Everywhere you go, someone is on their phone, laptop, or tablet, online, looking at something important to them. You need your business to be there! You may have a website, but there are so many ways to get noticed online, and the businesses that succeed are those that use all of them together. This post will go over two of the fundamental building blocks of your online presence to help you in building your digital foundation: online listings and social media.
A good online presence isn’t just one that is widespread, but also accurate and credible. Online listings (on directories and review sites) are one of the most important tools for this. Strengthen your online foundation by:
Add keywords, categories, photos, videos, and links to optimize your listings. Many of these platforms also enable you to keep track of impressions and actions, meaning how many times a user saw your business as a local search result and how many times users showed interest in your business through action.
Listings are a very powerful tool, but that same power makes them hard to keep up with—an essential aspect of a good business reputation. Using a listing service provider can help you to achieve a widespread but strong presence online.
By simply providing your business information (business address, website, phone number, business description, etc.), your details are submitted to the top 3 national data providers (Acxiom, Dun & Bradstreet & InfoGroup). They are then distributed to many social media outlets such as Yelp, Manta, CitySearch, Angie’s List, Insider Pages, Foursquare, Kudzu – your business gets widespread coverage on directories in as little as 1 day!
With listings, consistency is vital. Whether you are creating your own listings or working with a professional service, ensuring that your company’s details are complete, accurate, and consistent across all sites is crucial for gaining visibility and trust among your audience.
The most popular way to build your online presence is through social media, which has a variety of options including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and LinkedIn. With each of these platforms, you can customize your profiles and pages to align with your business and brand.
While listings are a great way to get found by your target audience members, social media provides opportunities to build your relationship with them. Through posts, comments, and campaigns you can address their needs, answer their questions, demonstrate your value, and show your human side.
Social media is fast-paced and, at times, rather chaotic, but with a proper social media marketing plan you can get results with putting your head in a spin. With its versatility, you can get creative and find unique ways to stand out from your competitors.
There are more digital marketing tools you can put to work for you and your business. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are great ways to take your business’ online presence to the next level. Slightly more advanced tools include display advertising and retargeting. Once you’ve mastered the basics, explore these options to take full advantage of the many marketing options made available by the internet.
There are people out there looking for you. Get your listings, local pages, and social channels set up so your business can grow its online visibility and credibility.
This post was originally published on July 23, 2015 and updated on January 14, 2018.