Guest post by licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Laura Burns
These days marketing your business is a multi-media affair, and your online presence is an integral part of your engagement strategy. Or at least it should be, but many people are slow to implement some simple best practices that can dramatically improve their online presence. Below is a list of my favorite small changes to your online accounts that will make a big difference. These include tips for some sites you may not be using yet. Take this opportunity to check them out – you never know when you’ll find a new amazing site that’s perfect for you.
- It’s cool to be square
If the site’s standard avatar shape is square, your avatar should be square. This sounds simple, but I see this all the time. When you upload your company’s profile picture you need to make sure that everything fits inside the boundaries given. Too often I see companies use their logo for their profile picture, but instead of tailoring it for the specific site it is cut off. Often I can only 2 or 3 letters of the company name because the rest is cut off. Take the time to create a nice looking square logo to use on sites where a square avatar is standard. If I can’t see the name of your company how will know who you are?
- It’s quality, not quantity
Focus on engagement, not on amassing a million fans, likes, or followers. In social media it’s easy to get caught up in trying to get as many people to follow or like you as possible. While it’s great to expand your network and connections, the actual sales and clients will come from the meaningful connections you make as you engage your online community. Twitter is a dialogue creator – reply to people’s tweets, answer their rhetorical questions, and engage with everyone you can. Facebook is an even greater tool for relationship building, but remember that the quality of your interactions is much more important than the quantity. Truly engaged and inspired people will mention you on Facebook and spread the word about your business. Spend the time to build relationships with people on Facebook – it’s worth the time!
- Don’t spam people
Spread your posts out over the course of a day. No one likes to sign onto Twitter and see 8 tweets from the same person in a row. You’ll lose followers for this reason every time. Instead space your posts out over the course of a day to keep people engaged and connect with a greater number of people. Social media moves fast and most of your followers won’t see every post you make. By spreading them out over the day you’ll have a better chance of being seen by your followers. If you don’t have time to manually post that many times a day consider using a tool like Hootsuite to plan your tweets and Facebook updates ahead of time. Hootsuite allows you to enter posts and set a time in the future to automatically send them out to your followers.
- Follow the 1/3 rule, or it’s not all about you!
People don’t respond well when they think they’re being constantly sold something. Online engagement is about creating an appealing presence that people want to engage with and pay attention to. The 1/3 rule means splitting your posts into 3 categories. Spend 1/3 of the time liking, following, quoting, and posting about other people’s work, projects, events, etc. Spend another 1/3 of your time posting entertaining, inspirational, and informative stories and links about a variety of topics that will appeal to your community. Then, spend the remaining 1/3 of your time promoting your business and products.
- Leave a trail of breadcrumbs
The internet is big place, so make it easy for people to find their way to you. Try putting your website url, twitter handle, or Facebook address wherever you can to help people remember how to get to you. This is especially helpful now that Pinterest has taken off. If you find your website or blog is getting a lot of people ‘pinning’ photos off of it, be sure to embed your company logo or url into all your beautiful pictures. That way pinners in the future will be able to see where the gorgeous photo they just re-pinned came from. It’s easy to add your logo or url to a photo- you can even do it easily in MS Paint!
Remember that your online presence is about creating relationships and engaging your followers in discussion. Let people know and love you, and then they will be your best customers! For social media strategy webinars to help you create a strong online presence, check out www.lauraburnsconsulting.com.
Laura Burns helps passionate people transform dreamy visions into sustainable realities. As the owner of Laura Burns Consulting, she teaches visionary creatives how to feed their bellies and their souls doing what they love. For spicy tips and resources, follow Laura on Facebook and Twitter.