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The bare essentials to nailing your online presence

Step One: Start A Blog

Blogging isn’t just for wannabe journalists anymore. Having a company blog can actually be a genuine advantage in terms of search engine optimisation, as it offers a platform on which to post regular, dynamic and keyword-rich content which will increase your website’s chances of appearing relevant to Google. And the recent Google Fresh campaign guarantees that the most newly created and updated webpages will appear higher in search results than static homepages.

In addition to the SEO benefits, a blog provides a strong medium in which to post content and keep your customer base up to date. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are important components too, but take a look at any company’s social media page and you will find that, in between the polls and photos, there are regular links back to the company blog. Think of your blog as the well of content which you are pointing your followers towards.

Step Two: Find An Expert

It can be tricky to strike the right balance when it comes to getting the tone of your social media presence right. For instance, how exactly does a corporate business produce content that is both accessible and engaging to a broad readership? If you are lucky enough to have a strong marketing or copywriting team within your company already, then get them on the case!

But if social media (and PR in general) is a relatively new area for your firm, then it is worth consulting with an agency, or you may even want to think about hiring a social media intern. We’re slap bang in the middle of summer, which means there is a wealth of talented young graduates out there looking for work, many of whom will have a solid grasp of technology and excellent writing skills. Business institutions as diverse as Deloitte Investment Bank and retail powerhouse Mary Portas are willing to give university leavers a chance with their web presence – why not you?

Step Three: Listen To Your Followers

The first question any business owner has about social media is: how do I make money from this? And the short easy answer is, you don’t. Not directly anyway – it’s all about sustaining relationships and strengthening your brand. Now that you have a blog and a talented social media manager, it should be much easier to build relationships with your customers.

Obviously, the greatest benefit to social media for business is feedback; extremely satisfied clients can provide gushing testimonials for use in your blog, but more importantly, negative and constructive comments can help you to identify business critical areas which need addressing, such as quality of service. This is vital in order to determine whether you are meeting your clients’ requirements, and if not, how to foster best practice.

And once you’ve improved your business processes, what do you do? Why, blog about it, of course.

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