Whenever we engage with a new client, there are some essential first steps that we take in order to get them up and running online.  We have to lay the groundwork, so to speak, before we can truly get to social media marketing and content marketing effectively.  If you’re considering getting started yourself, or want to know what to expect with engaging with a consultant, here are the basic online marketing first steps that we use to get our clients in the right position for successful marketing campaigns.

Create/Gain Control of All Social Media Accounts

Take a quick inventory.  Have you created any accounts yet? Facebook but nothing else? Figure out which platforms you need to be on and create accounts for each that you don’t have yet.  If someone else has been managing your pages in the past, gain control of the pages.  Make sure that as you’re creating social media accounts for your business, you are consistent across the board.  You’re looking for page names / usernames that are as close to your business name as you can get, easy to search for, and easy to remember.

Update Information

Once all of your pages are created and you have control of any existing pages, it’s time to update all of your information.  Make sure that all contact information is correct, make sure all links back to your website and any other social media sites are working, update any content (business bio, descriptions, promotions listed, etc.) and flesh out your social media platforms with photos.  Be sure to feature plenty of photos, logos, etc.

Claim Online and Local Listings

Now that you’ve created and updated your social media platforms, it’s time to find out where else your business is listed (or should be listed) online.  Yelp pages, Foursquare, Google Local, Manta, Trip Advisor, etc.  These are all places that your business may already be listed.  You want to have control of those pages.  If people are posting reviews, you definitely want to be able to respond.  Also, if generated business info isn’t correct, you want to be able to update it so people aren’t being sent to the wrong address or phone number.

Update Online and Local Listings

Once you’ve claimed, gained control, or created online listings for yourself you can update them.  This includes the same things you did for your social media platforms.  Update info, content, photos, and respond to reviews.

Create or Update Website

A huge factor to your online presence is your website.  This is your 2nd storefront (or first and only storefront if you don’t have a brick and mortar location).  This is the place that you are routing your customers to from your social media platforms and online listings. Make sure that it is user friendly, updated, and works for you.  If your website isn’t amazing, you should seriously consider updating it or redoing it.

Create a Marketing Plan

This is where you want to establish what your goals are.  Are you looking for more visibility? More engagement? Newsletter sign ups? Sales?  Tailor your marketing plan to meet your goals.

Start Marketing!

Get going! There are a lot of components that go into successful social media marketing and content marketing, which we’ll get to in a later article. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us!

Have you started a social media marketing campaign? What’s holding you back? Did you skip any steps that you need to go back and finish?  Interested in having someone handle all the moving pieces for you?  Does your process look different? Comment below!