How to Successfully Grow Your Online Presence
A strong online presence is tantamount to the overall success of your business. It’s like how you portray your business in the virtual world, and the reason it is vital for the success of your business is that the majority of people perhaps spend more time in the virtual space than off of it.
Your online projection also serves as the first contact with the real-world people, and the shape of it will determine who among the visitors will eventually turn out to be your potential customers. That is where your relationship with each customer begins, and hopefully, gets carried forward as well.
However, building your online presence isn't something that can be done overnight. Rather, it can be years before you start reaping benefits from it. And while it is yet to reach the point where the online presence can transform into real world business, you've got to toil hard day in and day out till you have reached the stage.
That said, the entire process will be easier if you know where to start and how to go about doing it. Here is how you do it and do it right.
1. Have your website optimized for online search and interaction:
This presumes you already have a website running depicting your business. However, having a site is one thing, to ensure it is optimized is something completely different. For this, you don't need to have anything too fancy. Rather, a simple website showcasing the products or services you offer should be enough.
However, you have got to ensure the site is optimized. And the parameters to match here include making the site mobile friendly, ensuring a quick load time, having a click-to-call button, and so on. It is also important your site optimizes your URLs, besides carrying all the relevant information that is updated regularly. The overall looks of your site too should carry an appeal of its own.
Among the other things your site should have include contact information and a bio page, besides of course pages that spell out what you have to offer in clear terms. Rely more on images to describe your business instead of a wall of text so that prospective clients are able to grasp it all from even a quick glance.
Your site should also include a blog as well where you can share more information with your customers in a more personalized manner. Maybe you may want to add a live chat feature as well which helps build trust. A mobile app too helps in projecting your business, besides making it seem more professional.
On the whole, think about how you would act when searching for something. Your likely customers too would be doing the same and ensure you have their needs covered when it comes to your own business.
2. Draft a sound social strategy:
This is of paramount importance and is the first step to reach out to prospective clients. It is like taking your business to where the people actually are - the social sites. And there are a whole lot of those, which include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and so on.
However, don't make the mistake of having your presence registered in each and every social channel. That way, you will end up spreading yourself too thin to make any noticeable impact. Rather, choose any two or three at the most which can be like, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and such. You might opt for a YouTube account as well where you can show videos of how your business can actually bring about a positive change in people's lives.
Either way, to take your business to the online social circuit would mean setting up a profile in any of the social site of your preference. Once past that, make it a point to post regularly and engage with those who visit your profile in a timely manner. Consistency is the keyword here and any let up on this can make your business seem less trustworthy.
This way, you will be building up fans and followers who will emerge as the backbone of your business marketing policies. Make sure you are able to devote time every day to engage with them. Try to build up a fun environment where others would love to join in, instead of being too serious in your ways.
3. Devise what your goal is and stick to it:
This should be the guiding principle of what you do online, whether be it on your company site or on the social network. From here onwards, every step you take with your business should take you one step closer to accomplishing your goals, both short term as well as long term.
Make regular introspection about how your activities are helping you achieve your goals. This way, you will also get to know if you are on the right track or whether you need to make adjustments anywhere if that can help you reach your goals faster.
This will ensure all of the energy and resources you have put in are used in the right direction, and that you end up achieving the maximum with all of your efforts that you have invested. In fact, you got to be smart and innovative with your approach to make a mark with your business and not get intimidated by the competition.
Also, the impression shouldn't be like you set out to build a social presence just because everyone does it. Rather, do it with all your heart and energy. This way, you are sure to achieve success sooner rather than later.
4. Have a sound content strategy:
Putting out solid content can be a great way to add weight to existing relationships or build new ones. Also, consistency is of as much importance here as it is about the content itself, whether be a blog, a podcast, video, or whatever. Not to mention, the media content itself should have enough value to it to appeal to the user.
This way, you just aren't introducing your brand to the world at large but are showcasing your professional side as well. In other words, the content should be reflecting the attitude or personality trait that defines your brand.
Also, not only will the content appeal to the users at large, they will actually be looking forward to the next instalment of it. This, in turn, helps build trust, besides adding credibility to what you are offering. Your followers will be awaiting content from you when they know they have something to gain from it each time.
5. Guest posting can also add volume to your online presence:
This involves asking existing brands to let you guest post on their blog or to be a guest on their podcasts. This isn't easy as an established brand wouldn't generally like to introduce another brand that can be their future competitor.
However, some brands are accommodative and often don't mind hosting someone else on their channels, but usually for a fee or in exchange for free samples of what you have to offer. Also, look for those businesses that complement your own endeavour. This way, you are likely to have the least resistance.
In any case, being on someone's else channel can be a great way to showcase your business to an entirely new segment of people. Let them know what your business has to offer and how they can gain from it. This is your chance to impress upon those and build on your fan base. Make sure you make the most of it.
In the end, what needs to be kept in mind is that growing an online presence is a slow and painstaking process. It is like a child growing up and gaining in stature every day. However, if you stick to the basics and do things right, you are sure to gain a lot in due course of time. Just be patient but consistent and see your online presence grow as the days, weeks and months pass by.