How Online Presence Will Make or Break Your Small Business: Strategizing Success

Knowing how to tap into the immense potential of your online presence can be quite a task. 

For a small business, online presence goes beyond sales—it’s about showcasing value, embodying your brand, and forging connections with customers.

In this guide, you’ll learn why having a strong online presence matters. We’ll talk about how people can find your business on Google and social media, why customer reviews are important, and more.

small business

The Power of Online Presence: More Than Just a Digital Business Card

Establishing your small business online offers numerous benefits, from increased visibility and wider reach to easier interactions with potential clients.

97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else, these days!

First Impressions are Everything

Your online presence often forms customers’ first impressions of your small business, influencing their decisions and giving you an edge in a competitive market.

Plus, an online presence gives you a stage to display all facets of your small business, offering detailed information about your services, client testimonials, and even interactive features all housed under one roof.

Clarity and Confidence

The easily accessible information can act as a solution to customer questions, fostering trust in your services and instilling confidence. 

By offering a clear and comprehensive view of what you offer, you build trust and confidence in your services, showing your dedication to meeting customer needs. This transparency helps foster lasting relationships and drives business growth.

Expand Your Reach

Don’t forget that combining social media, SEO, and content marketing can really boost your small business.

You’ll reach more people and attract new customers. Each of these tools is important for a strong marketing plan, helping you spread the word and make a bigger impact online. 

Social Media vs. Google: Where are Your New Customers Coming From?

As a small business owner, you might have asked yourself a question – should I focus on social media or Google to attract more customers?

You’re not alone, as many entrepreneurs find themselves in the same boat, wondering where their next batch of customers will originate. This is a complex issue with no simple, one-size-fits-all answer. It largely depends on the specific nature of your service business and your target audience. 

For example, many salons might find that Instagram is their best friend while a Med Spa might benefit more from SEO efforts.

small business social media

Social Media Skills Pay Off

Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter boast millions of active users daily. That’s a sea of potential customers just waiting for you to engage with them.

In fact, it’s been shown that as many as 76% of companies reported an increase in website traffic due to their social media marketing efforts, according to Statista. The social crowd is undoubtedly an effective and cost-efficient way of projecting your small business into the world. 

The Power of Google

On the other hand, Google, the titan of search engines, offers its own unique advantages.

People use Google to search for specific products or services, and having a strong presence there could lead interested customers directly to your business. 

Services like Google My Business can be particularly beneficial for small businesses aiming for local exposure. It’s important to remember that users who find you through Google are likely already interested in your services, making them quality leads. 

Mix it Up

Therefore, it’s crucial to diversify your online marketing efforts. Rather than picking one platform over another, consider using a mix of social media and Google in your online marketing strategy.

This allows you to build brand recognition on social platforms while harnessing the power of search engine optimization to attract interested parties on Google.

Unleashing the Power of Strategic Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media has become a powerful tool for service-based small businesses like barbershops, nail salons, med spas, and salons to connect with their target audience, showcase their work, and attract new clients.

However, simply having a social media presence is not enough; it’s essential to strategize effectively to maximize its benefits. Here are some key strategies for service-based businesses looking to make the most of social media:

1. Define Your Brand Identity

Before diving into social media, it’s crucial to establish a clear brand identity that reflects the unique personality and values of your small business.

Determine what sets your barbershop, nail salon, or med spa apart from the competition and use this as the foundation for your social media content. Whether it’s a focus on luxury, affordability, eco-friendliness, or creativity, your brand identity should shine through in every post.

Essentially, you need to speak directly to your audience’s needs and aspirations, convey your unique value, and optimally implement these insights into your social media posts. 

2. Choose the Right Platforms

Not all social media platforms are created equal, and it’s important to focus your efforts on the platforms where your target audience is most active.

 For service-based businesses in the beauty and wellness industry, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are often the most effective for visually showcasing your work.

However, don’t overlook platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which can also be valuable for engaging with your community and sharing updates about your small business.

small business social media ideas

3. Showcase Your Work

One of the most powerful ways to attract new clients on social media is by showcasing your work through high-quality photos and videos.

Whether it’s a stunning haircut, a beautiful nail design, or a rejuvenating spa treatment, visual content allows potential clients to see the quality of your work and envision themselves as customers. 

Experiment with different types of content, such as before-and-after photos, behind-the-scenes videos, and client testimonials, to keep your feed fresh and engaging.

4. Engage with Your Audience

Participating actively on these social media channels also promotes interaction with your audience. It’s one thing to deliver content, but a higher level of engagement happens when you engage in discussions, respond to comments, and make your audience feel seen and heard.

Encourage your clients to tag your business in their posts and share their experiences with their own followers. 

This can foster a strong sense of community and improve brand loyalty. And remember, engaged customers are often repeat customers. 

5. Keep an Eye on Numbers, Update as Needed

However, bear in mind that effective social media marketing involves more than just making posts. It requires devising a data-driven strategy alongside some creativity. 

By continually tracking your business and social media analytics, you can gain a clear understanding of what resonates with your audience and the areas that require improvement. This way, you won’t be flying blind, but rather making informed decisions that boost your social media marketing effort and overall online presence. 

To obtain insights, it’s crucial that you pay attention to performance data (psst – Chilled Butter offers reports for your small business included at every level and for all of your locations!) This information about your staff, your customers, and more will spark ideas and strategy!

6. Offer Exclusive Promotions

Everyone loves a good deal, and social media is the perfect platform to offer exclusive promotions and discounts to your followers. Whether it’s a special offer for first-time clients, a seasonal promotion, or a loyalty program for repeat customers, incentivizing your social media followers can help drive traffic to your business and encourage repeat visits.

Just be sure to track the success of your promotions and adjust your strategy accordingly based on what resonates with your audience.

7. Targeted Ads

Social media may offer free avenues for spreading your message, yet it also offers targeted advertising opportunities.

Though paid, these can be an effective way of reaching your ideal customers. A small budget allocated here can get your business in front of the right people, bending the curve towards profitability. It’s about striking the right balance between organic reach and smart, targeted spending. 

By implementing these strategies, service-based small businesses can leverage the power of social media to attract new clients, build brand loyalty, and ultimately grow their business.

Untapped Potential: How Google Can Drive Your Small Business Forward

Are you wondering how a search engine could possibly be the driver you need to propel your small business to new heights? The answer lies in Google’s multifaceted tools and features, specifically devised to aid in business growth.

Expanding your reach beyond social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter (X), Google expands your online marketing efforts to a wider audience. 

Google My Business

This free tool allows you to promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps.

By merely claiming your Google My Business account, effectively managing it, and keeping it updated, you’re already boosting your online presence, making it easier for customers to find you amidst the competitive clutter. 

small business seo strategy

Google Ads serves as another potent weapon in your arsenal. It enables your business to appear to potential customers exactly when they’re searching for the types of services or products you offer, even if your business doesn’t organically show up at the top of the page.

The ability to target specific keywords, demographics, and geographic locations makes it a highly customizable online marketing tool, ready to propel your business visibility. 

Search Engine Optimization

Remember, the crucial element governing the effectiveness of these tools is your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

There are a lot of factors that impact how far down your small business sits on the search results page, but it’s an important thing to consider if you want to draw customers to your business.

SEO can seem daunting for small businesses but fear not, Google provides tools to aid with this too! Google Search Console and Google Analytics can lend you significant insights into your website’s performance, visitor interaction, and can guide you in optimizing your business growth online. 

Embrace These Tools!

The combination of it all may feel confusing at first but even the most basic use of these tools gets you further than doing nothing at all.

With constant evolution in digital marketing − staying updated is not an option, it’s a necessity. 

In a world where staying ahead of the competition is vital, Google’s tools offer you a level playing field, irrespective of your business size. 

Customer Reviews: The Power to Make or Break Your Small Service Business

Customer reviews are arguably as important as the quality of your service, and it’s not an overstatement to say that they can make or break your small service business. Why? Because they are a testament to your credibility, competence, and commitment. 

Consider reviews as your digital word-of-mouth; they’re the recommendations or warnings that prospective customers heed before deciding to engage in business with you.

According to Dixa, 93% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. It’s a defining moment – a transaction waiting to be made or aborted.

Because of this, your focus should be:

  1. Providing high-quality service
  2.  Accumulating positive reviews 

The Good

Countless individuals trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from close connections.

As a result, positive reviews serve as pivotal tools for growing your small service business.

They generate excitement around your offerings, foster trust, and showcase the effectiveness of your service.

To harness their power, make sure to request testimonials from satisfied customers. Share these reviews on your website, social media platforms, and Google, leveraging their influence to attract new prospects. 

All you need to do to respond to positive reviews effectively is say thank you! Responding to positive reviews shows your appreciation and goes a long way in showing that you value your customers.

The Bad

On the other hand, negative reviews require a compassionate and tactful approach.

Here are some ways you might consider replying to negative reviews to counteract the influence they leave on potential customers:

  • Apologize for their bad experience (genuinely!) 
  • Offer ways you could improve on the experience they had, such as inviting them back to have their haircut fixed with another stylist.
  • Extend things they might find helpful or incentivizing to come back and give your business another try such as coupons or free products.
  • Provide an e-mail for them to complain to directly so you can gather feedback, they feel it’s being taken seriously, and you can attempt to solve the problem 1-on-1 before it escalates.

Remember, everyone is watching your response, and it’s an opportunity to exhibit your professionalism and dedication to customer satisfaction. 

The Feedback

Keep in mind that it’s not all about damage control with negative reviews. They are also a goldmine of feedback. Use them to identify any recurring complaints and work on those areas in your business.

Plus, customers appreciate a local, small business that listens and evolves based on their needs, which in turn improves loyalty and draws in new customers.

Simply put: good management of customer reviews lets you turn pitfalls into major stepping stones for success. 

How to Grow Reviews

So, now we know that positive reviews are the backbone of growing your customer base but how do we accomplish that?

The simple answer is to just ask.

Customers who have had great experiences at your business sometimes don’t even need to be asked to leave a glowing review about their experience. But, for those who do, it never hurts to have a plan of action for asking.

You might consider:

  • Signage at checkout asking for reviews for good experiences on Yelp, Google, or wherever is relevant to your business.
  • A modest discount on their next service for supporting your small business with a review.
  • Sending an e-mail or text survey to ask how their experience was.

Sending a personalized note to prompt customers is, in our experience, a really effective way of growing your online reputation. We also know that it can be time-consuming and difficult to keep up with.

That’s why we offer a Reputation Growth feature for our clients. Chilled Butter will automatically send out texts and emails asking your recent clients to give feedback on their experience so you can make the most of every service by utilizing satisfied customers and replying to unhappy ones.

Keeping Up with Visual Content: Why Photos Matter More Than You Think

Enter the world of visual content, where images and videos play a crucial role in conveying your business identity. In the realm of small service businesses, high-quality, relevant images can do wonders for your branding and customer engagement. Let’s dive into why photos matter more than you realize. 

Picturing Your Brand 

Photos serve as visual representations of your small business. Good images can help build a relationship between your business and your customers. They tell your story, convey your values, and highlight the quality of your services. But remember – the key to successful branding is consistency. Cohesive and professional images across all your digital platforms reinforce your image and aid in recall. 

Make Your Business Approachable

Pictures have a unique way of capturing our attention and remaining in our memory, so good-quality images and videos can provide valuable insights about your services and even be a deciding factor about where to go.

By using images that relate to your service, you can provide a sneak peek into your work environment, making your business more personable and approachable. 

barbershop small business

The SEO Side of Photos 

Did you know images can also help your website’s SEO?

Search engines don’t just use text to understand your website; they also analyze your images. By adding relevant alt text, descriptions, and captions to your images you enhance your chances of appearing on the first page of search results. 

Websites: The Heartbeat of Your Small Business

Imagine walking into a store where the layout is confusing, products are disorganized, and there’s nowhere to find help. You’d likely find the shopping experience to be frustrating and walk out without purchasing anything.

This same principle applies to your website. The design of your website can either attract potential customers or drive them away. 

Include Valuable Content 

Content marketing is a crucial part of a well-rounded marketing strategy. Your web content should provide value to your audience, demonstrating your expertise in your industry.

This could include:

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Articles


Accessibility is a critical aspect of a well-designed website.

This means making sure that your site is easy to navigate, with clear menus and categories. A good user experience includes enabling the site to load quickly, having easy-to-read fonts, and offering a responsive design that adapts whether your customers are using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

In this mobile age, a website that isn’t optimized for mobile is virtually invisible

online booking for small business

Online Booking

Consider incorporating interactive elements like chatbots and online booking so your customers have easy access to your business and are motivated to come in. 

Simply providing a phone number or contact sheet on your website is leaving appointments in the hands of your customers’ attention span which is a dangerous game to play.

An online booking widget for your website makes appointments accessible and simple.

Design Reflects Your Brand 

Remember that your website’s design reflects your small business’s brand.

It should be consistent with your business’ identity, tone, and style. A well-designed website is more than just a visually appealing interface, it’s an extension of your small business.

Never Undervalue Regular Updates 

Lastly, keep in mind that trends and consumer behaviors change over time.

Regularly updating your website design and content not only keeps it modern and attractive but also offers a chance to reevaluate and meet your audience’s evolving needs. 

More Than Scheduling Software

Having an online presence is no longer optional for small service businesses. From social media platforms to Google services and websites, the digital world is a gateway to increased visibility and customer engagement. 

If getting the most out of your online presence sounds daunting, it’s okay. We’re here to help.

Chilled Butter is more than scheduling software. 

We’re here to support your online presence and help your small business flourish. Our unique features go beyond simple calendars and staff management to give you the edge you need.

Schedule a free demo with us to see how we can grow your small business!

chilled butter scheduling software

Spencer L

As Product Manager, Spencer takes the lead on determining what problems Chilled Butter will tackle next. That means frequent conversations with existing customers, as well as pulling from his own experience as a service business owner.

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