If not, it’s worth your time, effort, and attention.
I bring this topic up because one of my recent guests (he owns a small business) said he doesn’t do any monitoring because he feels it’s a waste of his time.
Fair enough. It’s his choice (and yours).
My humble opinion is that not monitoring your business online is a major opportunity lost.
Here’s why –
1. Grow your community – social media provides a tremendous opportunity for small business owners to go directly to the consumer (potential customer) and create a connection.
2. Stay up on industry trends – whether you own a bike shop, construction company, or vintage clothing store…people and companies are evolving on a daily basis.
3. Respond to criticism – new review sites seem to be popping up on a weekly basis, and there are the already well-established sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. If someone is saying something negative about your business, you have a right to respond. If you’re not monitoring what’s being said you’ll never know.
4. Help somebody – Internet forums that are related to your small business can be fantastic places to grow your community. One of the most gratifying ways to do this is to help somebody who might have a question that you can answer. The key, I have found, is to help individuals within various forums without expecting anything in return.
5. Determine what’s working – monitoring the online space can help you to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Did you publish a blog post recently or post an Internet special to try and increase business? If you don’t monitor what’s being said you’ll never know if you’re efforts are working.
6. Keep tabs on competitors – ah yes, the competition. If you’re not monitoring your small business online, chances are your competitor is.
7. Develop trust and spread your influence – whether you’re responding to criticism, trying to help someone, or grow your community it all comes down to developing trust. An online presence without trust is like a puppy without a home… sad and wandering aimlessly.
Did I miss anything? What else would you add to the list above?