The popularity of social media isn’t just for fun: it’s a fantastic tool for marketing. Whatever your business, you should be taking advantage of social networking as a way to build your audience, maintain loyalty, extend your brand, and grow your market share.
Google Ranks Social Links Higher
Google has acknowledged that it’s algorithm for link crawling has been tweaked to focus more on social media. Remember, Google’s primary angle is to provide those who use its search services with the most relevant content – not to serve as a means of promoting sites. In other words, they’re serving the searcher, not the business.
This is why quality content is so important in search engine optimization (SEO). Google is constantly revising the algorithm to better serve searchers, and it is up to marketers to keep up and to develop new strategies to build their ranking.
In terms of social media sites, this means posting things which your customers will want to share and comment on, as well as making them look forward to your postings. Below, you’ll find more detail about what kinds of posts are best.
Help Your Visitors to Share
There are literally hundreds of social media sites and you simply can’t maintain a presence on all of them. However, you should provide a way for visitors to your website to share or link to your content on any site they wish.This is a sharing platform providing a widget which your site visitors can use to share content directly from your page. It is constantly being updated to keep up with the fast-moving world of social media.
This buttons are available for websites, most blogging platforms, and mobile OS. You can choose from various formats which can also be further customized. Updates are easy, too. The platform is highly recommended because it keeps visitors on your page instead of having to switch away to share something.
Develop Your Strategy
The key to being successful with social media marketing is participation. People like social media because they like being able to interact with each other and with the brands they like. If you have a Facebook profile (for example) but you never post anything and don’t respond to comments, you might actually be doing yourself a disservice, because
Hand in hand with this concept goes the idea that you can’t spread yourself too thin across social media. You simply don’t have the time to keep up with a lot of sites.
The most popular sites are Facebook and Twitter.
Choose one or two of these to start with so you can focus on developing a strong presence. Once you have got your social media marketing feet wet, and you’re well into a routine with your original sites, you can add a few more if you want to. Just be careful not to end up spending more time than is cost-effective on your social media.
YouTube is often included in the general genre of social media, because of the similar way in which content is shared. Making interesting videos is a creative way to promote yourself, and if you’re lucky, it will take off and be widely shared. Search engines do pick up on keywords in embedded video code, so be sure to take advantage of this.
Budget Your Time
Time is money, after all. In order to prevent yourself from spending too much time on social media, produce a calendar and set out precisely how much time you will spend and when. This will also help you to keep a regular routine of posting and commenting.In fact, structuring the time you spend on all your marketing tasks using a calendar is a great way to stay organized.
Plan to visit your social media sites at least once a week. Two or three times a week is probably even better, especially for fast-moving sites like Facebook. Spend no more than an hour posting and reading and responding to comments.
What to Post
What you post will depend to some extent on the sort of business you are marketing, but some generalizations are possible.
Your content should be something that is interesting and relevant to your target audience and should be friendly, not overly sales-y. Make it fun and compelling. New products or services, special offers, and new blog posts should all be highlighted with a post to social media.
Contests are a great way to engage your followers and get them excited about your brand. You can even give them an extra entry for sharing your post on their own profile, which can lead to hundreds of potential new customers.
Another common method of social media marketing is to offer a coupon code or discount for just your followers. Because social media moves so fast, you can have very short-term sales, down to a few hours. Customers will be thrilled to be part of an elite group.
Images and videos attract the eye more than text-only posts do. Use them often (just be sure that you have permission if you don’t hold the copyright).
Do include a call to action and a link to the relevant page of your website. Avoid as much as possible linking to your home page. So-called “deep links” – those which point to pages other than the home page – are ranked more highly by search engine bots.
Be sure to read the comments that your followers post, and make a point of responding to a few so they feel you’re engaging with them.
Besides direct marketing techniques, your use of social media will allow you to network with others in the same and related fields. You may find some wonderful resources which you otherwise wouldn’t have. As you develop relationships with others, you will open up new opportunities for cross linking, back linking, guest blogging, and other methods of spreading external links. External links not only boost your SEO but are also effective in the old-fashioned way: getting your name out there in front of people who fit your target audience demographic.
Use Your Analytics
Be sure that you have good analytics and that you use them. You need to know where your traffic is coming from so you can maximize the good sources and drop the things that aren’t working for you. Some of these tools may seem complicated to you at first, but it is well worth your effort to learn how to use and interpret them. Otherwise you are holding yourself back from success.
Social media is a powerful and essential part of your marketing toolkit. If you haven’t been using it, or using it to its fullest potential, you need to change that. Spend some time every week interacting with your customers and their friends to build loyalty and gain market share.
This provides free analytics and tools which you can use even if you aren’t using their widget. You’ll see your daily shares and clicks, and which of your content is gathering the most traffic. Charts make it easy to visualize the data.
Google analytics are the classic resource. For good reason, too, as they are powerful. You can filter your site traffic by source (e.g. YouTube.com), and see how many conversions are coming from social media. A new tool lets you run content experiments to determine which combinations of content (headline, graphics, copy, offer, and call to action) lead to the most conversions.