Who Should Manage Your Online Presence?
It is very tempting as a small business owner to pass this incredibly important job on to the young receptionist, “because she knows how Facebook works”. Or to give the job to your website manager or developer because “they know all the technical stuff”. You might even be tempted to outsource it to an agency or company who can create a Facebook page and Twitter Account for you but have no understanding of your business or industry.
This is the face of your business and managing your online presence is not for someone who does not understand your business, does not have the maturity or authority to respond to comments and complaints effectively.
Would you let your receptionist, or someone who knows nothing about your products go out on an important sales call to close a deal? Of course not.
If you don’t have a marketing person who is properly trained to manage your Social Media and you can’t afford to hire a competent Social Media Manager then you will have to take the responsibility yourself.
Here are some tips to get you started
- The key to managing your Online Presence is consistency. Schedule 30 minutes a day to learn about Social Media and start to grow your community.
- Hopefully you took my advice and established a professional profile on LinkedIn.
- Search for your industry on LinkedIn and see which companies and contacts come up
- Take a look at their profiles, social media links and websites. What do you like or dislike about them? Are there aspects that you can take and build on, when you create your own pages?
- Who do they connect with? Start connecting with these people too if they are relevant to your business.
- Which LinkedIn Groups do they belong to? Join those groups and start contributing to discussions or start your own. This is a good way to show that you are an expert in your niche.
- Search for your customers on LinkedIn and connect with them as well.
- These connections will help you form the basis of your other Social Networks.
- When you have an idea of what you would like your Facebook Page to look like, you can either create it yourself or ask someone to do it for you. Give them a detailed brief so it is in line with the image you want your business to project.
- Add the link to your Facebook Page to your LinkedIn profile and invite your connections to join you on Facebook. Reciprocate by “liking” their pages. Remember it is all about networking and helping one another.
- If yours is a local business to consumer business look for local groups or pages to join so you can invite your target market to “like” your page.
- Post links to articles from your website if you have one, or testimonials, or product specials on your Facebook Page and share to these groups. Some allow advertising on certain days and others don’t.
- Be generous and share posts or stories from other companies. It adds variety to your page and encourages others to share your content.
- Deal with any complaints promptly and professionally. Acknowledge if you or your staff have messed up and tell them how you are fixing it.
- Add each of your Social Links, e-mail address, Skype address, contact numbers, web address to your e-mail signature and your printed marketing material.
- Don’t be in a rush to get millions of “likes” or “followers”. Grow your community steadily.
- Get your web developer to add Social Share and Follow Links on your website.
- Google your company name once a week to see if there are any negative mentions that you need to address. You may be lucky and find that someone has praised you and you aren’t aware of it. If your name isn’t there at all, this is also a concern as it means that prospective customers can’t find you either. I can help you rectify this.
- Once you are comfortable managing your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts you can start with Twitter or other Social Media platforms.
By participating in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge (I am now on day 26 ... whoopeee!) I am expanding my network as I read and comment on the blog posts of other participants. I have made new connections around the world.
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