Getting Loud With Your SMB Web Site

amplifying SMB messagesPeople use social media for a lot of things. Personally, I use it to be as loud as I possibly can. I know that probably sounds bad, but think about it: I want to use all the tools available to me so that I can be ME as loud as I can, everywhere I can.

Doing so helps me filter out unqualified leads and attracts the people who are most likely to be interested in what I do, the services I provide and how I do business. Essentially, it enables me to find my audience. If you want to find your audience, you need to get loud. And even more than that, you need to help them get loud about you.

Getting loud on the Web requires two things:

  1. Identifying “the talkers” in your space.
  2. Making it easy for them to talk and get loud about you.

Finding the Talkers

There’s a hierarchy in online communities and you need to respect that. As wrong as it sounds, you don’t always want to treat people equally. You want to find your loudest, most committed members and give them extra love and care. Why? Because these are the people who are going to spread your word. Most of your community is probably pretty passive. They’ll buy your product on occasion, they’ll read your blog (but won’t comment) and they’ll take you in very quietly. The talkers, however, are going to be loud about you if you’re smart enough to reach out to them. They’re going to comment on all your posts. They’re going to tweet your links. They’re going to mention your product on their blog. They’re gonna stand up for you. And they’re going to tell their friends about you. You want to identify this group and then hold them close.

If buzz isn’t growing about your company, it’s probably because you haven’t identified and reached out to these folks yet. Figure out which people in your niche you want talking about you, and then constantly go out of your way for them. It’s going to put you on their radar and before you know it, they’ll be singing your praises.

Giving Them Something To Talk About

Once you find your group of loyalists, you need to make sure you’re giving them something to talk about, both literally and figuratively. Find ways to always leave them with something.

  • If you want them to blog about your company, make it easy to share your logo.
  • If you want them to talk about you when they leave your store, give them something physical to hold on to – a piece of swag, a coupon, a free product, etc.
  • If you want them to tweet your article, put that button right in their face.
  • If you want them to submit your article to social media sites, make it easy for them to do that.
  • If you want them to share your articles, put the option to Email to a Friend right in their eyesight.

Give them something to hold on to and a way to share you with their friends. Provide them with the tools to spread how awesome you are. Because they’ll do it. And by giving them something to hold on to, you place yourself in their top of mind and give them a reason to tell their friends about you.

A lot of small businesses are afraid to get loud online. They think they’ll turn their customers off or that they’re best to focus on quietly improving their site. Being loud means added exposure. Don’t be afraid to get loud online. Figure out who you want to be talking about you and then make sure you give them ample ways to do that. After all, it’s better to be loud than invisible.


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

18 Reactions
  1. Thank you for this wonderful summary. People don’t realize the potential of the web, mostly because it is all too confusing. This is a terrific summary on where to start.

  2. You have a great point, but keep in mind that there is a point where getting loud gets annoying. Where this point occurs will depend on your target audience, but be loud!

  3. Good point Robert. Loud is good but deafening is not good. It’s ok to make people take notice of you and your products but beating them over the head day after day is a huge turn off.

  4. For those businesses that don’t have the time or resources for a website creating a Facebook fan page reap tremendous rewards (this is also beneficial to do if you do have a website). You can easily give your page personality; post photos of your work, customers can post testimonials directly on your wall. I have great success for my personal business since creating a page. There are plenty of informational and instructional resources online for those that are not Facebook savvy.

  5. Martin Lindeskog

    What are you saying? I can’t hear you! 😉 How about first listening and then talk with a clear and loud voice, providing the talkers with targeted and personalized stuff so they could continue to spread the good word.

  6. This is good advice, I know everybody is talking about social marketing rules yadda yadda, but at the end of the day we are all trying to simply get the right message out to the market. Its no good having all this content and value you can deliver if nobody knows about it.

    Making it easy for people to talk or ‘buzz’ about you is something so obvious but often overlooked.

  7. Good points there!
    Getting Loud means effective business strategy. One best maneuver in the industry is through Social Media. Social Media requires low budget and gives effective marketing approach.

  8. Nicely said. The key is certainly not to be loud for loud’s sake but to be loud in a relevant way that connects with those you need to connect with. I think many make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people which simply means they get lost in the noise. And there’s also the difference between being loud because you really like yourself (i.e. narcissistic) versus loud to create community and be helpful.

  9. Great tips. While its great to get people to talk about your business, anybody and everybody, you really want your ideal clients telling other ideal clients how great your products and services are. Ask your ideal clients where they hang out and what they do. Understand their wants, needs, frustrations, and fears, so that you can learn how to “speak their language.”

    You can check out a killer short video about keys to turning your website into a lead generation machine at my blog.


  10. Great stuff! Consise and easy to follow
    If you are not using social media… you are missing the boat!

  11. hey guys visit my site,but anyways i love the explanation maybe i can get loud with my site.

  12. Advertise your small business online

    This is a great summary on how to leverage the social networking world for promotion. It’s truly the wave of the future and even rumored that Google is changing their algorithms to place more weight on the popularity of a site in the social networking world.

  13. Generalities aside, there’s an emerging methodology to making noise in the right places. The first question to answer is “what is the social media behavior of the people I want to reach?” If you’re going to fish where the fish are…you have to find them. We do Social Media Monitoring for our clients to help them find those audiences and key influencers and activate them.
    The second question is “what builds buzz?” Just talking about yourself isn’t a buzz-builder. You have to relate your product to your customer’s lives — as we’re doing now through Digital Relationship Management.
    These ‘free’ technologies take time, thought, and planning to execute well — outsourcing can help you not to lose productive time.

  14. Okay, so you mention “get loud”… who with. What sites are best for penetrating right to the heart of the buyer we all want so much to visit us? As an online retail entity for a luxury jewelry product we are forced outside our local market to find new interest if we want to survive. We are family owned, the oldest in our locale now and still believe whole heartedly in the principles of excellent customer service, and a fantastic product, but so often people just want the best price. Your article would be more helpful to note where to find these people. We are very aware of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest, but this doesn’t produce the way that it needs to. We sell on Ebay, tried on Craigslist, (thanks to all the people trying to sell their own stuff right back in response). What else works?

  15. Miles Technologies

    Great information on using social media to help your target audience hear your message! The best way to be loud is to be consistent. Miles Technologies provides ongoing Social Media Optimization services that help business owners capitalize on Web 2.0 for increased web traffic and backlinks.