With more and more businesses working on creating a stellar online presence, the discussion has shifted from whether or not to have one, to how to stand out in the crowded online space. Standing above your peers is challenging, but possible. These tips will get you started.

1. Get on Social Media 

69% of Americans are social media users. Now, imagine the potential this creates. The possibilities are endless. You can use this platform to make announcements, to create a buzz about your upcoming events and changes in management, answer questions and comments as well as start and have organic discussions with your audience.

Among the key things to keep in mind are:

• Respond to all comments and questions, both negative and positive.
• Make all information on your platforms shareable to increase the possibilities of users sharing and increasing your visibility.
• Link your social media to your website, and your site to your social media.
• Extend customer care onto your social media platforms, such that it can be a channel to resolve customer issues as well as an information platform.
• Be mindful of what you post. For one, steer clear of highly emotive subjects such as religion, politics and so on. These might turn off sections of your audience.

2. Focus on Your Website 

A company website is pivotal in creating an online presence. Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design says that “To compete and grow in today’s digital economy, you must have a compelling website”. On top of creating a great website, you must optimize it for SEO. It may be challenging for most businesses to keep up with the ever-changing SEO algorithm changes but there are SEO tools and software to aid you.

3. Actively Look For Reviews 

An astounding 90% of consumers look at online reviews before visiting a business.
This is why this matters. The presence –or lack-of online reviews for your business affects how your business appears in search results.

Google for one, have what they call “high review velocity.” This ranks businesses with more reviews more prominently. This also goes for companies that are reviewed numerous times. Remember you want your brand to show up easily over and above your competitors. Reviews are one way to get your name on the internet.

As a business, actively request for reviews across your online networks. As much as possible, target happy customers to leave reviews. Not only does this make you more visible online, but also it adds an element of trust for people who are learning about your business for the first time.

Think of it this way; a company website has information crafted to make the company look good. However, reviews are objective and genuine evaluations of a company’s products and services.

4. Play Games 

Business games that is. Consider fun activities that create a wild buzz online. These could be competitions, ruffles and so on. Something that creates a frenzy in your niche market and makes people look for you.

When they do, ensure everything from your website to your products are positioned perfectly to hold on to your new found fame.

5. Reveal Who You Are 

Create multiple opportunities for people to know who you are and what you do and that you do it better than everyone else. Passion attracts customers. You can use offline activities such as roadshows, fun fairs, exhibitions, CSR and recruitment drives to direct traffic to your online tools. The goal here is to be visible and make people curious about you.

Figure out what’s missing from what your competitors are offering, and how you fill the void, then make noise about it. With any luck, their curiosity will lead back to your website and social media tools.

In essence, it is important to keep learning and implementing various strategies to stand out from the herd. You have to keep reinventing yourself to hold on to the top spot.