A couple of weeks ago we discussed the importance of and ways to increase your business visibility. As a quick refresher, businesses need to look at marketing as an investment, not an expense. If you are starting a new business, too often the last thing owners think of is marketing. Marketing is about visibility, getting your name out to the community, making consumers aware of you.
Utilizing all marketing channels is important. These include Word of Mouth, Local marketing: newspaper, radio, the local chamber of commerce. Businesses also need to dedicate time building your online presence. This can be time-consuming and it doesn’t happen overnight. There are ways to help you be strategic. Building an online presence is how consumers find you, interact with you, get to know you and trust you.
There is so much information out there it can be overwhelming. Which social media platform(s) do you use? You need to create profiles and accounts, build a website and figure out how to interact across all of them. There are rules depending on the social media platform about best days and times to post for maximizing visibility. One helpful tip to keeping it all organized is to build a social media content calendar color coding each different platform using excel or another tool you’re comfortable with.
Before jumping into the online media frenzy, you should be aware and plan on the following:
- Strategize your goals.
Being organized and having a strategy makes it a less daunting task. You need to determine which social media tools you will use. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. Which platform(s) has the best response rate in your area?
For example, in the Magic Valley, Facebook is the number one platform, coming in 2nd is LinkedIn. Instagram and Twitter are not as popular. However, if your target audience is Millennials or Generation Z you will want to use Instagram. The various platforms make it easy to track insights/analytics so that you can see how you are doing with visibility and engagement.
Your blog is where you can showcase your expertise and provide value to your target audience. If writing is not your strength it is beneficial to hire a freelance writer to create your posts. Do not withhold posting thinking it has to be perfect. It won’t happen with that mindset. Just keep in mind that you will always be improving your content.
I read that you want to keep your posts to the 70/30 rule. 70% can be shares and links to other blogs and content that reinforces your expertise. 30% needs to be original content. Remember that we all have stories and experiences and that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Do not sell yourself short and think you have nothing of value to share. Yes, you do! Your method for solving a problem in your industry may be the catalyst to inspire someone else to solve their challenge. Remember it takes one idea and many minds to perfect it.
- Learn SEO Basics
You do not need to become an expert but this means to use Simple website builders, write content using keywords, descriptive titles and tag your images using those keywords so that when users search, your posts will pop up. Once again there are tools you can use like WordPress SEO or hire an SEO specialist to assist you.
- Be active on Social Media
Selecting the right platform, posting content, asking questions and interacting with your follows will boost your visibility.
- Share your content.
- All of your posts do not have to be original; you can share and repost content written by others. Remember the 70/30 Rule.
- Get Customer Reviews
- One of the best ways to increase your online visibility is to encourage customers to provide reviews. If you get a negative review to be sure to address it immediately.
- Helpful tips
- Under Publishing Tools, you can schedule posts out. I like to spend an hour creating posts and scheduling them for a week to two weeks at a time so that I don’t have to go in every day.
- LinkedIn / Instagram
- You can link both of to your twitter account which means one post hits both social platforms.
- The recommended number of posting per platform.
- Share your content.
Be kind to yourself, be patient it takes time to build your online visibility and this comes from consistency and building meaningful relationships with other businesses and product suppliers.
By: Cheryl Viola, Executive Director