Nicola Moras (pictured below) is a social media specialist, speaker and author of Visible, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. In this guest post for B&T, Moras offers her five top tips on how to build your online presence…
Social media isn’t going anywhere. In fact, if you take a look at your industry, you’ll find more and more businesses are already using or looking to start using social media in order to remain relevant, to gain audience cut-through and ultimately to drive improved sales and profit.
No doubt every business is jostling for attention and so the goal has become less about only building a presence on-line but more about how to stand out and cut through the noise online in order to capture attention. Add to this to need to keep that attention for long enough so you can generate a lead and make a sale of your product or service.
By being yourself, leveraging your own personal brand and owning your uniqueness you can cut through the noise much faster. Here are five key steps to build your on-line presence.
Step 1 – You’ve got to stand out and capture the attention of your audience
Studies show that it takes seven seconds to form a first impression of someone. I would suggest that in the world of social media this is a lot shorter given the speed in which people scroll through a newsfeed.
Use a unique angle within you – it could be your style, what you stand for or something quirky about you or your business – and talk about it online.
Step 2 – Build trust through consistency
Trust can be slow to build and quick to lose, which is where the power of consistency comes in. People want to get to know you and your company before they spend money with you. Creating consistent content that gives advice, entertains and educates your audience demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about.
Step 3 – Be Interesting and Show different parts of you
Humans are multi-faceted and have a range of different things going in on their worlds. You, too, are multi-faceted. Often the thing that grabs someone’s attention can be loosely related to what you do in order to generate income but shows the values of the company. For example, if health is a core value of your business, showcase some of your team working out or walking at lunch. If family is a key value then share some different tips for having fun with family members. An example of this if you’re a Graphic Designer would be to share a photo of a lemon close up while you’re making your hot water and lemon if health is of importance to you.
Think about the different areas of life and how you can demonstrate your values using different elements of: Having fun, family life, health, relationships, business, finances and even mindset.
Step 4 – People are craving authentic connection
Your consumers are savvy when it comes to seeing business owners and organisations online and they can smell a lack of authenticity a mile away. If you look at a business that engages with their followers and has real interaction versus a business that ignores what their prospects are talking about on their posts, very quickly the clients of the former leave and stop caring.
In your social media efforts, make sure that you are commenting as if you are having a conversation with someone. A real conversation with someone. Some of the best things that we’ve seen for businesses are where someone will comment and a real, live human will respond. It propels a conversation versus a canned response that has no heart.
Step 5 – Help people take the next step
People on social media don’t always want companies or individuals selling to them all the time. Build up value by sharing different hints, tips and tools that they can use to solve a problem they’re having before they buy from you.
An example of this could be where you educate your audience on something and then provide a way to access more help. If you’re a skin care specialist, educate your audience on the benefits of a three step skin care routine and at then end make an offer to purchase your skin care products.
Provide content first and then make it clear how your audience can take the next step with you.
The reality is the rise of influencers online and the impact that they can have on a brand and a product, is something you just can’t ignore. A recent excerpt from Hubspot said “That’s very much due to the way purchasing decisions have changed over the years. You might recall, for example, a story about how many women no longer trust celebrity endorsements. That’s because most consumers, research shows, seek product and service recommendations from those who are, above all, knowledgeable and credible. And today, those qualities often come in the form of social media influencers.”
Become an influencer in your own organisation or for your own business. Put yourself out there. Be seen. And then leverage it.