Dolores and I had the opportunity to speak at the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance (SOMWBA) Access to Sales & Marketing event this afternoon. We spoke to the group about the importance of understanding and monitoring your web presence and using the information you find to answer the questions – Are you where you want to be? Are you who you want to be? Are you engaging the right audience?
Other presenters at the event included Lynn Donahue, author of Brick by Brick: A Woman’s Journey and founder of the nonprofit group Brick by Brick Foundation, and Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Director of UMASS Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research and author of the Center’s research study ‘Social Media in the Inc. 500: The First Longitudinal Study.’ Dr. Barnes spoke about her study of both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 and how these companies use Social Media. I felt pretty good about our presentation when Dr. Barnes ended hers by saying that every business owner should be monitoring their company on social media.
Agreed! Monitor your company, yourself and your competition! We preach this to our clients every day – the importance of knowing who you are online.
Here are some questions to ask of your company: What does your customer think of you? How is your message coming across? Are people talking about you? How can you contribute to this online conversation?
Here is my top five things you can do to increase your web presence:
1. Realize it is important to monitor the online converssation, find the time to monitor it or hire the time. Not participating in the online conversation or worse – not being aware of it – is detrimental to the growth of your business. Monitoring can open up new avenues of opporunity.
2. Set up google alerts! For your name, your company’s name, your competition.
3. Make Twitter search your friend. Get familiar with Twitter tools like Tweetdeck. You might not get it. You might not have time for it – but other people do… Keep this in mind.
4. Participate. Don’t be afraid to add in your two cents. Use the opportunity to position yourself or your company as an expert, or define your voice, or just have fun!
5. Don’t be afraid to get to know your online audience. It shouldn’t be scary, it should be a learning experience. A chance for you to get a deeper understanding of your audience, what role your business plays with them, and what role they play in the online conversation. Maybe they are social media consumers, or watchers, maybe the are contributors, and maybe they are creators. What can your audience do for you?