In this age of technology and instant communication, it’s easier than ever to reach a wide audience of people and grow your business to where it needs to be. But it’s also absolutely crucial to have a fluency in technology, and to know where to start on the internet. With an endless wealth of information and potential out there, it can see overwhelming at times. But there are a few simple ways you can use the internet to make your small business benefit.

Leverage Social Media

Perhaps the most important and impactful thing you can do for your business is to give it a strong online presence. The best way to do this is through the use of social media. Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to get your business’ name out there, and to show a bit of its personality to the public. Keep your hours and location information up to date, and be sure to respond swiftly to any direct messages or questions. Establish a regular posting schedule of pictures, information, or links on each of your social media accounts. Keep the tone light and engaging, and true to your brand, and your reach will begin to grow steadily. You may even consider offering special deals to new followers, or to people who found your brand through the internet.

Look into Non-traditional Small Business Loans

Although it doesn’t have to cost any money to invest in your social media presence, your business likely has many other costs. Even a business that has already become successful may need to apply for loans in order to continue expanding and growing at a steady rate. However, don’t think you have to strap yourself into long-term loans or high interest rates. Especially for smaller and newer businesses, there are non-traditional financing options available just on the other side of your laptop screen. Check out this post about business loans to get a feel for the options that are available to you. Some non-traditional loans come with unexpected perks such as incredibly low interest rates, or even just the opportunity to network and get your name out there.

Reach out to Similar Companies

Although you may be hesitant to make alliances with similar companies in your area (who are likely competitors), the internet allows you to reach out to similar companies in other areas and form partnerships. For example, if you run a hair salon, you may find another, similar salon in a different state. Through online communication, you and the other owner can discuss marketing strategies that have and haven’t worked, or ways to build your company’s reputation. As an added bonus, these partnerships can earn you referrals when the other company’s customers happen to relocate to your area.

Follow Up with Former Clients

Even though the internet has changed a lot of things, some things never change: like the importance of personal touch. The internet makes it even easier to follow up with former clients and to reach out just to send a “thank you.” Keeping up a good relationship with former clients (and hopefully making them repeat clients) can be as simple as a thoughtfully worded email or Facebook message, and can help your business pull in new clients through referrals. Just like always, people love to feel connected, and they’ll continue returning to a business that feels welcoming and homey.