“Hive 101 Workshop: Basic Principles of Building an Online Presence”

On Tuesday night (4th of September), the Hive hosted its third 101 workshop of the series on the “Basic Principles of Building an Online Presence,” with Emmanuel Siegel from Evobilis as our guest speaker. Topics that were discussed include: creating an effective website cheaply, improving chances of being discovered online through search, how to write a good Blog, how to use social media platforms to build an audience online, how to engage your online audience, Google Adwords/Facebook ads, and how to define goals or measure your internet marketing success.

1. Websites
What are the objectives of a website?
– To ensure people can find you online when they’re looking
– To create digital brochures
– Raise your online profile so more potential clients are aware of what you do
– To use as a platform for blogging, social media, sharing knowledge, etc.

2. Websites: Leverage on open-source CMS
CMS is a web-based tool that allows the creation and the maintenance of website content easily without need of programming skills. It is cost-effect because it covers all core functionalities and allows a very easy & straight forward maintenance by the end user. It also includes profiles management and is customizable as well.

3. Blogs
A good blog should keep generating more traffic. They are interesting and easy to read with regular updates to keep readers interested. Don’t self promote yourself too much and be open-minded.

4. Twitter
Every Twitter account has a section for ‘Bio information’. Good Twitter bio information will increase your chances for others to click into your profile. Spread the word about your Twitter buy linking it with your website or adding a profile picture. Tweet regularly and feel free to use #hashtags or retweet other people’s posts. Try posting tweets with alternative keywords and hashtags as you are not perfectly sure which ones could bring you traffic. Most importantly, interact with others and reply tweets that are linked to you.

5. Facebook
Create a Facebook business page for your brand and define your vanity URL. With the updated version of Facebook, you can customize your page with a Timeline Cover and find creative ways to add more photos. Engage in conversations with fans and include Shares & Likes on your websites. Update regularly with posts or photos of new things that are going on within your company or products that you want to share.

6. LinkedIn
Create a LinkedIn company page to promote your product & services. Post regular status/company updates and engage with Groups.

7. Google+
Google+ is quite similar to Facebook. You can create a Google Company Page/Place and the more +1 you receive from others, the more it improves your ranking. There are also ‘Hangouts’ where you can engage with your community (up to 9).

8. Google Adwords/Facebook Ads
Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads are top advertising services of today’s digital world. Both networks allow you to target ads based on the user’s geographic location and using other demographic data (such as age and gender) that the networks have collected about users. Both channels are viable but reach audiences in different ways.

If you are looking to drive a lot of people to your website to buy a product or service, then Google may have the upper hand in getting quick leads and sales since people are already searching for your products, services, or something related to what you are advertising. The display network ads show on several partner websites based on the advertiser’s selected preferences. The only thing to note would be the cost is a little high compared to Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads are more useful at building your brand presence, marketing a message and increasing exposure to a broader audience over the long term. Ads shown to people who aren’t exactly looking for a product or service but could be interested in it anyway. Demand is created by the ad. The ads are cheaper than Google Ads and once someone becomes your fan, you then have the opportunity to convert them to a sale by posting new items on your Facebook page each day.

9. Web Analytics
Web analytics is used to keep score of visitor tracking. It includes goals and funnels. Business objectives can be quite strategic and high level. A funnel is actually an optional piece to setting up goals. Funnels are series of pages leading up to the goal destination. Sell more things, create happy customers, and improve marketing effectiveness.

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