The Internet has provided SMEs with a golden opportunity to boost their profile – primarily because in the online world, anyone regardless of size or income can be a publisher. So long as you have the time to dedicate to it, you can develop a strong profile using primarily free tools. So what should SMEs be thinking about when it comes to managing profile online?
1. Keep your audiences in mind
A common marketing mistake is to forget about the audiences you want to talk to and to not properly consider the media these audiences like to use. Ask yourself – would you engage with your business during your downtime scanning Facebook one evening? If the answer is no then Facebook might well not be right platform for your business. Spend time getting to know all of your target audiences in turn and think about when they’re at their most receptive.
2. Keep on top of all your online platforms
It can be tempting to rush into setting up social media profiles for your business on every social network – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare. And how about a blog on WordPress too? A photoblog on Tumblr perhaps? A pinboard on Pinterest? And that’s just for starters. But do you know who you’re reaching with each of these platforms? And how do you adequately resource all of them? This last question is especially important if you’re already getting or are aiming for a substantial amount of traffic to your website. Much better to channel your efforts into fewer platforms, do these really well, and build an audience that way.
3. Keep it interesting
Developing your online profile demands that you think creatively, constantly. The now very well-known adage that ‘content is king’ is just as relevant as ever and if you’re to sustain the interest of your customers – and turn those prospects into clients – you need to be providing lively, interesting content on a regular basis. Again, put yourself in the shoes of your audiences and think about what you’d like to hear about. What’s more, stem the temptation to aggregate identical content across all of your social media platforms. If you’re a regular Facebook user, you’ll know that it’s abundantly clear when posts have been automatically generated from a company’s Twitter account.
4. Keep it personal
People like reading about people, that’s human nature. On the face of it, to a company that operates in the B2B space this can seem like a problem and the tendency can be to use online platforms to focus more on the ‘business of business’ rather than on any specific individuals. But it’s the people within your organisation that make it what it is, and they might well be your best assets in boosting your profile. So find those people that best represent the character of the company and give them a voice. This is something we advocate for Gradwell – Peter is a lively and inspiring character and embodies everything that the company stands for. We therefore work to get Peter’s views and comments out on both online and offline channels.
Find out more about Rod and Grayling