Thursday, 27 October 2011

Why profile build online?

Over these past few weeks I have been asked by my clients why online communication networks such as a blog, a Twitter account, a Linked In account and Facebook pages are a good idea. Without getting in to too much nitty gritty I have tried to highlight some of the main reasons:

Good reasons to have a blog:

Better Search Engine Rankings
Search engines (particularly Google) reacts favourably to new and subject specific content. If you are blogging about your subject specific services, products and/or industry – it all helps with your search engine ranking – especially because search engines love new and original content.

With a blog you can provide that type subject specific content. You can target the buzz words (keywords) that you want the search engines to recognise and get the search engines to ‘crawl’ your site more regularly as you keep updating and adding blog content.

Establish Expert Status
When you are selling a product or service, especially when you work for yourself or represent an SME, it is a good idea to build your personal profile (or personal brand) as someone with knowledge and experience – someone who knows what they are talking about ... OK - an Expert.

If your customers and potential clients see you know what you are talking about you are much more likely to increase your following and your sales and customer loyalty. A blog is an excellent tool to share interesting information which is relevant to your business.

Point Traffic to Your Website
I would encourage people to link their blog back to the relevant pages on their website. Whilst you are updating content on your blog and people have found your comments on your blog, it is sensible to provide a link to your main website so they can see more about your business.

Widen Your Target Audience
As much as I would encourage your blog to be within your industry subject, there are often ways to expand your topics – ie topical news, forthcoming market events, client stories etc ... With your blog you can write about related topics and reach an audience that might not naturally engage with your specific products and services. For example:
  • Graduates and interviewees may be interested in personal branding if it was related to job interviews and promotion.
  • Leadership and training providers might engage with a new audience if they were to comment on the leadership attributes of current news story politicians.
  • Career and life coaches might provide their view point in to recent civil unrest and the community engagement currently being undertaken by local and national officials.
Linking Up
Others will link to quality blog content. As with your website, the more links you have the higher up the search engine results, which help drive traffic to your blog. If your website is ‘on of many’, having a blog with original, interesting content can help your business profile.

Increases Business Activity and Customer Perception
By updating your blog regularly you remind people you are there, you are busy and you are open for business. It is easy to update a blog and regular articles will help people to recognise you as that expert (in your sector).

It has been reported that 52% of buyers have said that a blog influences their purchasing decision.

Get help
Once you have a blog you don’t have to write everything yourself – you can invite guest writer to write for you. In blogging terms this is very popular as both side benefit. You get blog content and the writer gets promoted on an external source and I would offer links back to their (and your) website.

Be Audience Brave
If you activate the comments facility on your blog, ask questions and carry out polls you can start to work out what people think of your industry, your products and services. You may have seen this facility already on some blogs and be worried about open complaints and/or criticism, but if you openly apologies and address negative comments you can convert these. You can turn negatives in to positives and increase customer loyalty and respect for you, your products and services.

Keeps Your Audience Updated
With a lot of websites it can be difficult to build a relationship with your customers. Your blogging can be a little more ‘chatty’ – ie have you got some examples of client usage. Have you just launched a new product or service. Do you have some news about your business – fundraising, sponsorship etc. If people engage you are more likely to make more sales.

Good Reasons to Tweet (on Twitter)
  • Opening up a Twitter account is quick and easy – the hardest thing is coming up with a unique name that people (followers) will be able to find you with.
  • From an online point of view Twitter allows you to link to your website. It also is a great vehicle for pointing followers to your updated blog and other items of interest – and thus build your profile as an expert in your chosen field.
  • Twitter is a great way for you to follow others in your sector, to retweet sector related items of interest and build an online social network of contacts.
  • Google uses tweets to help to index contents faster and having another online profile linking to your website is not going to hurt your personal profile.
  • With Twitter you have just 140 characters (including spaces) to put your comments and insights over. If you are unsure what to write go to other people on Twitter that you have an interest in and see what they write.
  • NB: Don’t fall in tot the trap of telling people you are having a coffee, that you have a hangover or anything else that is of no value to your business and/or personal brand.
  • NB2: People ask me how much to tweet. Social media experts would say several times a day for the rankings – however do yourself and your followers a favour and although I am keen that you tweet regularly, only tweet relevant and interesting items.
There are a few other areas of Twitter – but the above are the main points – the rest we will cover in a later blog.

Good Reasons to get Linked In
  • To start with look at Linked In primarily as an online contact directory. This platform has been highly adopted by the business community and is a good way to link up with contacts and use as a referral vehicle.
  • You can link back to your website, your blog, your twitter account etc. You can use your account settings to update your profile with your twitter feed, and link with Facebook. All good stuff for search engines.
  • Your Linked In account gives you the opportunity to put together a history of your experience, your key achievements and can act as a shop window for you as an individual.
  • There are many other areas of Linked In – these are the first points and I would recommend, if you haven’t already, you set up an account, use an appropriate photo of yourself and update the information.
Reasons for Facebook
  • Many see Facebook as more of a ‘social’ social network. There are a lot of people who have accounts and use it for family, friends etc. As you can only have one account on Facebook, for business it is suggested that you use the ‘add a page’ facility to build your business page.
  • Facebook tends to work better for consumer facing businesses. It is a great place to gather immediate feedback and comments.
  • Search engine Bing uses Likes as a ranking sign for logged in Facebook users.
There are many other areas of Facebook and indeed other online platforms including, and Google+. Currently from a business point of view, start with these (as well as your website) and you will be well on the way to influencing your online business profile.

If you would like to find out more information or if you think I might be able to help with anything shown above, contact me at or visit the website at

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