Databases

databases

Now I’m not talking about MS Access or MySQL databases, I am talking about keeping contact details for your clients and contacts. Every now and then (without spamming) it;s good to let your ‘audience’ know that you are still around and available…

Your database might be as simple as your MS Outlook address book – so it’s important to firstly know where you can find all the email addresses/phone numbers etc.. that you need – and that you maintain that database, back it up and fill it up with as much relevant data as you can.

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Social Media

facebook

Social media is a great way to promote businesses and engage with your clientèle or audience. That doesn’t mean that ‘Facebook’ is for every business, so take a look at what ‘Twitter’ and ‘LinkedIn’ can offer for your business.

My general rule of thumb is that face-to-face public dealing companies should use Facebook firstly and then Twitter secondly. Business-to-business companies should (I think) use LinkedIn and/or Twitter depending on their resources. Resources are important because Twitter is more demanding of your time in my opinion. It’s not really OK to occasionally take to Twitter, you should really be able to almost constantly monitor it, and be prepared to engage daily. Facebook is fine for occasional engagement and I have seen LinkedIn used as both fairly passive, and also very vigorously when it comes to updates etc..

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Directories and services

review

I mentioned before that I use ‘Hot Frog’ directory, and I get quite a bit of local business through it although I am not set up primarily for local users on my ‘cassette2cd‘ website.

I am also on ‘FreeIndex‘ for the same cassette to CD service, and as well as being a free directory listing (no doubt ‘no-follow‘ – see my previous post) FreeIndex also has a section where clients can leave a review. Now it’s unlikely that your clients will make a bee-line for this, but it is something you can promote to your clients through a badge-link on your site or providing a link in emails etc..

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Web directories

Although most generic web directories only offer ‘no-follow’ links (especially free submission web directories), I have found that trade directories which are geared towards ‘locality’ of the business has bought in a fair proportion of business since I started using them. I use one called ‘Hotfrog‘, I believe the original Hotfrog is based in Australia, but it now has a worldwide presence.

Services like Hotfrog allow you to place a business profile on-line, list your services, show some photos and all for free (although of course there is a ‘paid-for’ version which gives you a higher profile). Naturally, many domains will be registered with DMOZ open directory as a minimum, but there are a bunch of free directory services out there which may be a good fit for your site.

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