Your web strategy, Facebook, Twitter, or not?

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If you are a follower of Widex Ireland, you know that I post some content and tweet a lot of links pertaining to social media and web presence. In my recent posts here I have been discussing these concepts and the strategies around them.
Whilst I was writing the last post I touched upon the concept of web presence strategy, or online strategy. I actually realised that some people neither have one or completely understand what the phrase means or how it refers to their online presence.
For instance, on the Widex Ireland channels my strategy is to connect to both my customers and indeed end users through several online media channels, the Widex Ireland blog, facebook, my space, youtube and twitter to be exact. Oh and probably Google Plus when they role out the business pages, they’re busy, probably just slipped their minds! The underlying strategy and overall long term goal is to build a community of both Dispensers and end users for Widex internationally.
I also wish to positively affect these peoples buying decisions and increase their perception of and loyalty to, my adopted brand. Those are my long term goals and overall strategy, in order to attain this I have to apply and follow clear tactical guidelines and actions.
Chief among these guidelines for me would be:
  • Honest, human interaction with all my followers
  • Good, well written, factual and clear content
  • Content that is of interest to my target market
  • Honest and immediate interaction with my followers
  • Educational content
The tactical actions I take pertaining to these guidelines are:
  • Regular tweets of own content
  • Regular re-tweets of content of interest
  • Cross platform posting of tweets to Facebook
  • Regular posts on the blog
  • Cross platform postings of the blog to Twitter
  • Uploading of videos to youtube and cross platform posting of same
  • Rapid response to queries or complaints
  • Engagement with followers and thought leaders
My online presence is multi platform because this allows me to reach as many possible followers as I can. However, this approach is time consuming and challenging. There are several tools that allow me to reduce the time I spend on our presence, however, they do not reduce the challenge of posting diverse and intelligent content. Stop laughing at the back please, Wesley Miller said I was intelligent, although, he was giggling at the time?
Do not forget, I am endeavouring to cater to two very different audiences, Dispensing professionals and end users.They both demand differing information around the same topics. This is a constant challenge for me, I need to design content that will be of interest to both audiences on a regular basis if I indeed want to carry both audiences along with me on my travels.
It is indeed not always possible, for instance this post and the last few preceding ones on this site have been part of my business support ethos. Your average end user has no real interest in applying an online strategy. The closest they tend to get to online strategy is remembering not to post on facebook drunk, although that is indeed one of my own closely held strategies.  The average Dispenser probably would like to know about online business strategies.
I began this my personal blog because some people shied away from the Widex Ireland blog because of its obvious links to a manufacturer. Also because this is my personal blog I can be slightly more free with my insights and suggestions because they do not reflect on my parent company. That is something that I feel is important, I have the deepest respect for Widex and its ethos and business ethics and would not want any slip of my tongue to affect it.
I have barely touched the surface of my online strategy for my company and indeed the use of social media to service that strategy. it is a subject that is exhaustive, I wish just to give bare outlines and indeed the points I think are imperative.
Before you move forward with any online strategy, I would caution you to think carefully about what the long term goals of that strategy are? I would then clearly lay out the steps that you will take to attain those long term goals. The question you should clearly ask yourself is, why do I want a website, or facebook page, or Twitter account? If the answer is because my competitor has one, then you will do yourself a great disservice by obtaining one.
The initial step that should be taken by any business is the fundamental one, the foundation that all of your presence will be built on, your website. You need to treat your website as a living document, it should constantly change and evolve. Acceptable webpage design even as little as two years ago is now very dated looking. Has your webpage design been updated in the last year, if not, why not?
I am speaking of your content here, not even your site design, your business regularly has events in its yearly life cycle, such as marketing campaigns, product offers, new additions to your price list, changes in your price list etc. These are ideal opportunities to update your site, keeping your content fresh.
In fact, in order to keep your site high on page one of the search engines returns, you need to update your content regularly with a view to constantly changing keywords and tags to reflect current search terms. This alone should drive you to tend your website carefully and often. These regime should include careful and honest assessment of your site design.
If it looks dated, change it, include a news segment that is regularly updated with cross links to an offers page where you keep your latest practice offers updated. Add a blog page that you update with content on a regular basis, the content you can use is endless, but always put your own spin on it. A viewer will spot canned content a mile away and their perception of you will be affected.
Always remember, you are dealing with the perceptions of not only existing, but prospective customers. Their perceptions of you are implicitly your top priority. their perceptions are what will make them pick you as a provider or indeed move on to somebody else.
The foundation step, before you move into any social networks is to ensure your website is right for you, ensure it represents you as you would like it to.
Included in the preceding paragraphs is an outline of how I utilise several on line platforms, my web-presence, to achieve my long term strategy. The question is, what is your long term web-presence strategy and how will you achieve it?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

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