In a previous article, we defined what an online presence is and how it can help your brand or business. You may now be wondering exactly how to build an online presence. At first glance, building and maintaining a social media profile or website can appear intimidating, especially if you’re just embarking on your digital journey. However, with some basic understanding, good planning, and a commitment to execute a strategy, you can begin to reap the benefits of a robust online presence.
Digital marketing, specifically through social media platforms, continues to evolve thanks to growing accessibility and improved user experiences. The European Commission defines an online platform as “an undertaking operating in two (or multi)-sided markets, which uses the internet to enable interactions between two or more distinct but interdependent groups of users so as to generate value for at least one of the groups.” In digital marketing terms, these interdependent groups are represented by you/your business and your audience. Your audience relies on the existence of social media platforms associated with your brand to interact with you, just as you rely on their digital engagement through these platforms for brand awareness and growth.
First, let’s take a closer look at social media as an online platform and how you can use it to engage with your target audience.
Social media simply refers to websites and applications, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, that allow you to share content and engage in social networking. When considering your target audience, thinking about the applications they use is crucial to successfully interacting with them. For example, social media trends have shown that younger audiences navigate towards Snapchat and TikTok. Alternatively, if you are targeting an older, professional audience, you may want to create content on Facebook and/or LinkedIn.
You can further narrow your focus within these social media applications. For example, you can adjust what audiences view product or service advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media apps. You can use criteria such as age, educational status, gender, interests, or location to segment the varying feeds your content appears on.
Best Practices for a Successful Online Presence
Let’s explore some methods for building and utilizing online platforms to achieve maximum growth potential.
Have a Social Media Plan
Before building a website or creating a social media account, you need to understand your brand message and how it relates to your target audience. Research the online habits of your audience, the social media platforms they frequent, and how to attract them. This is essential when creating successful content that will engage your audience. Remember not to get too caught up in the number of “likes” on your posts. Rather, stay focused on post engagement, who is interacting with your content, and what motivates them. Providing value to a smaller, niche audience can sometimes be more valuable than posting general but unfocused social media content.
Design and Brand
Once you’ve solidified your brand identity and messaging, you can start building the aesthetics of your online platform so it best represents you and your brand. Designing with intent or purpose is crucial for creating a website or social media account that is accessible, appealing, and user-friendly for your target audience. The content you produce online becomes a portfolio for everything related to your brand, including what you do, how you do it, your mission, and values.
Be Accessible to Your Audience
Being accessible to your loyal customers is extremely important for their continued support of your business. This means maintaining consistent interactions on social media, posting updates, and yes — responding to negativity and complaints with positivity and professionalism. Being responsive makes you more personable and, therefore, palatable to your customers and a wider audience. Additionally, you can improve accessibility through providing multiple content forms, such as blogs, videos, audio content, e-books, and more. This gives search engines a better opportunity to find your content while reaching audience segments that may prefer audiovisual content to written content.
Promote Your Digital Platforms
To maintain your digital platforms, you must do more than just respond to customers and post online. A successful online platform is constantly monitored and adjusted using SEO and social media analytics. Analytics provide a more thorough overview of your online platforms, beyond a surface number of page hits or percentage of “liked” content. Proper analytics platforms will show you the number of link clicks from external audiences and how traffic on the platform interacted with your content, from clicks to impressions.
At Telio, we understand the challenges that come with building, managing, and growing online platforms. It’s why we built intelligent software that can help you monitor customer reviews and manage your reputation, therefore maintaining your online presence.
Contact us to speak to a representative about our services and how they can assist you in your digital marketing plan.