Small Medium Enterprises (SME) owners often have a hard time making decisions about whether they should hire someone to take control of their company’s online presence or not. Your company’s online presence is all about attracting prospects to your site in the first place! That means you need to show up where people congregate, which primarily means search engines and social media.
Failure to start this process definitely will create a void in your marketing approach; that are already part of your competitors strategy.
- Internet users have grown by 82%, or almost 1.7 billion people, since January 2012. That translates to almost 1 million new users each day, or more than 10 new users every second;
- More than 1.3 billion people started using social media – that’s a rise of 88% in just five years, and equates to more than 8 new users every second;
- The number of mobile connections in use grew by a whopping 2.2 billion, meaning that operators activated a net average of almost 14 new subscriptions every second to deliver growth of 37%;
What is your company’s online presence?
Your digital footprint is everything about you on the Internet. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn and other mediums
- Photographs of you that you or anyone else have posted online
- Covering business articles – Anything you have written or that has been written about you, for instance on discussion boards, forums, blogs, or in articles
How to build your online presence from scratch?
If you are like most SME startups you most probable think to be online means to have a webpage, and that’s where your company’s online presence screeches to an abrupt halt. “That’s it, right? All I need is a website and my business will suddenly be going gangbusters!” Well, if you look online at the millions of websites out there that have failed, you’ll quickly realize that just having a website isn’t the key to success at all. Not by a long shot.
Basic Social Media Platforms you will need.
- Decide on one or two social media platforms – Facebook & Instagram
- Google+ Business
Once you’ve decided which social media channels to use, get a clear idea of the kind of content you can share. The more compelling and engaging your material is, the more likely your followers will like, comment and share your posts. Engagement is key to promoting your brand – not only will it make you more appealing to existing customers, the more positive social activity that goes on, the higher the chance is that their friends will be exposed to your brand and intrigued by what you have to offer.
What do I mean by making digital marketing work?
Digital marketing isn’t just about generating leads, although this is the most important aspect of a marketing program for nearly all small businesses. In most situations, getting a direct lead isn’t the typical outcome of successful digital marketing. The desired outcome should be focused on creating or increasing company awareness, and building engagement on a pre-sale basis (enabling the prospect to opt in for more information, attend a webinar, view a video, etc.)
“Digital marketing isn’t just about you providing prospective clients the best information about your services once they’re already on your website. Having a total online presence is your company’s marketing fuel”
To neglect a healthy online presence means increasingly to take a career risk. The REACH Employment Services survey revealed that social media and digital footprints of candidates were often or always checked during the interview process by almost half of the polled hiring managers (48.35%). Two out of five managers (42.22%) also used social networking sites to recruit potential hires. Almost a third (30.86%) said they have rejected prospective candidates due to questionable personal and/or professional traits observed about them online. A further 64% of employers say they have used professional social media to inform hiring decisions, with one quarter using the information gained from these sites at the interview stage and 35% when assessing new applications.
In the modern day of connectivity everywhere, it is a matter of “when” and not “why” when it comes to establishing an online presence. Any business, both established and fledgling, will eventually have to take on the challenge of creating a website, a social media account, or another online footprint.