How to Amplify Your Online Presence

These days, it’s crucial for small businesses to have an online presence. Anyone with a product, service, or message can get in front of targeted audiences. However, this is easier said than done, and it requires a lot more than just setting up a website. But how exactly do you build an online presence? I’m going to share with you tips I recommend when helping my clients build an online presence.

Your Website

The first thing any small business needs to do is build a website for their company. No website? No online presence at all. If a potential lead cannot find anything about you online, this discourages them from moving further. It’s much easier to simply look for someone else in your industry/area/expertise that has a more robust online presence instead.

Once you’ve got a great website, you need people to find it. That’s where search engine optimization comes in. SEO is the art and science of getting your site to rank higher in search results — and that’s something you need if you want more visitors to your site.

Trying to become an expert at SEO can be an exercise in frustration. There are many strategies and tactics and they’re constantly evolving. However, there are some basics that will help you get started.

1) Keyword research is a great starting point because it helps you determine the best keywords to use on your website and how to use them effectively. Choose keywords that are highly relevant to your content, but don’t overstuff pages with keywords.

2) Avoid duplicate content. Search engines punish sites that have duplicate content because it’s seen as an indication of spammy manipulation tactics. If you write content for your website but want to feature that information on someone else’s site as well, it’s best to rewrite it enough to get the same point across without just hitting copy and paste to avoid sharing duplicate content.

3) Optimize your site and content for mobile devices. More people are searching on their mobile devices than ever.

4) Create quality (unique and high-quality) content for your website, blog or ecommerce store.

5) Optimize your website for search engines. Take time to learn basic SEO (search engine optimization) best practices, and make sure your site has a unique title tag and meta description on every page. Don’t forget to include alt text on images! This will allow search engines to better understand your content, which will improve how it shows up in search results.

6) ​​Visit Google Analytics. This free tool from Google lets you see how many people visit your site, how long they stay and what they’re looking at, among other things. It’s also a great place to start diagnosing any problems with your site. If lots of visitors arrive and almost immediately bounce, it could be that the information on your site isn’t relevant or useful enough to keep their attention.

Reputation Management

It is a good idea to get yourself some reviews on your products or services online so that you can also get your reputation going. Fantastic websites for gathering reviews are your Google My Business page, your Facebook account, and directories like Yelp. While you can post testimonials on your website, the impact of a posted review from a happy customer on one of these websites is not only great for building credibility but it does wonders for your company’s online presence!

Create Consistent Content

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to get your name out there on the web. A blog allows you to share industry insights and news, post helpful tips and guides that people can use, and share interesting content that’s relevant and specific to your brand. It’s a great way for website visitors to learn more about what you do and why. It also keeps your website fresh and current, which the search engines love.

Blogging helps your target audience find you and showcases that you are an authority in your industry. It also gives you fantastic content to repurpose and share in your newsletter an on your social media accounts.

Write good content for your blog and optimize it for search engines. Make sure each page of your site has at least 300 words of unique text — 1,500 words is even better! Google loves fresh content, so update your blog at least once a month or include a “recent posts” section on your homepage.

Connect with Influencers

If you really want to make an impact, the best way to get your content shared is through influencers. These are people who are recognized authorities in a particular niche or industry, and have a big following on social media.

The trick is to find them and encourage them to share your content with their audience. The good news is that the Internet has made doing this easier than ever. Here’s how:

Find the influencers. This can be done through a number of online sites and directories. A great place to start is BuzzSumo (https://buzzsumo.com/) which also offers free tools for discovering content that’s performing well on social media. Once you’ve identified some influencers, reach out to them individually and ask if they’d like a copy of your e-book or report, are interested in a partnership or collaboration, or if they’d like to be featured on your social media.

Having a strong online presence is imperative for small business success today. With the internet, you can reach millions of customers across the globe. But this also means that your competition is bigger, more diverse and growing all the time.

Creating and maintaining a strong online presence is easier than ever before. Gone are the days of expensive banner ads, costly newspaper advertisements and the like. Today, you can get your business in front of thousands of potential customers without spending more than you can afford. Are you ready to step up and make the most of your online presence?

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

Top 3 Reasons You Should Create Your Own Branded Images for Social Media

Top 3 Reasons You Should Create Your Own Branded Images for Social Media

We are constantly seeing brands get in trouble for using images that they have curated from various places on the Internet. It’s shocking how many small business owners don’t understand copyright law or the trouble they could get into by saving something from Google or another social media channel and then sharing it on their own social media.

The biggest trouble comes when you use an image you didn’t create and attach your brand colors and logos to it and brand it as yours. You have now violated trademark and copyright laws. 

Most of the time, it’s innocent. Businesses aren’t experienced enough in this area to understand that what they are doing is wrong. Seeing other business owners do the same thing is just reinforcing dangerous behavior.

Here’s what you should do instead:

Create Original Images

The best way to avoid this problem is to create your own images to share on social media. If you don’t currently have photos of you or your biz that work, there are plenty of stock photography websites you can use to download images that are legal and appropriate. A few of these websites are free to users. The better images will involve some sort of investment. 

Here are some websites to explore for creating your own images:

Canva.com

Pixabay

Unsplash

iStockPhoto

Dreamstime

Shutterstock

Brand Photography

If you are struggling to find stock images that resonate with the brand messaging you are trying to create, it may be time to invest in making your own. Brand photography utilizes the services of a professional photographer, skilled in the process of capturing your company’s personality and values on film. Not only will this keep you from getting in trouble with the copyright police, your audience will respond so much more to photos of you than random images of anything else. Just be sure that your agreement with the photographer allows you to share the images digitally. Not all photographers allow for that so you’ll want to look for a brand photographer that specializes in images for social media marketing and pay close attention to your agreement with them.

Connect with your Audience

If you spend your time sharing other people’s content, you are not inspiring them to work with you. This type of content does not relate to your brand, your story, your messaging, or your company culture. It’s easy to confuse those mindlessly scrolling their social media feeds and they won’t connect your post with your work. When you are creating your own branded images for social media you are using your photos, your fonts, and your brand colors. This is the ideal situation for online branding and marketing for any business. These types of posts are instantly recognizable to people who know you and are 1,000 times more interesting to people who don’t.

Are you struggling with not knowing how to use social media for your business?  Not sure when to post, how to post, or what #Hashtags even are? Over three months, we will develop a roadmap of exactly how to use social media for your business in our Quarterly Roadmap Sessions.  Branded images and content are just one of the things we’ll work on together. We will also work on ads, reporting, creating posts for higher engagement, and break through the fears and frustrations small businesses experience with social media marketing. Let’s chat.


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

Top 3 Reasons Professional Headshots Are Needed for Social Media Marketing

Top 3 Reasons Professional Headshots Are Needed for Social Media Marketing

You know that businesses that only seem to share quotes and the occasional promotional post on social media? Do you get excited about following them or engaging with their content online?

Yeah, me either.

Social media was always meant to be a social experience. If you want to be successful on social, you need to get comfortable in front of the camera. The most engaging content on social media are photos and videos where a small business owner shows up for their people and shares information, ideas, and opportunities that actually interest, engage, and excite their audience.

You can’t do that hiding behind a graphic you stole off of Google. 

Here are our top three reasons to invest in branded headshots for your social media channels:

Content

One of the struggles for any business on social media is the creative aspect of creating content that an audience will engage with. Getting 1-3 branded photo shoots done a year keeps your content fresh, interesting, and attractive. It helps you create content for your audience that will actually get attention and social engagement. 

Engagement

Your followers will be less likely to scroll past your content if they see your smiling face! If your followers are into you and what you do, seeing your photos will inspire them to like, comment, and share your posts! This engagement will showcase your content in more feeds, inspiring others to engage and will organically create the sort of attention you want for your social media posts. 

Professionalism

While the occasional selfie isn’t going to hurt you, it doesn’t make the same impact as professional, branded photography. It doesn’t matter how good your selfie game is, there are ways to demonstrate your company culture and brand personality that simply can’t be accomplished with a selfie. Branded photography tells the story of you and your company. It removes the veil that small business owners tend to hide behind and is the bridge between you and an engaged audience. 

Images of YOU are going to bring higher engagement than any stock image out there.  Plan to get a series of great photos done professionally that show your brand voice. What sort of brand images work well? Indoor, Outdoor, doing a fun activity you love, different times of year, they all work! Incorporate blank space in areas for adding quotes and tips to your images later. The key is to show your personality! These images are what people will resonate with and use to connect with you, follow you, and choose to do business with you.


Are you struggling with not knowing how to use social media for your business?  Not sure when to post, how to post, or what #Hashtags even are? Over three months, we will develop a roadmap of exactly how to use social media for your business in our Quarterly Roadmap Sessions.  We will work on ads, reporting, creating posts for higher engagement, and break through the fears and frustrations small businesses experience with social media marketing. Let’s chat.

 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

How Your Business Can Become LIMITLESS Using Social Media

How Your Business Can Become LIMITLESS Using Social Media

Have you been feeling limited by the slow growth of your small business this year? For many small business owners, the work of going above and beyond for your clients or customers is top priority but they worry about staying in front of people and positioning themselves for success. For an everything CEO, there never seems to be enough time to market their biz effectively.

Have you really tried social media marketing yet? My guess is that you haven’t had the time or the expertise to really give social media a shot and you’ve found your past efforts to be lackluster at best. This is quite common but businesses who become discouraged with social media marketing are missing out on a BIG opportunity to show up for their ideal audience.

Your social media channels allow your business to be exposed to entirely new audiences. The growth potential of this online marketing tool allows businesses to scale much more quickly than word of mouth or in-person efforts.  If you have taken the steps to properly and robustly build out your social media channels, you can not only show up in search results, but can grow your followers and fans to a whole new level!  

If you are tired of feeling like your work never gets noticed, it’s time to properly build out your social media platforms for search success!

Hashtags

Yes, hashtags are more than silly phrases strung together to get a good laugh. They are search engine rockstars! Using the right hashtags will drastically increase how many people find your page or profile on social media. 

Action Item: Develop a list of 50-75 hashtags to rotate on a consistent basis in your social media posts. You’ll want to use 3-5 on any Google My Business posts or on any shares on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you are using Instagram, you’ll want to use 15-30 on each post. It is imperative to have a large list to choose from because you’ll have more success when rotating them out than if you just use the same ones on each post.

The Right Words

When you are writing copy for your website, your social media, or anything else you share online, keyword phrases are super important. You need to use the exact language that your ideal target audience will type into a search bar to find what you do. If you aren’t sure what someone might type into Google to find you and your business, ask around. Do some simple searches yourself. Need a new plumber? Pay attention to the exact words you use online to find a plumber in your area to help you. You can also use tools, like Moz, for ideas on what people might be searching for in your area or industry. Then use those exact phrases when you are writing your captions for social media.

Action Item: Make a list of 20 keyword phrases someone might type to find your business online.

Engage, Engage, Engage

If your plan is to post content and then move on to other things, you are going to be disappointed in your results. Social media is designed to be social. We aren’t telling you to sit on top of your social media all day, every day but you do need to make time to respond to your followers and engage with other people online. Too many small business owners disappear after posting or only respond to the people who are engaging with them. I know it sounds repetitive, but if you aren’t responding to comments or engaging in further conversations with the people engaging with you, it is very much a 1 way relationship.  If you take the time to care and respond, your audience will remain loyal fans.

Want to feel limitless on social? Use these platforms! Find people in your industry, your area, your networking group, or circles and comment and share their posts. Ask interesting questions and start engaging conversations in forums and groups. 

Action Item: Send 15 minutes each workday responding to your audience and interacting with other people on your preferred social media channel.

Social media marketing works if you do the work and if you understand how these platforms both penalize and reward you for the ways you show up.

If you are overwhelmed, let’s start with our best tip. Every platform is searchable.  Every word matters.  Do you have a few paragraphs in the about section of each of your social media accounts? Are they padded with the right, searchable keywords? Is your messaging current? Not sure what your online presence says about your business? Now is the time to revamp your online assets! This commitment in time, money, and effort will produce results you never expected and it’s a great way to position your business better online without making a long-term financial commitment. Give the Social Media Advisor team a call today to discuss options.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.


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