How to Build Your Small Business’s Brand Authority

Developing and communicating an identity for your small business is important, but building on that identity to reinforce your brand authority is just as essential. Consumers’ standards are higher than ever, and they want to interact with businesses they feel are value-oriented, real, and plugged in. There are a variety of ways to develop these attributes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Invest in Quality

Every part of your brand, from the products and services in your store to your company’s website, contributes to customers’ perception of your business. If you pursue the highest quality in every aspect of operations and marketing, it will show—and will also lend credibility to your brand.

Develop a Unique Selling Point

Differentiating your business with a unique selling point or perspective can have as much impact on brand authority as investing in quality. Think about what you can do to go above and beyond the competition in both your main business and in your ancillary services and benefits. The more value you can add, the more you’ll appeal to consumers.

Engage on Social Media

Connecting with customers where they spend time online is an easy way to build your business’s authority. If you have things to say or share that are relevant to your audience, consumers are more likely to take you seriously—and to engage with you in return.

Create Useful Blog Content

Publishing engaging, memorable posts on a company blog is a great way to increase your site traffic and strengthen your brand’s authority. Guest blogging on other sites can also help you get your brand in front of a larger audience and establish your business as a reliable source of information (or entertainment, depending on what kind of business you have).

Be Consistent

Leading brands got to be where they are today by being consistent in terms of value and quality, but also in terms of their product positioning and what they stand for. From communications to design to service, it’s important that your business offers a standard experience that customers can get familiar with quickly.

Commit to a Cause

If giving back to the community is something near and dear to your heart, consider what your business can do to support a cause. Tying a personal passion into your business will contribute to your brand’s authority and appeal to consumers who are socially conscious.

The Bottom Line

The best thing you can do to build brand authority is to be genuine, engaged, and consistent in your business’s products, services, support, and communications. We’ve covered a few ways here, but the possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

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3 Reasons You Should Have a Facebook for Your Business

In today’s incredibly dynamic and ever-changing world of business, it is paramount that business owners keep their businesses in the limelight. Throughout time, business owners have explored countless options from the conventional to the nontraditional. With the impact that the internet has had on our lives, your online presence is naturally an integral part of your business’s success! Facebook, which boasts a network of over 1.5 billion active users, is a strong resource for getting the word out about your business. Here are a few tips to help you use Facebook to best work for your business.

1. Create a Business Page

Creating a business page on Facebook will not only serve as a resource to your customers, but you will also be able to communicate and connect with them directly. You can use this platform to promote contests and giveaways or to highlight new menu items. Announce special events or holidays hours. Facebook is a great way to keep your client base engaged.

2. Tailor Your Posts

Your customers want to consume information that they believe is relevant to them. It is very important to cut through all of the clutter on Facebook by specializing your posts. Make sure you are posting when most people are online. Studies show that the best times to post are between 1PM and 4PM!

3. Listen to the Number

Facebook provides a suite of analytics for business owners to use. With these numbers, you can see what types of content work best. Once you have an understanding of what your customers respond to, highlight the most relevant parts of your business effectively and efficiently.

Facebook is a powerful tool that is here to stay. Make sure that you utilizing it to the best of your ability. Here is an infographic that helps to outline some of the best practices as far as Facebook is concerned.

5 Winter Ingredients to Feature On Your Menu This Season

The trees are shedding their leaves, the birds are flying south, and the winter coats are coming out of storage. It’s time for your restaurant to make its own preparations for winter by updating your menu.

Changing your menu seasonally is a great way to create new marketing opportunities for your restaurant, lower your food costs low by avoiding what’s out-of-season, and keep your employees and customers engaged, excited, and talking about your food. For instance, you can hold a daily countdown on your social media page to the big unveiling of your new menu. Once it’s unveiled, feature a new dish every week to get people excited.

Here are some ingredients you’ll definitely want to incorporate this winter:

1. Uncured Bacon

According to Google, uncured bacon is a “sustained riser” in trending foods for 2016, which may sound as obvious as the sky is blue. Bacon is never going out of season, but cold weather has people craving comfort foods that are high in fat. Some scientists believe it’s our animal instinct to try and make it through the winter without freezing. Add some bacon dishes to your menu, like seared scallops with bacon, and your customers will be braving even the worst winter storms to taste your food.

2. Cauliflower

Cauliflower was the new ‘it’ vegetable of 2015, taking over kale’s reign, and it remains at the top of the charts as far as in-demand food is concerned. Not only that, but cauliflower comes into season in late fall and remains fresh throughout the winter, with 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Make sure your customers get the vitamin C they need to keep their winter colds at bay by warming them up with a delicious cauliflower dish, like a mouth-watering cauliflower gratin.

3. Cinnamon & Nutmeg

Cinnamon and nutmeg are spices that can make anyone reminiscent of winters past, but they likely got that reputation because of their practical use. Unlike spices that make you sweat, both cinnamon and nutmeg have the ability to boost your metabolism, allowing you to warm up more quickly. Invite your customers inside to get warm with a mug of hot cocoa with a dash of cinnamon and they’ll be sure to come again.

4. Ginger

Much like cinnamon and nutmeg, ginger has the ability to keep your body warm. It also has some amazing health benefits and is a great way to give your immune system the boost it needs. It’s incredible versatility makes the perfect addition to any soup, entree, or even cocktail—a maple-ginger hot toddy will certainly draw people in your door.

5. Winter Squashes

We all know butternut squash and pumpkin, but there are many other winter squashes that can add some delicious, nutritious seasonal comfort to your menu this winter—like acorn, delicata, delicata, spaghetti, and hubbard. Winter squashes are high in the starch that we crave in winter to take away our winter blues, but they’re also a great source of antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamins. Roasted or mashed, add some winter squashes to your menu and watch your dishes fly off the menu.

Update your menu this winter with these ingredients and you’ll have new and old customers in your doors, talking, and coming back for more. SinglePlatform helps you attract more diners by putting these new and improved menus across the web where customers are searching. Learn more today! 

6 Ways Your Restaurant Can Give Back this Holiday Season

So your restaurant has adjusted to the age of technology, you’ve found some creative ways to keep business flowing all week, you’re heading into your busiest time of the year—the holidays—and you’re thinking to yourself: I just wish I could give back.

Whether that’s true or not, you might consider it. Giving back has real benefits that go beyond the heartwarming; it can stir up positive PR, cause an upswing in employee morale, and forge important new connections with other local businesses and leaders.

Here are six ways your restaurant can give back this holiday season:

1. Shop Local

When you buy local you’re investing in your community. You’re also able to buy more often and in less quantity, which means you’ll have less waste, less harmful-for-the-environment packaging, and fresher ingredients. Sure the prices might be a little higher, but, between the ability to market your amazing “farm-to-table” recipes and the customers and referrals you’ll get from supporting local businesses, you should see a return on your investment.

2. Donate Surplus Ingredients to a Food Bank

You can’t always shop local—especially with the winter months approaching, but you can always use your wholesale power for good. Consider donating any extra non-perishables to your local food bank. Better yet, find out what your food bank needs and try to include some of those ingredients in upcoming menu specials. That way, you’re drawing customers in with exciting new dishes and making a greater impact with your donations.

3. Donate Leftovers or Other Prepared Foods

Though the logistics behind donating “leftovers” are a little more complicated, there are plenty of local charities that will happily accept prepared foods as in-kind donation and they can walk you through the tax benefits you’ll receive because of your generosity.

4. Cook or Host a Meal

It’s what you do best. Pick a holiday and host a festive dinner for those not fortunate enough to have one themselves. If you can’t host, consider delivering meals to individuals or families in your area that are in need. It’s a great way to create good will for your company, introduce your business to new people, build camaraderie with your staff, and see the impact you’re making firsthand.

5. Work With Your Local School System

Get involved in your local school systems. Schools can benefit from many of the types of giving we’ve already mentioned, but you can get creative with ideas like incentivizing kids to keep up their attendance and grades with special lunches and coupons. One free kids meal with the purchase of an entree is a great way to get more families in your door.

6. A “Percentage-of-Proceeds” Day

Not everyone has the ability to donate their time. If that’s the case for your restaurant, try designating a day of the week where a percentage of sales will go to a charity of your choice. Charities know what they need and giving them the financial resources to meet those needs is one of the best ways you can help. Plan it on a day of the week when business is slower and watch as business picks up.

No matter how you choose to give back this holiday season, remember: passion is contagious. Your energy is going to be what drives your charitable efforts towards success and a successful investment in others can turn out to be an incredible investment for you and your business. Get more tips and tricks for running your local business sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter below:

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