If you are a small (or large!) business owner, chances are you are trying to promote your business on the internet. But it can be overwhelming trying to understand and navigate all the marketing options available online today. From websites and blogs to social media, not to mention paid advertising, you may be wondering:
What should I be focusing on? How do I use these platforms to promote my business?
Well today we are going to focus on one of the most popular trends today: social media. Facebook, Google +, Linked In, Pinterest, and many more social networks are being used for business purposes.
But how…and why?
Does your Facebook profile for your business really matter?
The answer is: Yes it does! Today’s online marketing is about creating an image and forming relationships with potential clients than it is about selling a product directly. Social networks allow potential clients to put a face to the company name, and engage directly with that business. You can use social media to create an image (both visual and intellectual) of your business, and set a tone through the things you do online. And the way you do this will determine your relationships with potential clients.
Creating these relationships is vital today, not only for your image, but it can have a huge effect on your business’ success. Why? Because it also means gaining points with Google, though the number of “likes” and “shares” that you earn through the content you publish on social media, as well as the number of visits to your blog or website. Why does this matter? Because Google decides the results of a search engine query based on these criteria, among other things.
And nowadays, if you can’t be found in a Google search, you might as well not exist!
That’s why it’s important to create a company profile on each of the social networks, and perhaps even create and manage a blog and/or a website, in order to maintain a credible, high quality online presence.
Maybe you have already done that part….but now what?
Make sure your website is professional and up to date at all times. This is the first impression that many potential clients have of you and your business. Add new content regularly, and make it as dynamic and easy to navigate as possible. Translate at least your homepage into common languages, especially English if it is not already. The link to your website should appear in your social media profiles.
Use your blog to start relevant conversations related to your business. Write original, high quality content (images and/or articles) that can be shared on social media, generating more visits to your blog or website. You may need to hire a professional for this.
Make sure your company profiles on social media are up to date and friendly. Your goal is to include as many followers as possible, and not alienate anyone. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive (or negative!) impression you make.
Don’t publish personal or controversial topics, unless that is part of your business’ activity.
Make sure you reply to any followers who comment on your profile or blog. It’s also important to monitor comments for negative or hurtful publicity. This can be time consuming if you are very active online, so if you can’t keep up with the work, you may want to hire a social media specialist.
Make sure you are updating and publishing content onto social media regularly, preferably every day. Brand familiarity is still important in the psychology of marketing, and the more often viewers see your business name in their social media feeds, the better it is for your business. They are also more likely to “like” and “follow” and “share” your activity if they consistantly see things that are of interest to them. However, don’t share too much too often, or you will risk losing followers, and that can be very bad for business!
Publish material with good visuals, quality content and a catchy title that entices readers to click.
Join online groups that are relevant to your product or business. This is one way to gain new followers, and also see what your competitors are doing with social media.
Take a course on SEO marketing to learn what else to can do to gain seniority in Google’s search results (Register for a free course in Grenoble February 13th)
The key to doing your own online marketing is using a combination of everything available to you, in a professional way that will create relationships with the online community.
Social media makes it easier than ever before to engage potential clients in a way that is more personal than ever before. With a well-managed social media presence, you will be on your way to success!
Are you using social media to engage people with your small business?
What has your experience been? Has it been beneficial to you?
We love to hear your comments!