Rich Digital Listings are Good for All Local Businesses

If you’re like most people, when you hear the word menu your first thought is probably about a restaurant.  But the fact is that anyone who offers products and services can –and should- have a menu that tells potential customers what you offer and how much it costs.
Think about it this way, you would never build a website that didn’t say what you sold.  And you’d never have people in your store without showing them your products.  So why is it that so many local businesses don’t look at their online listings the same way?

In talking to small businesses, I see three primary reasons:

  1. They’ve invested in their website and want all of their traffic to go there.   Anyone who has ever built a website for their business can attest to the fact that you have an emotional attachment to it.  You’ve poured time and money into the site and you want people to see it.  Which is all understandable except for one problem, it’s not a very customer friendly notion.  If the end goal is to drive store traffic or inquiries, you want to reduce the number of steps involved between someone searching and taking action.  The more information you can provide at the point of discovery, the better  (even if that means lower visitor numbers to your web site.)
  2. They don’t have an easy way to digitize their “menu.”  Most small business owners have outsourced their web development and the idea of paying hundreds of dollars to add or update what they offer is an unplanned and potentially unreasonable cost.   With self-service tools (like SinglePlatform) available to update and integrate your menu on your website, you don’t have to pay a web developer every time you want to add a new item or change a price.
  3. They aren’t thinking about their online listings at all.  We recently conducted research that shows 49% of small business owners have never updated their online listings.   That means that they could be inaccurate and outdated, and almost definitely don’t include a digital menu of your offerings.  That also means that most local businesses aren’t putting themselves in the best possible position to attract new customers.

The truth is that today’s consumers are less likely to truly “shop” than ever before.  They want to find a place via online or mobile search sites and apps that has what they are looking for in the limited time that they have to get things done.  Simply put, if you’re not creating a digital menu of products and services for your business, potential shoppers  are more likely to choose someone who is.

Four Reasons Your Digital Menu Needs to Be on Your Facebook Page

It’s no secret that when people are checking out your business, one of the places they are likely to look is on Facebook.  Even more importantly, Facebook is one of the best ways to get free visibility courtesy of your existing and potential customers.
In fact, every time someone “likes”, comments, or shares one of your posts or photos there is a chance that their friends and family will see it too.  With all of that great social visibility, don’t you want your menu right there on your Facebook Page as well?

Here are four reasons that adding your menu to your Page is a no brainer:

  1. People are on Facebook to be on Facebook – don’t try to send them away.  It’s great if consumers are interacting with your business on Facebook but that is probably not the primary reason they logged on in the first place.  Make it easy for potential customers to find whatever they are looking for without driving them to your website or directory listing.  That way you can be part of their social experience instead of trying to end it.
  2. Facebook is all about showing the personality of your business, and what shows your personality more than your menu?  You know that people decide to visit you based on what you have to offer and the experience they are going to have.  Both of which are encapsulated best by your menu and photos!
  3. It’s no extra work to be there.  Once your digital menu is set up with SinglePlatform it takes about three clicks to get it added as a tab on your Facebook Page.  Seriously, it’s that easy.
  4. People really do look at menus on Facebook.  In fact, customers using the SinglePlatform menu app drove over 173,000 menu views in 2012.

The truth is that you want an accurate, easy to read menu everywhere people might search for you or interact with your business.  Don’t forget to include your Facebook Page in the mix!