use technology.
To be sure you’re safe from hackers when you connect your business to technology, check out our guide to protect yourself.