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Give Your Business a Voice on Santee Patch

From start to end, how best to represent your business on Santee Patch and get the most out of community interactions on the site.

How do you start?

1. Create a free account on Patch.com.

Use your business name as a username on Patch so that readers associate your postings and comments with your business.

2. . 

By , you take control of your company listing on Patch. Find your listing by searchingfor your business name, or search the places directory. Use your business name instead of your personal name. This means your business name will be seen by more and more Patch readers (a.k.a. your customers) as you get active on Santee Patch.
  
3. Place the “Find us on Patch” window cling on your storefront window and your
business vehicles. 

This associates your company with a trusted community brand and resource. It also tells people that they can go to Patch.com to learn about your business. 
You want them on Patch because they’ll see that you’re active on the site too. Ask your Patch editor (steven.bartholow@patch.com) or ad manager (kristine.crail@patch.com) for a window cling.
 
4. Ask your customers to review your directory on Patch. 

Let your customers speak for you. People want to know what customers think.  
 
5. Interact with Santee Patch. 

As our readers and your customers see your business name interacting, you build credibility, establish a personality behind the brand and make an
impression in your customers’ mind. Every time you comment on your Patch, your username and a snapshot about what you did on the Patch shows up on the homepage.
 
6. Link to your Patch listing. 

Linking is a great way to improve your websites search engine optimization. By linking to your directory listing from your website, you take people to your
reviews and any specials you advertise.  
 
How do you interact on Patch.com?

1. Review a business. 

Review businesses in your community that you personally love and neighboring businesses that you want to support. Or, respond to positive and negative reviews of your own business. That's one special aspect of Patch.com, direct customer interaction.
 
2. Comment on stories. 

This tells people you’re involved your community and care about news in Santee.

3. Shout out on the homepage. 

Did the high school football team just win a great game? Tell them and your community congratulations. 

4. Blog.

Sign up to be a local blogger on Santee Patch. Cement your place as an expert in your field, share photos or just interact with the community and submit as many posts as you'd like. Link to your listing or website in the blog and get more publicity on the Santee Patch homepage and Facebook page. See who's already blogging to get an idea of what to do.

5. "Best Of Santee"

The will highlight the best Santee has to offer in every imaginable topic. Users vote for their favorite places in town, including a lot of businesses. If you find your business in a "Best Of" poll, spread the word to all your friends and customers to vote for your business and rate and review it while they're at it. If you'd like to see your business in a poll, email steven.bartholow@patch.com to suggest a "Best Of" category.

6. Advertise

Watch your Patch publicity skyrocket by advertising on the homepage, in the newsletter and inside story pages. There are banner ads, coupons, video, directory advertising and many other ad options that will benefit your business. Contact kristine.crail@patch.com, the Santee Patch ad manager for more info.

If you do steps 1-4 well, people will have a good impression of your
brand and be curious about what you do. Now tell them why they should do business with you. Show them what you offer and how it will improve their lives. Offer a discount to your community with coupons. Create a video to use on your Patch, your website and as a virtual calling card.

What not to do on Patch.com.
 
1. Do not review your own business. 

It turns people off and devalues your credibility. Instead, ask your customers to review your business.  
 
2. Do not advertise in your directory. 

The write-ups in directories are for informational purposes. Readers want to get information here and not be confused by promotions. We have several advertising solutions that really make your directory pop.
 
3. Do not advertise in the events or announcements

This is an area designated for personal and community not for profit promotion.  We do think it’s a great area on the site for you to make business announcement and highlight events. That’s why we’ve made it very affordable for businesses– only $25 per event or announcement.
 
4. Do not overly brag about your business. 

Let your happy customers do that for you. Interacting with your Patch site means giving. Use the free tools to help your community. Be real. Be
yourself. People want to do business with people they like and trust.  Be that person by giving.

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