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Five steps to get your web strategy started

Friday, 2 September 2011 | By Adam Franklin

Once you’ve got a plan of attack for your web strategy, it’s time to start putting it into action.

 

If you’re not sure where to actually get started and you’re new to the web, I suggest doing the following:

 

Firstly, set up your social media profiles


As a starting point, you should setup a company profile on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.  The signup process for all of these websites is very easy and intuitive.

 

Getting a blog set up, is something you can do yourself (if you host with Wordpress for example) but I recommend hosting your own blog and attaching it to your website. The reason for this is all that all the backlinks you will acquire over time will point to your domain and not Wordpress’s – and this is much better for your Google search rankings (a major component of your web strategy). 

It’s well worth the effort of doing this, but you may need to pay a web designer a small sum to provide some technical know-how here as it can be a little tricky.


Secondly, secure your company URLs


The major social media websites allow you to secure a custom URL for your company. 


For example, my company’s Twitter URL is www.twitter.com/Bluewire_Media.

 

LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter also allow you to secure your own URL without needing a minimum amount of followers, whereas Facebook requires you to have 25 fans before it will let you secure what they call a vanity URL.

Even if you don’t anticipate using them yet, please reserve your company name because for all we know there could be an organisation overseas with your exact name who gets in first, meaning you’ll have to settle for a less than ideal URL!

 

Thirdly, begin writing remarkable content


Start publishing and sharing your knowledge with the world. Publish your content on your blog and YouTube channel and syndicate and spread it via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

My last blog post was about finding the time to create remarkable content so use those tips to get started. Then keep publishing useful information for the potential buyers hunting around on the web for information.

 

Fourthly, set up Google Alerts


This tool is the best one for “listening”. In other words, knowing when people are talking you on the web. It’s a free tool where you simply type in your company name, your name and any product names you may have and then Google will notify you via email whenever you are mentioned on the internet.

 

This can easily save you from possible reputation damage if any disgruntled customers make negative comments online. You’ll be the first to know so you’re in a position to respond appropriately and take any action that is required.

 

If you do come across negative comments, I urge you to leave them and simply respond just like you would if you were speaking to the customer in person. This is the best way to defuse situations and it shows you are transparent and genuine. Censoring negative comments is a sure-fire way to throw fuel on the fire and antagonise already upset customers.

For the record, the only time to remove negative comments is if they are defamatory, insulting, malicious or spammy.

 

Finally, join in and start interacting


People will begin to interact with the content you are publishing by commenting, tweeting or sharing with their friends on Facebook. When they do, congratulate yourself because you’ve produce something “remarkable”. And remember to keep the momentum going. Thank people who’ve retweeted your articles and reply to people’s comments on your blog.

 

This is how you begin to build a community of real people who interact with your company. These are the very same people who over time will know, like and trust you enough to buy from you and to refer their friends.