Get the most out of your online presence

You have a logo, a business website, and a social media presence. You need to keep them fresh and interactive and incorporate them into your ongoing sales and marketing plan. Online presence equals brand awareness and is becoming more important every day, says R. Kay Green, RKG Marketing CEO and President. It’s not enough to just be online. Your online presence has to be authentic, relatable, and highly recognizable to stand out from the competition. Even a small business needs a big online presence today.

Optimize Your Website and Your Social Media

Green recommends optimizing your business website so it performs well in search engines and shows up prominently in searches. Danielle Cormier, writing for Constant Contact, says social SEO (search engine optimization) is important so your business social media presence shows up in searches, too. For effective optimization, be very descriptive in profiles, “about” and “information” sections, and categories, and include website links to your social media platforms on your website. Keep all information online current and up-to-date, especially phone numbers and locations.

Cormier says to avoid some common optimization mistakes, like not customizing your Facebook URL or uploading images to your social channels with odd file names that sabotage your SEO ranking. Read up on SEO optimization or hire someone to review your website and social media presence to make sure you are getting the most out of them.

Social Media Marketing

If your website is an introduction of your business to the online world, social media is a friendly conversation with your audience. Don’t let your social media channels go silent or you’ll miss out on major opportunities to engage and interact with customers and prospective customers.

In addition to engagement, social media is an ideal channel to extend your marketing message from your initial customer base to everyone in their networks and beyond. Green recommends marketing on social media with quality content, press release marketing, videos, and blogs. Effective social media marketing practices including contests, likes, photos, and updates, such as those seen on Drivetime’s Facebook page, to get attention and create engagement.

Cormier reminds marketers to be sure to add social share buttons to content to make it shareable. People will want to share quality content so make it easy for them. She also highly recommends using Google by creating a Google+ business page and a Google+ local listing and keep the information up to date.

Cross Promotion

Cross promotion expands your brand exponentially by leveraging your different social media followers who may be active on more than one platform. For example, sharing an outstanding Pinterest post to Facebook, or sharing a Facebook post to Twitter, not only shares that content to various audiences, but it also garners more shares, likes, and comments than if it was only on one platform.

Cynthia Sanchez of Oh So Pinteresting advises businesses to use more than one social media platform to give customers, visitors, and readers a choice of how to interact with your business online. She recommends making plans to post and cross promote on any social media you are on for the best results. Experiment with postings and pay attention to the results, focusing on what gets the most likes, comments, and shares.

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Cathy Earle