SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGY
Internet marketing depends on your ability to take advantage of multiple sites and spread yourself around as much as possible, while still retaining a legitimacy of profile and interest, i.e., posting nonsense or sales pitches won’t cut it. It’s important to understand that the more information about your company there is on the internet, the more potential business you can create. Your efforts will be greatly rewarded in the long term. Posting once or twice or even five times isn’t the right game plan. Posting every week or even more frequently is, as long as the content is meaningful. There are some techniques, or “tricks”, to expand your presence that are easy to implement and will pay huge dividends.
Open accounts and set up pages on the four major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (if your products and services relate to business), or Pinterest if you are focused on the consumer market. A new player, Nextdoor.com, has appeared and we are finding excellent response to that site; it’s not in all markets yet and some types of business may find it unappealing, but for retail, the trades, and other consumer areas, it is excellent.
A big part of your message is your website itself. After all, when people see your post, ideally, they will click through to your website to “Read More…” or to see if you have something they may be interested in. So, ensuring that your website is an attractive vehicle for introduction to your company is important. A few simple reminders:mer market. A new player, Nextdoor.com, has appeared and we are finding excellent response to that site; it’s not in all markets yet and some types of business may find it unappealing, but for retail, the trades, and other consumer areas, it is excellent.our major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (if your products and services relate to business), or Pinterest if you are focused on the consu
• It should be visually attractive. If your site hasn’t been redesigned in the last five years, that’s too long and it should be overhauled to reflect the latest trends and marketing nuances, and it needs to be responsive (if you’re not sure what that is, it’s definitely time. Page load speed, SSL security, etc. all need to be reviewed.
• If your site is using AJAX or Flash, they need to be replaced. In their day, these technologies helped produce attractive sites, but those days are gone, and those technologies are no longer useful.
• Placing your products and services into visual boxes or adding attractive lists is important. Ideally, a viewer can see and click through to their area of interest in one click.
• Having strong “call to action” prompts is vital; phone number at the top, isolated “Contact” button or simple form visible is important (check your mobile version to make sure the phone number appears right at the top. Likely 70% or more of your viewer/searchers are using smartphones!).
The first impression is very important, so make sure it is a good one (we have actually doubled and tripled conversion rates by redesigning the pages or creating new landing pages). Customers who visit your website for the first time are generally looking for something specific or want to see what you have to offer (but keep in mind they will “visually inspect”, not read, to determine if you offer something they want). Making your home page (where approximately 70% of viewers/searchers land) will help form their opinion of your company and your products and services. Enabling these viewers to “find their way” and understand what you stand for is vitally important.
So, back to posting. What will you post? Two simple rules: one, make it topical, i.e., something the viewer might be interested in right now; and, two, focus, focus, focus. You always have a second audience, the search engines, so you want to focus on important keywords for your business and include “keyword phrases” in whatever you write. Your article or post can help you connect with members of your target audience. As you become adept at using social media, you’ll find it easier to customize your postings and accommodate your audience (actually both audiences, if you include the search engines). Use the tips provided in this article to boost business; success with your Internet marketing efforts/activities.
A good source for determining what is topical is to use Google Trends. It will list subject matter and how many people are searching for that topic. Topics do not have to be about your business, i.e. if you’re a roofing company, an article about improved roadways or a recent community event can be a good topic. You can introduce your roofing services in the last paragraph pointing out you’re local and ready to evaluate their roofs or any leaking issues.
Being active on social media will increase your customer base, but it is not necessarily a “short term” game. On important aspect is for you to gain followers, likes, and even email addresses. These can be used for sales and “push” notifications. These people are an important source of future business. Allowing your customers an opportunity to leave feedback others will see is kind of an online “word of mouth”.
Two ideas for expanding your potential or “reach” was mentioned. Here they are:
1. Use IFTTT (www.ifttt.com) to automatically generate abstracts from your article postings on your website. If you’re not familiar with IFTTT, we can work with you to set it up. This will allow you to automatically repost to 20-30 social media sites when you post something on your website (this article is being reposted on that basis). This will geometrically expand your reach.
2. Identify and repost into Facebook groups. You can find groups of several hundred members to hundreds of thousands of group members (and these members in turn can repost to their followers who can number in the hundreds to tens of thousands). Lok for affinity groups, i.e., people who live in your area, people who use your products or services, organizations that cater to people who utilize your products or services.
Hopefully this information is useful. Social media marketing isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be time consuming. We would be glad to discuss with you acting as your social media representative. It’s not terribly expensive, as little as $500 a month, and it removes the burden from your shoulders. The results, long-term, are worth it.
You should re-evaluate your website on a periodic basis. Again, your website is the first impression many of your prospects will form about your company. See how we can help.
Looking at, and analyzing, what your competitors are doing is a useful exercise and can lead to meaningful insights. Include their websites, keywords, and postings in your review. If you can determine what they are doing that you are not, it is the first step for improving your marketing efforts. Also, where you see gaps in their marketing strategy can provide insights into what you might want to emphasize to build on the advantage that you have.