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May 18, 2011
Some Things Can Be Half-@ssed...Your Online Presence Can't
 
As a working-from-home-Mom, I certainly know that some things just have to be half-assed. Multi-tasking requires that you don’t give 100% effort to one thing, but instead give a percentage of that effort to several things at one time. However, we all know there are some things that really require our complete attention and effort. Here are some things I have found that can/can’t be half-assed.
 
Dinner can be half-assed. No one cares if you slave over the food all day. It’s gone in seconds, and they would have been happier with take-out anyway. Spend time with your kids if you can and if they’ll let you.
 
House Cleaning can be half-assed. 50% effort leading to a 95% clean house is a much better use of your time than 100% for a 100% clean house. That’s just good math.
 
Your Online Marketing Plan can’t be half-assed. A vision statement, goals to reach, and a plan of execution is your road map to success. Your budget will determine where to focus your energies
 
Your Website can’t be half-assed. It’s not enough to merely have a virtual brochure on the Internet anymore. Your customers need to be delighted by the look and feel of your site, engaged to participate with the content, and rewarded for visiting your site — even if it’s just allowing them to upload a picture or post a comment. If you can, offer the convenience of online shopping for your product.
 
Social Media Marketing can’t be half-assed. I’m not saying to get in all the way or get out, but you’re not getting everything you can if you half-ass it. For example, you shouldn’t have the same thing posted to your Facebook page that you tweet. I admit; I do it. If the client isn’t paying me, and I can’t convince them to, I will hook up the Twitter app to the Facebook page to automatically tweet. I’ll even have the Wordpress blog post to Facebook and Twitter if that’s what they want, but it’s not good practice. It’s SOCIAL media. Come up with different content for each avenue as best as you can. Take the time to respond to comments on your blog and Facebook. Thank the people who retweet your content. The biggest challenge, when it comes to promoting your content on social media applications, is noise — all of the other people promoting their content. If you don’t engage with people, your content is just more noise.
 
Approaching your online presence with 100% effort can bring new leads, a bigger audience, and more opportunities for your business. Times are tight and if your small business doesn’t have the money to invest in a lot of advertising, invest it correctly by hiring a professional designer to design your website and your custom Facebook page. Then you need to learn how to use it. Update your website and social media posts frequently with content that your customers need to know. Post interesting information and offer deals to those who follow you. Remember — it’s an investment. Social media requires people to interact with your business, and in turn, interact with each other for this new-word-of-mouth advertising to work.

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Larissa Harris is a graphic designer, Web developer, and social media marketer. Read her blog, LarissaHarris.com; "like" her Facebook page; or follow her on Twitter
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