By now, all small business owners have gotten the message loud and clear how critical it is to have a great website.  We’ve been told to focus on clickthroughs, vistors, page hits, and how to use search engine optimization (SEO) to make those numbers as big as possible.  We were then encouraged to start sending email newsletters to maintain our customers’ interest and keep them coming back to our website.  Next we heard that we should invest in “pay-per-click” or “pay-per-impression” advertising to drive more visitors to our website.  While it is important to have a professional website that reflects your business and your brand, and to use search engines and email marketing to increase visibility and traffic, that is only the starting point these days.  Your website is merely the ante that gets you in the game.  Your goal shouldn’t be simply to get as many people to your website as possible, it should be to connect and engage with your customers wherever they may be.  There are many ways to accomplish this that are inexpensive or free. (more…)