Online Promotion of Your Downtown Business
We recommend that Downtown businesses have the following as a minimum to establish an online presence for promotions and to communicate the essentials that your customers will be searching out. If you need a little hands-on guidance with any of these platforms, please ask and we can have a volunteer come by and assist. Again, these are just the basics and you there are tons of tutorials and blogs out there can help you take your online reach and engagement to the next level.
- Do a basic outline of your handles (your unique name on a platform that is displayed like this: @your_name) and try to find one that is unique to and works on all the platforms. EX: We use @dwtnhillsboro on everything because @downtownhillsboro is too long for Twitter.
- Set up an account on all the platforms to reserve your handle, but don’t plan to use them all right away. Instead you can come proficient on one, before moving to the next.
- Set a marketing goal before you get too far into creating content that no one will care about or read. Are you trying to attract new customers, build brand awareness, or increase customer loyalty? Pick one.
- Focus on the platform(s) that you think will have the most return for investment of time. Again, you don’t have to be on all of them. If you cannot decide, we’ve listed them in the order that we would generally recommend, but it definitely depends on your business.
- Cross promote from one platform to another. As you start using Instagram, make sure you’ve added an easy way for people that find your webpage. And vice versa – have the link to your Instagram profile on your website.
STATIC ONLINE PRESENCE
YOUR BUSINESS WEBSITE
This can be as simple as one webpage, but should contain these basics:
- name of business
- physical address of business
- hours of operation (when your doors are open to the public or that you are “by appointment only”)
- at least one way to contact you (email, phone, contact form)
- a description or list of what you offer (services, menu, products)
The two platforms that we know to be fairly easy to setup a basic website are Google and GoDaddy, but there are as many options as there are businesses in Hillsboro.
Regardless of whether you are using Google for your website or not, make sure to use the free listing they offer so that your info shows up easily when people Google you. You can also upload a few photos that will then pop up in searches.
YELP FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
Claiming and updating your businesses listing on Yelp is also easy, free, and beneficial, since Yelp spends a lot of money to show up in online searches. Also, ask your customers to give you Yelp reviews.
DOWNTOWN HILLSBORO WEBSITE & MOBILE APP
The mobile app is available through both the iOS and Android app stores. Provide the information in this link so that HDP staff can setup your business listing. Once it’s set up, they will send you a link so that you can update it in the future.
INTERACTIVE ONLINE PRESENCE
In order to have a presence for your business on Facebook, you have to create a personal profile and then create a Page for your business. From your business page you can post updates about your business, create events, communicate with customers, and more. Joining the Hillsboro Downtown group (either as yourself or as your business) also connects you to a group of folks that are all about Downtown Hillsboro. There is also an All about Hillsboro group that is active and well moderated.
This is the platform to gather followers and show off your business. It works best from the mobile app, so you’ll have to download it to your device. On Instagram set up a new account for your business by finding a unique handle (name that is displayed like this: @your_name). Once you have setup your account, follow these steps to create a presence that people notice.
- Switch your account to a “Professional Account” to look more official and access business specific options, like analytics. Find directions here.
- Setup the bio on your profile to include a short intro to your business, a link to your website, and the street address of your business.
- Take some visually interesting photos of your business and post them with a short narrative related to the photos and include #downtownhillsboro and #hillsborooregon.
- Search for and track a few other hashtags that are related to your business. You can follow them to see what folks are following and interested in and keep track of them to use in future posts.
- A great way to build followers on Instagram is to follow other people. Start by following @dwtnhillsboro and we will repost at least one of your posts to our followers. We also recommend that you find and follow your friends, other Downtown businesses, and influencers. Some local influencers that are worth following are: @agecelebration, @hillsboro_junkie, and @steve_callaway_hillsboro_mayor.
If you have any online marketing tips that you’d like to share with the other Downtown Hillsboro businesses, please send them our way by emailing email@example.com.