May 15 2012

Why a good online presence is vital

Great speeches.

 

Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”.

 

Winston Churchill: “We shall fight them on the beaches”.

 

One2create: “Don’t turn your online presence into something that makes people want to punch you in the face”.

 

…Ahem. Delusions of grandeur? Probably. Oh and by probably we mean definitely – but hey, let us have our fun!

 

We just wanted to give a big thank you to all of those who attended our presentation at Sparsholt College, on online presence and Social Media for business.

 

We hope you took some useful tips away from the day and we’re looking forward to working closely with as many of you as possible in the future.

 

So, here’s a whirlwind summary of what we covered:

 

Why is it important to have a GOOD online presence?

 

Whether it’s your website, email mailers, advertising, editorials, or even the speed with which you reply to people who interact with you, your online presence is the face of your business.

 

A good online presence can differentiate you from the crowd, so make yours work for you by taking note of the following:

 

Build a strong online brand

  • Use calls to action – making it simple for people to do business with you
  • Make your site navigation easy to use, and accessing information child’s play
  • Provide fresh relevant content
  • Use the right keywords for your product or service
  • Design your website so that it engenders trust in your business
  • Be information givers. The more you share the more people will return to you for high quality knowledge and content
  • Make it obvious what you sell. Remember, people have the ‘magic power’ to leave your site and go to any site across the web in a second, so don’t make things difficult for them!

 

Promote, Promote, Promote

  • Place your website URL on everything you do, from business cards, to Social Media, marketing collateral and more
  • Use testimonials from your customers. People trust word of mouth, so make your recommendations and previous good work count

 

Analyse and Review

  • Use Google Analytics to see where people are landing on your website and which pages need sprucing up to entice people to go to them
  • Monitor your mailer campaigns to see how many people are reading them, what links they’re clicking on and who is unsubscribing, then tweak your content accordingly
  • Monitor SEO activity. See how your page ranks in Internet searches, look at competitor sites and see what they are doing well/badly
  • Amend your copy and keywords until all of your online messaging and content is a polished gem

 

Social Media

According to a recent study by IPSOS ASI and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Social Media is getting good uptake from both B2B and B2C organisations, with over 50% on average using the main Social Media platforms to market their businesses online (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn).

 

Interestingly however, only 4% of companies employ a Social Media manager. After you read this, you may want to read my blog piece on Social Media – Better than a 3 legged donkey to see why this figure needs to change and fast!

 

So, here’s a tornado (like what we did there? Whirlwind…tornado, wow we crack ourselves up!). Anyway, yes, here’s a summary tornado on the benefits of Social Media for business and how to use it to work for you:

 

Drive traffic to your website:

  • Share interesting content, make your posts sharable, thereby prompting your followers to talk about and market your business for free
  • Link directly to pages on your website, but don’t overdo it!! We would recommend 10-20% of your weekly posts link directly to your site, based on a guide for Twitter of 15-20 posts a week in total, with only 3-5 links to your website.
  • Don’t be a spammer! You can get blacklisted from sites like Twitter for this behaviour and you’ll become one of those people you want to punch in the face!!

 

Monitor and engage in discussion:

  • Join groups on LinkedIn, checking out the statistics of that group before you join, in terms of group member demographics. Doing so will allow you to see where the decision makers do their talking, whilst giving you the opportunity to position your company as a trusted source of information, which will encourage people to do business with you.
  • Use tools such as Social Mention to monitor discussion about your company name and brand, allowing you to engage with people and ascertain whether sentiment towards your brand is positive or negative.
  • If you find positive comments about your brand, promote it like mad…Likewise, if you find negative comments, make a big effort to resolve them. You can even create a marketing campaign where you make a big deal out of listening to your customers. Domino’s Pizza Turnaround Campaign is a great example of this.

 

Generate sales leads

  • Now listen up class. Use your Social Media dashboard to highlight sales leads and act on them. How? Well, one great tip that we discussed in our presentation is to set up a stream called ‘anyone recommend’. You can then sit back and enjoy as you filter through the conversation to find someone asking for recommendations about a good ‘INSERT YOUR PRODUCT HERE’.
  • Investigate Facebook and LinkedIn adverts. Facebook, for example, has huge potential for targeting specific audiences. Imagine you’re a jeweller who sells exquisite wedding rings. Now imagine being able to target females, aged 18-40 and (HERE’S THE SCIENCEPART) being able to focus your advert purely on those whose marital status is ‘Engaged’. In the words of some idiotic baseball commentator WHAAAAAAAAAMY!!!

 

Measure ROI

Finally, just as with the rest of your online presence, make sure you monitor what works and what doesn’t with your Social Media. You can achieve this by doing the following:

 

Engagement:

  • If you are releasing articles on ‘How to watch paint dry’ and they are getting no clicks, then STOP! Conversely, if you find a formula that works, or a particular subject that seems to generate great interest, then keep it going.

 

Web traffic:

  • You can use Google Analytic’s new ‘Social Flow’ tool to see where people are landing on your website from your different Social Media platforms, and then view where they click next. Hopefully they don’t just drop off your site…but if they do – review, review, review – making the necessary changes to make them stay!!

 

Follower growth and demographics:

  • Monitor your follower growth, but be aware that having 400 followers who are tight-knit and love your brand is better than 40,000 irrelevant followers, who just spam you all day and have no interest in spreading your brand message.

 

So that’s it, some simple tips for making the most of your online presence and Social Media.

 

How many of these have you put into practice in your business?

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Rosie

As our Commercial Director, Rosie keeps you in the One2create loop. Dishing out advice like there’s no tomorrow, you’ll be the first to know when it comes to getting better business opportunities with her insightful nuggets of info.

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