This blog was updated in May 2020.
Reaching out and forging new relationships is critical to any business. With more than three billion people active on social media, these platforms are great for building and establishing your brand presence. And many brands are present online, in one way or another.
However, are they active? Is their social media presence thriving?
You can’t expect to dominate it by posting random links and mentioning a name or two every once in a while. You can’t manage your digital presence without a practical strategy — even if your marketing budget hangs on a shoestring. Take a look at our practical tips to build and manage your online presence.
How to Manage Your Social Media Presence as a Small Business
Define Your Audience
It all begins by defining your audience. Who are you talking to? Who needs to notice you? You need to know your audience to meet your marketing goals. Maybe it’s industry influencers and thought leaders. Perhaps it’s your prospective customers. Break down your audience, so you can determine:
- Your brand’s voice.
- Where to be active.
- The information in your online profiles.
- The type of content you want to post.
- Your content posting schedule.
Figure out your audience, what they want, and what kind of problems they face. It will help you interpret how your online presence can stand out from the rest.
Establish a Strategy to Manage Your Online Presence
When you know what you want to achieve and with who, you need to make a plan. Find someone on your team to own the initiative. Be precise with their responsibility and goals.
Create a content calendar and decide on your posting frequency. The content calendar should lay out who your target audience is and what topics you’re interested in. Also, it should present what kind of content you need to create or curate as well as your existing content.
And you need to have a plan for content creation. The engagement and online presence depend on the needs and interests of your target audience. It’s what determines the type of material you should be publishing or sharing. But to effectively manage the online presence, you need a plan that you can stick to. Regardless of who your audience is, you should always aim to post relevant and high-quality content, as well as optimize images, video, and other visuals.
Engage With Your Audience
Content is valuable, but it’s not enough to just publish it. The Internet (and social media specifically) is all about relationships. It’s about engagement and connection. If you want to maintain and manage your presence, you need to foster your relationships. To achieve an online presence effectively, you need to:
- Start and participate in conversations.
- Comment on posts.
- Share user-generated content.
- Share relevant information.
- Show appreciation for your followers and customers.
- Address criticisms and complaints.
- Ask and answer questions.
- Infuse personality in your brand.
It’s a significant factor that can make or break you. If you’re coming off as a faceless company without any personality, you won’t manage to maximize engagement. Talk to your audience like they are your friends. But more importantly, talk and respond.
If you leave their questions unanswered, they will perceive that you’re not interested in them. You need to establish a brand personality presence because if you act like a robot, you won’t meet the expectations of today’s consumers.
Schedule Your Posts
To successfully manage your presence online as a small business, you need to invest time and dedication. However, some repetitive and tedious tasks can be automated. With the right tools, you can schedule and automatically post content up to a month in advance. Tools such as e-clincher allow you to schedule entire batches of posts. Also, they make it easier for you to respond to messages and comments quickly.
You need to be online, every day, posting fresh content. There’s no way you can maintain your online presence without consistency. Establish a solid content creation strategy. If you can’t manage to keep up creating, you can always curate some content.
Pick and prioritize your social networks. Repurpose your existing content. All these things can help you save time and energy. And you don’t have to be present all the time, but check your online channels a few times per day. Take 10-15 minutes to post or respond to new comments when most of your audience is online.
Optimize for Local Search
Since the rise of mobile use, “near me” searches have dramatically increased. 30% of all mobile searches are location-related.
That’s why you need to optimize for local search to maintain the presence of your small business in local searches. You can start with business directories that matter the most, such as Google My Business and Yelp. Next, find directories and indexes that are relevant to your niche.
Also, don’t forget about YouTube. After Google, it’s the second largest search engine. Add geotagging to your videos and keywords in the video title. That way, search engines will begin to associate your physical store location with the needs of potential customers.
Use Both Organic and Paid Advertising
There’s no reason for you not to consider using paid ads. You’re already doing so much organically, so if your efforts are not noticed, then you should give them a boost. Besides, you only need a few dollars to get hundreds of impressions. To manage your small business’s online presence across various social accounts, you need to:
- Share relevant content (including hashtags and keywords in your posts).
- Add keywords to your social media profile (but avoid keyword stuffing).
- Connect with popular accounts to increase your exposure.
And here too, e-clincher can help. We’re a powerful social media management tool that can satisfy all your social media needs. Finding relevant content according to specific hashtags, keywords, and search terms? Advanced social media analytics? Scheduling and publishing posts? Managing all your social media interactions with one inbox?
e-clincher is a tool that integrates all these features into one easy-to-use dashboard.
It takes time to cultivate and manage an engaging online presence. With the right strategies that are refreshed and the right automation tools, it can be done. However, even with the most advanced tools, it requires your attention and some of your time.
Optimize your website, blog, and social media profiles. Engage in two-way communication with your customers. Like, comment on, and reply to their messages and criticisms. The potential of your brand being a powerful digital advocate for your customers is in your hands. All you need to do to is invest some time and find the most effective resources, no matter the size of your business.