Everyday more and more people get their information from the internet or social media rather than through traditional sources, for better or worse. People used to largely get their information from newspapers, magazines, and other print media. Once radio and cable television grew in popularity, many people transitioned to those communication mediums to obtain their information. While people still use those resources to get their news and information, more and more people now get their information from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other search engines and social media platforms.
This is very significant to the business world. Some companies are ahead of the curve, and take their internet presence and social media penetration very seriously, dedicating adequate resources to those endeavors. But many companies don't take the internet and/or social media seriously, brushing it aside stating things like, 'the internet is full of idiots and misinformation.' Others simply create a website with no SEO and/or a Facebook fan page and think that's enough. This is especially true in the cannabis industry.
The fact of the matter is simply existing is not enough, or even worse, not existing at all. If you are a cannabis business owner, does your product/service/establishment show up on the first page of Google search results for related search terms? Does your product/service/establishment show up at all? If the answer is no to either of these questions, you are not reaching your full potential. Whether you like it or not, people get their information from search engines now. Long gone are the days where word of mouth is enough.
I know when I learn about a product/service/establishment, the first thing that I do is go to my phone and Google it. If there's nothing about it on the search results, I move on with my life. If a competitor shows up, I tend to think that product/service/establishment might be better. If I see an unfavorable review, especially if a favorable review is absent, I tend to tell people about it. I'm not alone. I think most consumers react in similar ways that I do.
Do you want people to know more about your product/service/establishment? Of course you do. After all, isn't that a business principle that has been around since the dawn of business? The way people obtain their information is evolving at a rapid pace. If you don't take your internet and social media pursuits seriously, it could mean the difference between your business succeeding or failing. If you think I'm wrong, by all means, keep doing what you're doing and see how well it works for you. Meanwhile your more savvy competitors will continue to spread their information online, and in some cases, even put out unfavorable information about your business for the world to see. Eventually, your outdated strategy will likely come back to haunt you and hurt your bottom line. If you are relying on online PR news release sites to boost your internet presence, you are doing it wrong.