Executive Information Technology Consulting & Development Services offered by Steve Diamond

Stop Hiding From Your Customers

09 March 2009

I find that many small-to-medium local businesses are hiding from their customers and don’t realize it. They still market to new customers in newspapers and the Yellow Pages, and they still stay in touch with existing customers (if they do) by direct mail.

But those traditional marketing channels are increasingly empty. That’s not where you find customers in the 21st century. No, they’re online. They’re on Google, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon. They’re blogging and commenting on blogs. They’re forming communities of interest on Digg and social|median.

If businesses aren’t familiar with these venues and aren’t meeting their customers where they hang out and interact, then they’re missing an enormous opportunity to keep building even during these recessionary times.

So stop hiding from your customersSM. I can help. Contact me today.

23 Comments to “Stop Hiding From Your Customers”

  1. Nathan says:

    Hey Steve, I can’t agree more. I’ve been working in local search for the last 3 years and even that has been a whirlwind. I recently read in Newsweek about the LA Korean taco phenomena sparked by twitter use! The landscape has changed and being online is not an option if you’d like to grow your business.

  2. I have to agree with Nathan! We have had such amazing results since switching our marketing focus towards SEO, Twitter, blogs, and social networking! We’re reaching a much more diverse group of costumers, and even more valuable, we are able to get interactive feedback and reactions from them.

  3. Goldberg says:

    Silence is killer so you should not hide anything from your client.You should try and build relationship with him.This way you can persuade him to buy from you again.
    .-= Goldberg@reverse phone search´s last blog ..How to Trace Mobile Phone number in USA =-.

  4. harry says:

    I agree with all of the above, as i've seen first hand how web optimisation as opposed to the more traditional methods is a fantastic way of boosting the amount of visitors to your website, and business figures. However i think it may depend, to an extent, on the target audience, for example if you wanted to target a nich in a local area it may be better to develop more traditional methods. – ( in the not too distant future, even these methods may become obsolete as the development of new digital magazines comes to the forefront of the modern world etc).

    thanks

    H 🙂

    • I think that the online social are quickly overtaking traditional SEO as the most effective way to create interest, discussion, and traffic to websites. Do people still use search engines? Sure they do. But they increasingly listen to the conversations on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites also. The future is upon us (as usual).

  5. Many companies shy away from their customers and wonder why they lose business. With the advent of social marketing as an interactive tool for communication, i think businesses dont have an excuse and they should embrace the technology and their customers.

  6. Steve. Do you believe with the new search engine Blekko, that there will be a big shift for internet businesses and how they optimise online?

    • Good question. There may be a shift, but I don't think it will be big or immediate. Blekko certainly makes it easier to see why a particular site is ranking on Blekko, but it's not clear how well that correlates with the factors used by the big search engines, especially Google. It would be great if Blekko's example caused Google to be more transparent about their algorithms, but I'm not holding my breath. Blekko would need to capture a significant search market share before Google does anything like that, I think.

  7. It is always refreshing to read insightful commentary, but it is disappointing to me as a reader that the comments left by others do not inspire debate or further discussion. Robert

    • Steve says:

      I agree, Robert. It is disappointing when that happens. (Ironically, your comment applies self-referentially to itself. But I think you already know that.)

  8. cynthia says:

    So if not traditional ways how are you planning us to not to hide from customers. You would have introduced with few words for curiosity.
    cynthia@ipad’s last blog post … not found

    • Steve says:

      Hi, Cynthia. It looks as if Facebook pages are emerging as the number one way of being visible to customers and interacting with them.

  9. However there are some out there who dont want the newest and best technology because what they have works perfectly fine for them. The combination of coverage service quality devices and advanced features on GSM is superior to TDMA..But what Cingular doesnt get is that these people are obviously fine with the service they have now and dont really want to change the promise of advanced features doesnt hold the same allure. I wonder if theyll also charge these customers activation fees for their new service when they finally do decide to switch..Its sad that Cingular will most likely be able to hide this behavior under the guise of trying to unify and improve their network when all theyre doing is screwing over 4.7 million of their customers.

  10. Hi Steve,

    How would you rank Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Blog

    for a small company as a means to connect with current and potential customers?

    In Canada Twitter is kinda useless for a small business.

  11. Kyle says:

    Great point. I find that trying to express to small businesses the significance of social media outside of the on-site SEO algorithms can be a challenge in and of itself. Thankfully, the rapid popularity of so many social media outlets has helped.

  12. Kyle says:

    Without the forces of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes even the almost-defunct MySpace, human interaction across the internet would only be through email, and while still instantaneous, the amount of hoops needed to jump through to get to your updates is longer than Facebook and Twitter. That’s why these models are working well for businesses.

  13. Businesses can still use the classic ways of building bridges between them and their customers. But a relationship building strategy definitely has to consider the Internet. In this day and age, social networking is the way to go if you want to create a strong bond between you and your customers.

  14. Toko Boneka says:

    This is really good advice. If you have a business you have to always close to your custemer.

  15. Kate says:

    You’re absolutely right. Those marketer who still don’t get where they customers are – they all are blind!

  16. elise says:

    As a small local business we do try to keep our current customers interested via Facebook and twitter, and we do run a blog from our website but when you dela daily with the public the things you don’t necessarily see fall by the wayside!

  17. Plugwireless says:

    It is important to remain availble for your customers as it will help them resolve their issues and your brand loyality will increase!

  18. Veronica says:

    I totally agree. You should keep your business expose to almost every kind of audience.
    Veronica@online business coach’s last blog post … not found

  19. ISeen Lab says:

    I agree with you. If you are hiding something from your customer it may lead to compromise the trust with customer. and more than that if you are not hidden the fact from customer that will be the better explore about the business. because mistake made man perfect.
    ISeen Lab’s last blog post … not found

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge
Login with Facebook:

Relevant, interesting comments are rewarded with DoFollow and KeywordLuv. Enter YourName@YourKeywords in the Name field to take advantage.