Walk down a busy street. Ride a city bus, subway or train for a few stops. You'll see cell phones, tablets and notebook computers, used by people surfing the Internet, juggling social media sites, answering their emails, watching videos. This is their world, and you can be part of it. Maybe you already are.
It's great to have history, impressive products and a top-notch business plan, but none of these things jacks up your Web presence. That's a whole different kind of strategy, and it's just as important as your business plan. Maximizing your Web presence across all platforms will bring you more and younger consumers who will spread the word to others in their social networks. That's a ripple you can ride to better brand recognition and more sales.
Web Presence in Social Media
Regardless of how successful your company is, an engaging presence on social media will provide a path to even more, and different, success. With social media, you can carve out a personality for your company through interactive posts, polls, questions and other features that make people notice you and want to come back.
Be colorful. Don't bombard your Facebook fans with photos and videos, but keep a steady stream, mixing multimedia with other interactions. Provide Facebook links to fun, professionally made videos that entertain while also promoting your product.
Be available. That goes for corporate leadership, too. People are genuinely touched when a high-ranking member of a business or organization interacts positively with them. This is something they will remember, and it goes a long way toward brand loyalty.
Be generous. Promote yourself with coupons, giveaways and contests. Give a prize to the person who gives your favorite response to a question, answers a trivia question first or provides the funniest caption to a photo. The prize could be a gift card, something relevant to the topic (like a copy of a DVD of a movie that's the subject of a trivia question) or simply one of your promotional items, such as a hat, shirt or coffee mug with your logo on it.
Spread your web presence around. Definitely develop your Facebook and Twitter presence, but also look to Google+, LinkedIn, Four Square and other social media sites. Designate at least one person to oversee social media, but ensure others maintain that presence, too.
Web Presence as A Website
Don't let your website be just for information and orders. Make it a destination for fun, too.
Colorful graphics and videos will be eye-catching and draw attention to deeper links within your site, all of which will expose people to more opportunities to view your products or services. Your videos should be professionally done, but you don't necessarily need to go outside your company. The city of Golden Valley in Minnesota has a part-time employee who is also a Minneapolis playwright, actor and comedian. He produced and directed a polished, funny video about recycling that incorporated co-workers and featured a voice-over by a professional actress. You could have loads of talent under your nose. Tap into it.
Avoid boring posed group photos. If you want to show a face, use mugshots. People staring into a camera will not engage fans. It's wasted space. But if they're holding a giant banana, suddenly those people attract attention. Now you just have to do is come up with a witty reason they're holding a banana. (Ap-peal?)
Keep articles concise. Break up longer articles with photos. Pull statistical information out of articles and put it into charts or breakout boxes that are engaging and easier on the eyes.
Have a "fun" page with games, puzzles, trivia and other offerings for people of all ages. Include some activities you don't see everywhere. Again, tap into the creative pulse of your staff for ideas. Ask people what they like to see in online fun activities.
Web Presence as a Blogger
Maintain a blog and update it regularly for a dynamic web presence. This is your best chance to give personality to your company, whether it's written by one person or a variety of people. Engage readers; make them realize the blog writers are people, too, with whom they can identify.
Use your blog to share a wide variety of fresh content. Include important information about products and services, but make it entertaining and topical. Mix it up with interesting posts that share fun or surprising information about your company, and mix THAT up with funny or heartwarming off-topic posts.
Write with a friendly tone that will draw readers in. Provide links to your company website and social media sites, and share new blog entries on those sites.
As a blogger, leave comments on other blogs you enjoy. This can draw people to your own blog and increase your web presence. Be judicious about what blogs you comment on; make sure the target audience of those blogs would fit in with yours.