Contributed by Michael Pasha from DigiHomeBusiness.com
If you’re going to be in business of any kind you cannot afford to not have an online presence. Even small family owned businesses need an online presence because the first thing most people do when they want to find out more information about a business is to look it up online.
Your online presence gives the business owner the opportunity to tell the story they want people to know about their business. However, if you’re going to start an online presence you need to have a plan.
Here are 5 important rules to follow when building an online presence:
1. Be Predictable.
Imagine you turn on your television to watch your favorite show at its normal time and something else is on instead. How would you feel? Confused, maybe even annoyed. You might even surf the internet to see if you can find out what went wrong and why you’re not watching what you were expecting to watch.
The television network built up value with you by being consistent in showing your favorite program at a regular time and regular frequency. When they stopped being consistent you felt upset. This is the same way your audience will feel if you aren’t consistent with your social media content.
You need to be consistent with producing content and well as with your messaging and communication with them. Your content is what is what your audience will judge you on so make it valuable and make it compelling.
2. Put Out Content Regularly.
As part of being consistent, putting out regular content is essential. If you’re a podcaster, your podcasts should come out at some regular interval, say once a week. If you’re a blogger or vlogger the same principle applies and you should also invest just a small amount in a camcorder that can produce high quality visual content.
In short, when it comes to content, figure out what frequency your audience expects and can manage to consume, and what you can manage to develop and create a schedule based on that. The same goes for posting to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Ideally, you want to post daily to these accounts because people usually check their accounts multiple times a day. If you’re live streaming on Periscope or another live streaming platform to engage your audience the same rules apply. Even if you can only Scope for a few minutes, do it everyday. If your audience gets used to seeing your posts, pins, tweets, comments, and scopes, they will remember you, and your brand will be top of mind. The idea is to not let people forget who you are and what your brand stands for.
3. Be Consistent in your Style
Consistency with your style is also important. Have you ever brought a new album from a musician you really like only to find out that they have completely changed their style? How did you feel? If it was a major improvement maybe you felt good about the change, but more than likely, at least at first, you were disappointed. You bought the album expecting a certain degree familiarity only to find everything has changed with the sound and style of this musician.
This is how your audience will feel if you change what your brand puts out and stand for too dramatically. It’s possible to rebrand yourself and take your brand in a different direction if you really need to. Just know your current audience may not like it.
4. Play Nice in the Collaboration Sand Box
People worry so much about sharing content with others and forget that they really aren’t competing with anyone but themselves. You don’t have competition because there isn’t another you. No one else has your same personality. Since this is the case you don’t have to worry about collaborating with other in your same niche. In fact, if you’re not collaborating with other in your niche you are missing a big opportunity.
Regardless of your platform or business, there is usually enough customer attention to go around so everyone can get a sizeable piece of the pie. If you have an audience and you collaborate with someone else in your niche who has an audience, you will benefit because their followers will find out about you and may start following your brand.
The person who you collaborate with will likely have the same result. It’s a win-win for each of you. Just don’t ask someone to collaborate with you if you have 50 followers on Twitter and they have 50,000 followers. Find others with similar sized audiences or slightly larger so the offer is appealing to them as well.
5. Kept Your Content and Brand Relevant
The last point but certainly not least is to keep your brand relevant. Make sure you are following what is happening in your industry each day and you are up to speed on any changes that take place. Know who the big players are as well as the newcomers.
Some of those newcomers will become big player over time so don’t be taken by surprise. The more up-to-date you are on what is happening in your niche and demonstrate this to your audience through your products and content, the more your audience will follow and respect your brand.
Wrapping it all Up
If you keep these five rules in mind when building your online presence you will be able to provide you audience the information they need to learn what your business is truly about and what you have to offer. You will also make friends in the business community that can help you navigate the landscape and possibility even provide cross promotion for your product.
Building an online presence is essential so if you’re going to do it, make sure you go about it the right way. Following these five rules will certainly point you in the right direction.