Immersed in the digital world, it’s important to have a strong online presence. To keep up with current trends, brands need to build and strengthen their online presence to gain awareness and reach.
Let’s look at e-commerce as an example. It was estimated that 1.8 billion people worldwide purchased goods online in 2018. This amounts to 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars, showing a growth of up to 4.8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021. It’s safe to say that having an online presence is important to compete in today’s market.
Social media is a large part of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. Many platforms, such as Instagram, continue to see steady growth in the number of users. According to statistics, the number of monthly active Instagram users has grown to 1 billion.
If you want to build and strengthen your online presence, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
As with any strategy, it’s essential to set a few goals for yourself. Why do you want to build an online presence anyways? What are you trying to reach? Setting goals for your brand ensures that all your efforts have a purpose.
You’ve probably heard of the term “SMART” goals. Creating SMART goals is a great way to create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Examples of SMART goals to grow your online presence can look like this:
Before you can start creating a plan to build your online presence, you will need to identify your audience. Figuring out your audience is more than just knowing who they are. It’s about understanding their behaviours. What platforms do they use and when? What type of content do they want to engage with? Doing research on your audience will help you better understand how to target them.
If your potential clients are active on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, then you’d want to use them as the forefront for your online presence. This leads us to the next point—selecting your platforms.
We always recommend businesses to have a website to start building their online presence. According to studies, 85% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses. Google is your friend. Every day Google receives over 63,000 searches per seconds. This number equals at least 2 trillion searches per year.
Having a website combined with the power of search engine optimization can help boost your online presence. With the right keywords and content, your business can rank on Google pages. Aside from the costs of creating and running a website, it’s basically free traffic.
Having an online presence on social media is always important in growing your business reach. Online stores with a social presence have an average of 32% more sales than those that don’t. Social media builds trust between customers and brands. Customers will more willing to pay for a service from a business that has a stronger brand presence online.
Social media is a great platform to build and strengthen your online presence because it’s also free. Without having to spend, you can create and grow your business’ social media accounts. You could potentially reach millions of users that use the platforms on a daily basis.
The way you optimize your content will depend on the platform you’re using, but it all comes down to the same concepts—having the right keywords.
With your website, it will come down to having the right keywords to help rank on Google. This will require keyword research and a strategic content marketing plan to optimize your website. If something isn’t working out for you, then go back and improve them.
Social media uses keywords too but in the form of hashtags. In order for people to find your content, you will have to use the right hashtags that both relevant and frequently searched. If certain hashtags aren’t working out for you, then it’s time to find new ones.
Be ready to frequently do your research to stay on top of the trends. This will help you keep your content optimized to help build and strengthen your online presence.
Whatever your niche is, stick with it and consistently post relevant content. If your audience is going to you for beauty tips and tricks, then that’s the type of content you’ll want to post. It’s also important to post on a regular basis to stay relevant.
It’s a tricky formula to say how often you should post. We recommend posting as often as you can as long as the quality of your content remains the same. Timing will also depend on the platform that you are using. For example, most studies agree that posting on Facebook once per day is optimal. Hubspot found that pages under 10,000 fans experienced a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day.
You’re not a robot, so your online presence shouldn’t look like one. While using an automated social media tool to schedule content is very helpful. Be sure to add in some human touch! Engage with your audience whenever you can. This can include replying back to comments.
With Instagram, avoid using generic comments such as “Cool” or “I like this post”. They sound like bots! Be genuine and offer some of your own insights to build those online relationships. Aim for high-quality leads instead of focusing on the number of followers. Having 100 followers that regularly engage with your content is much more valuable than 1,000 followers that ignore you.
Finally, it’s important to report your results on a regular basis. This will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. With your website, take advantage of Google Analytics to view your traffic, conversion, user acquisition, and more. With your social media channels, you can use the integrated dashboard or a separate social media management tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
Determine what day of the week or time of the day you get the most engagement. What type of content gains more engagement than others? It’s all about trial and error to determine what works best for you and the online community you’re building.
There’s no turn-key solution to building a strong online presence right off the bat, but now you have the foundation to start. With all the given tactics and strategies presented to you, you can start building your website and social media accounts. Remember, it won’t happen overnight and it will probably take a lot of trial and error.
Are there any tips that we may have missed? Are any of these your favourite? Share them with us. We’d love to know.
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