Many of my posts so far have come under the “social” category.  I am not surprised, but when I saw this article, Local and Social Media Are Joined at the Hip, by Greg Sterling, it just made sense.

Greg really sums it up nicely and to be honest, I am not sure I could say it any better.

“The principal way in which most truly local businesses gain new customers is through word of mouth.”
“It’s nothing new to say that these word of mouth dynamics, which are pervasive offline, have moved online in a big way.”

As a small business owner myself, I can attest to both of these statements. Online reviews and feedback definitely need to be a part of any business website plan these days.

“The rapid proliferation of online word of mouth creates a profound challenge for local businesses, which can’t possibility monitor and manage all the online ratings and reviews about them.”

Small business owners need to be proactive about the social media.  They also need to remember that they can still have on-line reviews even if they do not have a website, just as you can promote yourself via local search marketing without a website. Don’t panic, just keep an eye on things.

What all this says to me is that if you are going to promote on-line via local search, the social media aspect will need to be included. Also I see the small business not being able to ignore the Internet much longer.