Now you know how to find your online voice, use these tips to use your online voice (and not sound like a dork).
Be mindful of your medium
Now you know who your ideal customer is, you need to hangout where they do.
You have your website, you need to make sure that you promote it at any possibility. This means sharing links, linking to it from your social media profiles, and adding it to your promotional material. If your ideal customer values quality, then make sure your website reflects this, have a look at our health checks as a way to ensure the quality of your site.
Facebook, this is one of the most popular social media platforms. I have written on where businesses fail on Facebook, make sure you read these tips (or print them out). Above all, keep it positive and sociable on Facebook as people use this platform to escape from the drudgery, catch up with friends, and have fun.
Twitter, this is a great place to develop your network and share information about your business. Because you need to be brief make use of a URL shortening service, some websites have their own, when linking to your site. Twitter users love to be recognised, so don’t neglect thanking and recognising follows and retweets.
Pinterest is primarily used for people who love to DIY, travel, interior design, beauty, and fashion. If your business has a product that is for children, fashion conscious, DIYers, or home improvers/interior design fans I would strongly suggest getting on to Pinterest. Not only is it a great way to advertise your products, it is a great way to find content for your other social media platforms, and provides valuable backlinks to your website.
Ensure your message focuses on benefits over features, your customer’s needs over your business needs, and you remember the medium.
If you are using social media, be aware that although people (in general) are not as concerned with spelling and punctuation, you are still representing your brand. If your brand represents, values, and your customer values quality then make sure that your posts/tweets/pins/instagrams all reflect this.
Ensure you use the adjectives that you identified earlier. This subtle reinforcement will speak to your customers who value these attributes. Remember that you need to speak to your ideal customer. You can also experiment with these words to discover which ones hone in on their inner most needs and desires. These keywords will then help you drive your business. They can then be used in other marketing materials. Be warned, your ideal customers may not all hang out in the same social media circles and what works on one platform, may not work on another.
Now this by-no-means means that you should use a social media management tool and post the exact same message across all of your social media accounts. In fact, your followers can be turned off by that. Some customers will subscribe to your newsletter and follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Google +. If they see the same message posted across your channels they will know that you are not being authentic, interested in their needs, and they will feel that you are simply pitching to them. By now you know your ideal customer’s likes and dislikes, remember the profile, so make them feel valued and that they are the only one you are talking to.
When you write a job application, most are looking for concrete examples where you achieved an outcome, not just the fact that you know what to do. Customers are no different. They want runs on the board, bang for their buck. Show them!
Customers value third-party opinions. Remember the power of word of mouth. On your website, or social media platform, you can control how these are displayed. I am not saying to remove every bad review, in fact I advocate keeping them and using some strategies I have previously shared, you can actually turn the negative experience around. You may even help others to explain your processes, a situation, or a learning just by keeping all channels of communication open.
This can be done in many ways.
Facebook reviews – If you set your page to local or small business and include a physical address (don’t worry it doesn’t have to be exact), then you will get the review stars popping up on your page. Be warned, if someone accidentally gives you one star it can’t be undone and will effect your rating.
You can ask customers to leave review posts on your page. These used to be able to be highlighted on your page. They now appear in the left hand margin of your page. You can reorganise this left margin so they appear higher up. You can also hide general chit-chat posts, so they don’t interrupt the reviews.
Website reviews – There are many plug-ins you can add to your page. I have one on one of my WordPress sites which I populate with feedback customers have sent through. I have seen others where it is populated by the customer. Alternatively, you can set up an email form where customers can send feedback through to you.
Other pages will have a page of testimonials (like I have here). These testimonials can stand alone as their own page, but they are also a handy way to add credibility to a related blog post or marketing material (including a blog post).
Do it with integrity
For me, the key to all of this is working with integrity. People value honesty and integrity. We make mistakes, own them, own up to them, fix them, learn from them, and move on. This is why I believe it’s important to keep negative feedback in the public domain. Handled with tact and integrity they can prove as valuable as a positive testimonial.
In the first instance, be true to yourself. Most businesses, especially ones that come from a place of internal passion, are extensions of the owner. If you are not speaking honestly, and from the heart, you are less likely to do so with conviction, less likely to convince and convert, and when it comes to meeting the client, you are likely to be tripped up.
Be true to your customer. Now this isn’t just about owning where things haven’t gone as planned. It means being true to your ideal customer. You need to honour their needs, and place these at the core of your business. Print off your ideal customer description, find photos of them, make a vision board of them; all of these ideas will keep them centred in your work space and will remind you when you work.
Truth is easier to remember. Integrity will take you far.
Now you know how to find your online voice, allow me to help you reach your ideal customer. By using the process in this series of blog posts, I was able to focus my business and move it from page 16 in a Google search to page one. If your ambition is to have your business appear on page one of Google, then contact Write to Right about a website health check. This check will get your website in to shape and my hints will improve its ranking. Read more about the website health checks or if you are ready to be on page one now, contact Write to Right now.