In today’s world of business, even small businesses are being pressed farther and farther to the internet. Because of this, it’s now more important than ever for business owners to establish an online presence that’s both respectable and memorable. There are four progressive factors to successfully creating such an easily recognized and well thought of presence for your business online.
- Identify and establish the key points of the company culture of your business.
- Define the elements of your business’s brand.
- Understand and apply the do’s and don’t do’s of social media.
- Evaluate your company’s website and integrate social media accounts with it.
Creating Company Culture
Every business should have a clearly defined and easily accessible record of the company’s culture. This isn’t quite the same as the culture of a given group of people but there are many similarities between the two. Company culture is the collection of beliefs, objectives, representations and characteristics that a business is founded upon. It also expresses how the owners or executive leaders of a business are expected to conduct business and how management, employees and associates are expected to behave when representing the company. Once you’re confident that you’ve accurately and thoroughly laid out the company culture for your business and the people involved with it, then you can begin the next process. Keep in mind, though, that being transparent and consistent in acting out the elements of your company’s culture is absolutely imperative to building the trust in relationships with clients and customers.
Branding Your Business
The term “branding” has become common vernacular among new businesses and businesses that are going through the process of updating various elements such as marketing or presentation. There are several factors to consider when establishing your business’s brand. Some of these factors include:
It’s important to implement the elements of your branding throughout online platforms as well as in physical locations. One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to achieve this is by creating a brand book for your business that contains all the aspects and elements of your brand choices. After you’ve set up your brand book it’s time to move on to your business’s presence on social media platforms.
Having a professional site for your business is a must for creating and maintaining an online presence. Even for sole proprietors and small businesses the way a website is designed feeds into the way that company is perceived by visitors. There are many resources available for small business website design, most of which focus on the look and layout of your site. As with all the other items in this guide, there are fundamental points of a company website that affect the online presence of that business.
- Transparency: providing clearly defined information
- Integration or links to various social accounts
- Testimonials or reviews from previous clients and customers
- Consistency in branding elements
- Consistent content uploads
- Consistency with company culture values
Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
There are many different social platforms that give business owners a different account status to function on that platform as an official business entity rather than using a personal account for business dealings. Currently, the most popular social networks are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Pinterest and Snapchat. Social media plays probably the most significant role in developing your online presence. That being said, there are a few guidelines for business behavior on social platforms. Here are some of the most prominent things to do and not to do when operating from your business account on social media.
- Maintain consistency with your company culture and branding
- Post high quality content
- Interact with followers and fans every chance you get
- Ask for feedback by posting questions and polls
- Reward loyal customers and fans of your business
- Be authentic and engaging when you respond and interact with clients and fans
- Be supportive of other businesses and collaborate with them when there is a mutually beneficial outcome for both businesses and the fans and customers of each one
- Ignore comments or messages
- Make personal posts on the company page
- Post the same or too close to the same content repeatedly
- Become involved with unprofessional behavior while interacting as a business entity
- Neglect the importance of professionalism on all personal pages that are directly linked with your business account (managers, partners, employees etc)
- Overcommit to keeping an exhausting content calendar
The importance of consistency in posting content, staying true to company culture and uniformity in branding cannot be emphasized enough. In the same respect, being genuine online and interacting just as you would if you were face to face reiterate trustworthiness and authenticity.