Establishing a Digital Presence: 10 Tips For Small Business Owners

There is something comfortingly constant about the rate of change we are experiencing in the digital world, in that our expectation bar has been raised to make change just a given state of being.  In reference to the  Darwinian model of Survival of the Fittest, it will be those personalities who are not change-averse who will succeed, especially in the marketing/communications space and for small business owners who wear all manner of management hats.

I work with clients from the small business sector (<50 employees) often and one of their initial fears with regard to building their online brand is that they wont be able to keep up with the changes that strategic social networking sites churn out.  They recognize the importance of having a digital presence and the value of engaging directly with their customer base, but feel that they don’t have the time to stay on top of the process.

If you also feel this way, here are a few tips that I share with my clients that gets them over the brick wall and into the rewarding digital landscape on the other side:

  1. Begin with an assessment of your unique value proposition
    1. Where do you add value?
    2. What makes you stand out from your competitors?
  2. Know your customer niche and determine where they reside online vs. offline
  3. Determine your budget: $ for staffing/outplacement or value of your own time to manage
  4. Investigate the powerful 3rd party application management tools that will allow you to organize and streamline your content, lead generation and engagement work- saving you hours of time!
  5. Create a marketing strategy that integrates social/digital media tools that are strategically the right fit for your business/industry
  6. Create a content and engagement plan for each tool
  7. Set goals, objectives and measures for each prong of your marketing plan
  8. Be authentic in your engagement-let your personality shine through
  9. Never over-promote your product/services- be generous in featuring others (friends, followers, info, area events- whatever makes sense for your business)
  10. Become intimate with your analytics and make changes as necessary.  Data doesn’t lie!

This is the world we live in and small businesses that want to be in existence in 2012 need to put a plan into place in 2011 that will address these 10 points.

The next big evolutionary wave is Mobile marketing. It’s here; is gathering steam and soon will be the #1 way that people engage with brands and services.  If you don’t have a digital presence, you just don’t exist……

Send me a shout if I can answer any questions or assist you in any way.

Embrace Change!

 

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