The staircase to online visibility
(Flickr Creative Commons: randysonofrobert)
Here is a simple, 9 point online visibility strategy.
Online visibility starts with knowing who your target audience is. Identify your niche, and narrow it—Try not to cover a broad range of topics, otherwise you’ll likely not be considered a topic expert or authority.
Find your target audience. Where does your target audience hang out online? Does the majority of your audience prefer to hang out on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Quora? Search for LinkedIn topic groups, Twitter hashtags or Facebook pages to find where your audience lies.
Listen. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn if you take the time to listen before jumping right in. What topics are they talking about? Is there an issue with a product or service for which you have a solution? Are they looking for tips that you have knowledge on? Here is an example of a question we might find and answer on LinkedIn, after listening:
Engage! After taking the time to figure out of the needs of your target audience, it is appropriate to engage. Introduce yourself and position yourself as someone with industry experience. Have casual conversations and get to know others online. Find common interests and learn from others. Don’t go off topic. Offer helpful resources that might not always be your own—try not to overly self-promote: it’s a turn off.
Stick to the social media that is right for you. Stay present as a resource (and as a friend!). Designating a community manager is a great idea to manage and consolidate your online efforts.
Don’t forget to blog. A company or brand blog is a great way to share ideas and gain readership and a following. Try to offer valuable information to the masses and think: what do people want to read about? What are hot topics in my industry of focus?
Distribute press releases. Though they may not always result in media coverage, press releases are a good way to distribute newsworthy content to your network in a neat package.
Incorporate multimedia into all the above platforms. Images, video and graphics are multifunctional tools: A tremendous portion of all internet traffic is video traffic. These elements expand audiences, drive business value, bring products to life, increase engagement, increase traffic and time on site, improve communication with stakeholders, increase trust and even convert browsers into buyers.
A little SEO never hurt anybody. Study up on search engine optimization—optimizing your web presence for search engines ups your chance of being found through web searches and gaining new, organic traffic. TopRank has some great resources that anyone can do themselves: just a little keyword research, anchor text and links can go a long way.
What are your tips for gaining positive online visibility?
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