My dad runs a successful business, and he has done so without stepping foot on the Internet. How has he done that? By having a presence within his field. You call his company, you get his cell phone. You want to talk to the head of sales, you talk to him. You want to have a meeting with the production manager, he can pencil you in some time between two other meetings. Not that he doesn’t have dozens of qualified workers handling those jobs, but rather he cannot stand the idea of someone else representing his brand other than him. I mean his name is on every box that’s shipped for crying out loud. To call this micromanaging is as gross an understatement as saying Robin Williams has “a little stubble,” but it proves a point; my dad has a presence. He’s everywhere, and on the Internet, building your online presence is just as important. If you’re like my dad however, you don’t have the time to be everywhere in the real world and the virtual world, but there are a few things (besides having a website) you can set up to make sure you at least have some sort of online presence and manage communication with your customers:
No, this isn’t spam, nor is it junk mail. It is a means of getting your word out to all of your clients about whatever sales, promotions, news, or events you may have going on. There are many programs available to ease this process and help non tech-savvy professionals manage mailing lists, create newsletters, and configure deals tailored to particular sets of clients and build a greater online presence. Great products to try include: Constant Contact, MailChimp, and iContact.
I know you’ve heard it before but really, you need to have a presence here. No matter what widget you sell, every company should have some sort of presence within the major social media portals. Those sites would be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media is how you keep a more interactive contact with your customers and clients and grants you access to a makeshift focus group of your customers and clients. Your social media accounts will create a space for feedback (both good and bad) on your company, thus creating a means to measure customer sentiment, an invaluable marketing tool for any company. Other social networking sites may be relevant for your company (tumblr or flickr for pictures or slideshare for sharing PowerPoint presentations and seminars) and should be considered as needed. Social media is a great and way to lend your company a voice in the online world and further build your online presence.
To those uninitiated, a blog is a means of posting your ideas, thoughts, photos, and whatever else you have kicking around your brain. Actually, you’re reading a blog right now! Think of it as an online bulletin board that is an arm of your website (A blog on how any Joe Schmo can add a Wordpress account to their site to come soon). Blogs are a great way to show the world your company’s ethos, philosophy and lifestyle. Share your blogs across your social media platform and watch the traffic to your websites grow and have your online presence be felt. Add found and created videos from YouTube (see below) and gather even more traffic. If you’re really looking to kick up your web-traffic, look into hiring a search-engine-optimization or SEO professional to optimize your web-presence.
The Internet is a whole lot more than texts and images anymore; it’s all that plus conversation and video. I know what your thinking: “making a video is a time-consuming, difficult process that requires hours of dedication and focus.” Well step out of your Black Maria, Thomas Edison; my $99 smartphone can create decent, watchable footage and can be edited with free software that’s as fun and as simple to use as PowerPoint (if you have a Mac, you already have iMovie and are ready to go). Make video of your company’s special work environment, or how you create a superior product. What about a video tutorial on how to troubleshoot some of your clients biggest problems? What about a video on the last work outing/event you and the crew went on? Once you’ve shot and edited your great footage, just post it on your social media sites and share it through your mailing list! Don’t have the time to make a video? What about taking a photo album and making a simple slideshow with music to showcase your work for a client? You’ve just created viral publicity.
Now wasn’t that quick and easy?
Got anything else to add?
What simple things do you do to help out your online presence?
Like this article? check out these blogs as well: 5 Ways To Optimize Your Blog For Your Customers Blogging For Your Business. Should You Outsource Your Blog?