Any company can benefit from an improved marketing strategy on the Internet. There are so many outlets for connecting with customers from all around the world that it’s almost impossible to lose traction. But you need to be savvy at understanding trends and how users interact with social networking websites.
The importance of a strong web presence is almost immeasurable in comparison to a strong marketing strategy. You need to jump into uncharted territories and try out new methods for drawing attention to your business. In this guide I’ll present some marketing tips which have worked well for me and many entrepreneurs I know. It’s all about viral marketing and building word-of-mouth through the many digital mediums of communication which will bring about a powerful web presence.
Reserve Your Branding
The Internet is currently a first-come first-serve type of situation where you need to be quick to the finish line before any competition. Building up your brand online requires that you have profiles on many of the largest networks. This gives your customers a place to gather and catch up on all the latest company news.
Branding yourself on these social networks is all about your custom page URL. Almost every network including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn will allow you to create a custom vanity URL. These are profile links with an affiliation to your business name. A great example is Dunkin’ Donuts which I’ve included some of their profiles below:
Google+ is still the odd one out where they won’t offer users a vanity URL(yet). But notice how every other profile link is reserved with the username “dunkindonuts”. None of them read “dunkin_donuts” or “dunkindonuts1”. Granted these aren’t terrible options as a fallback – but the faster you register accounts the more likely you’ll be able to grab your unique vanity URL.
Launch First, Make Changes Later
This is a golden rule I follow even when building a new website or mobile application. Your customers will be more excited just to notice you have a web presence rather than nothing at all. Even if you don’t have time to update the profile photo or add any useful information, just getting something online is the first step.
There will always be time at a later date where you can go back and edit details more appropriately. Building a solid presence on the Internet will take time – so the longer your profiles are online the better. This means get them up today and don’t dilly-dally!
Another reason for this is how search engines will index new profile pages. Websites like Twitter and Facebook are chock-full of new URLs being generated each day. This gives engines such as Google the chance to crawl these new pages and index them for future searches. Then as people begin searching for your brand these new profiles will appear more frequently.
Create a Unified Image
Possibly the 2nd most important aspect to your profiles aside from the URL is your avatar/default photo. This is displayed on every page and is usually the first dynamic content your visitors will register. You need an avatar that stands out and can be easily recognized as your company branding.
This image is sort of like your face all around the Internet. Whenever you post a tweet or share something onto Facebook it’s tied into your profile photo. All your followers and customers will begin to associate your company with these avatars. You could use a slimmer version of your logo or some type of icon/illustration.
Whatever you choose make sure that it’s unified and seamless across all your profiles. It’s generally a good idea to design these as perfect squares with much higher dimensions. I recommend 300×300 pixels as the largest size since most websites will automatically scale down to fit. Then you have the option of going back to make smaller changes or edits without difficulty.
Share your Links Everywhere
Don’t be afraid to add these new profile links everywhere you can think. This is the absolute best way to gather attention and it also provides an easy means of communication. There are tons of people using Facebook and even more adopters are moving onto Twitter as well. With just these two networks alone you can drive a whole lot of traffic towards your business.
If you have a website be sure to add social links somewhere on the page. If possible add them “above the fold” as it will pull more attention. There are also tons of free social media icons you can use in your header or footer section. These draw more clicks over plain text links and can provide some additional spice into a webpage layout.
Dominating Social News
Aside from the mainstream social networking websites there’s a new class known as social news. You signup for an account just like on any other website, except the purpose is to share articles and blog posts within the network. The biggest examples include Digg and Reddit both of which are free to register.
Digg has a very good standing in Google searches, so creating a profile on there may be more worthwhile for company branding. Also any articles or blog posts you submit will rank higher for keywords from Digg than Reddit. You may not even have articles to submit which is totally okay. Just building a profile for your company and adding links to your Twitter, Facebook, and main website can provide invaluable backlinks.
Aside from these two monstrous domains there are dozens of other similar social news communities you can work with. Depending on your business market it may be wise to only join 1 or 2 out of the set. But as a reference guide I’ve put together a small showcase of 15 highly-ranked social news sites you should definitely check out.