The year being 2015, when you start talking about digital presence it’s pretty much expected that you have a web page – a nice, well designed, responsive one that has all the relevant info and looks nice on any screen size.
That’s like a skeleton that you most definitely need to keep upright, but on it’s own it’s a very static thing – it may pop up in a Google search, but if you don’t keep it relevant and up to date it’s not likely to pop up anywhere much. Online presence is something you must work on, round the clock, because the Internet may not forget you, but it will most certainly bury you on the page 11 of the search results.
There are several ways to do that – you can share your expertise and experience via blog, and update it regularly. You can find all kind of blogging tips and tricks on our own blog and it is a really good way to establish your self in the online community.
To reach the masses, however, you need a weapon of mass communication – social networks. There is a bunch of them, each used in a different way and targeting different types of users, but you may want to start with the one packing 1,4 billion users of all shapes, sizes and target groups – I7m talking about Facebook, of course.
Facebook makes you discoverable, no matter how big, small, famous or obscure your company, you can engage with your potential users or customers directly, and it will enable you to reach large masses of people without paying an arm and a leg and a kidney for advertising. Don’t get too happy, Facebook will make you pay eventually to widen that reach on it’s happy population and you will at some point in time start coughing up quite some sums for Facebook advertising.
But right now, when you’re a growing business or a penniless startup waiting for it’s first investment, the freebies you get on Facebook will do just fine. Bear in mind that there are people in the world who claim to use Facebook but “not the Internet”. That’s how popular Facebook is.
But it’s not all about the size of your reach, it’s also about knowing what you’re doing and that is where Insights come in handy – Insights being Facebook’s name for analytics which is supposed to sound user-friendlier than statistics.
Having a Facebook page, however, doesn’t mean you have an online presence, least of all a good one. That takes work too, and here’s how you make it work for you:
Make quality content (That’s not all about you)
Your Facebook page is a wonderful multimedia hub where you can intrigue, engage and amaze your followers, and then spoon feed them some of the content that’s all about you.
But before you do that, make sure you shovel-feed them the content they like and need. If you’re just starting, follow the 70/20/10 rule.
This means that 70% of the content is brand-building, information related to your field that is valuable to your followers but is NOT about you (and also not random cute kittens, unless you’re in the cat business). 20% is the content shared from other sources (also relevant to your field) and the remaining 10% is shameless self-promotion. With time, you’ll work out you own rule and what works best with your target audience, and that you’ll learn from Facebook insights.
2. Engage and get engaged
Take notice of your fans. Ask for their opinion. But more importantly, respond to all of their comments, questions, inquiries – people grow fond of the interaction and they like the idea of directly communicating with their brand, as opposed to just being on the receiving side of the one-way communication that are the commercials of the olden days, before social networks.
If you have a product or offer a service, your page will sometimes serve as a customer service, but responding in a timely, helpful and friendly manner also builds up your cred.
3. Keep up with major events, holidays and seasonal moods
You should most definitely keep a steady pace and post regularly, but some posts do better then others – they are usually those connected to current events, whether holidays, sport events like Superbowl and the Olympics, or just seasonal nonsense, like Halloween induced pumpkin craze.
Change your page layout to reflect the current events by playing with your cover photos, create seasonal or event-inspired games for your fans, and comment on the current events in a way that relates to your target audience.
4. Keep tabs on Facebook
Facebook may have it’s eyes on you, or at least the wonderful big data it gets from you and your page, but make sure you keep an eye on what the social network is doing. It’s introducing embedded video content? Well, you can be sure that it’ll promote video content much more in people’s News Feeds, so jump on that band wagon. Be smart and use the changes in the social network for your own benefit!