Hardware Retailing

OCT 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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October 2017 | HARDWARE RETAILING 75 Having a website means having a company-branded email address. If you have a website with your company name in the URL, (called a domain name), then you can also create multiple email addresses that include that URL, which is one way to help unify your brand and set a professional tone. If you send an e-newsletter or other digital communication to customers, you can set those up to come from your store-branded domain, which lets customers know they can trust the source. Facebook won't be around forever. Think about how—or if—people may use Facebook in 10 years. The internet will change, too, but if all of your information lives on your website, it will be simpler in the future to link to the next new social platform instead of needing to continually recreate content across several platforms. Your website will always be available at the same location for your customers, regardless of what social media accounts they have, and it can remain the cornerstone of your operation's online presence. Facebook prioritizes its brand over yours. Facebook has a very clear brand: streamlined newsfeeds and that iconic cyber blue, which makes it harder to show your own brand on the platform. But on a website, you choose the design, the color, the tone and everything else that creates the overall representation of your brand. Read our story from the September issue of Hardware Retailing on developing a strong brand at TheRedT.com/branding. Your website can link all your social profiles. You can create a page on your website where you can embed your Twitter feed, show off your Facebook posts and snapshot your Instagram account so customers can see everything all in one place. You can also lead your website visitors to your social media accounts by adding social media icons to each page so you are always just a click away. Social media requires constant maintenance and engagement. Social media requires time your team may not have, but a website can remain mostly static and still provide helpful information to customers, like a business overview, store hours and contact information. If you don't regularly update your Facebook page, then it doesn't show up in your followers' feeds, and if a potential customer visits a Facebook page with outdated content, they may think your business is outdated, too. You can tell your whole story on your website. While you can include an overview of your company in the Facebook About section, there's undoubtedly more that makes your operation unique than can fit in that space. On your own website, you can dedicate a page each to your company's history, your team members and your products and services, instead of being limited to the few lines Facebook allows.

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