I understand that social media can be a little daunting, and you may not know where to start but I’m here today to give you a few simple pointers to make your journey easier.
First, you need to understand that integrating your business with the social networks is more than simply a trend; social media networks have grown into an integral part of any company’s marketing plan and you can no longer ignore social media. Unless your company or firm can afford to lose clients and customers to competitors, you need to take social media marketing seriously. So for those of you out there who could describe yourselves as “Socially Introverted” or in other words, those who haven’t launched a social media campaign, these tips can help you navigate the social frontier to effectively engage and win new clients and customers.
There are More Than 200 Social Media Sites — You Don’t Need Them All!
Holy cow! There are 200 social media sites? And this site lists over 750 worldwide. For businesses new to social networking, the idea of interacting on multiple websites, let alone hundreds of them, while getting daily business accomplished can seem like a daunting ordeal. Moreover, many small businesses may even fear the necessity of hiring additional staff just to maintain their social campaign. For many companies, a marketing professional at the helm of its social networking is a sound investment that garners great rewards. However, companies new to the social arena may simply test the waters with just one or two social media sites before tackling others. Off hand, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and Twitter’s new Vine opportunity attract the most businesses worldwide, but Pinterest is also a site that is winning a large business following.
So pick a few and get your feet wet. Don’t be scared. Registering with a site and posting information about your company and services is akin to placing your ad in the Yellow Pages. It certainly can’t detract from your business and, done right, can only help. These sites generate immense traffic from people that are looking for business information on social media sites. If a social profile simply links them to a business website, it is worth your time to register and check in now and again (at least).
Give a Little, Get a Lot
Social media websites can be a great place to offer digital coupons or special offers that drum up business. Not only do such offerings advertise a business or brand, they provide that actionable ticket that gets people to your doors or online store. Not every business utilizes social media sites to offer coupons, certainly; however, many do use the site for promotional offerings or events that are effective at drawing business. This could be a useful way to draw new traffic to a new social media profile.
Get a Widget
Once you take the plunge into social media and decide to start posting on your blog, or for those who post new content on their websites regularly, you can further optimize your content by sharing it, you can optimize more effectively for social media simply by employing a widget or badge that allows others to “share” this content on their social networks. Let’s say your company sells solar powered ceiling fans and you post an article on the benefits of this great solar feature. Anyone who reads this piece on your site can simply click a button to share this helpful information throughout their network. Cool huh? And don’t be afraid to share your own content. Digg it, stumble it, reddit, like it. Not only does this feature allow the article to easily be shared with the digital universe, it also promotes your company along the way and all you did was write a useful post. ShareThis is an easy tool to employ that gets your business on the social scene with very little hassle for the business itself.
Share Your Own Content
Don’t want to take the widget route. That’s okay. An alternative to the widget is taking a more proactive route and posting the information about your business or related business content on the social networks yourself. This same solar ceiling fan seller could potentially generate interest for itself with a simple post: “Want to know how to save money this summer?” and then describe three ways solar powered ceiling fans save homeowners money. No sweat, easy cheesy. The content can be designed however you see fit, but even the blandest appearance on social media sites is better than none at all. Moreover, by generating responses to posted content, a company can gauge what interests its readership and learn to market accordingly.
While some companies remain hesitant about the benefits of a social media campaign, others have discovered that “shares” and “likes” aside, there are some real SEO benefits to be gained from the social spectrum. If social networking could help your company web site move up in Google search results, shouldn’t you at least register? Keyword optimization is as important for your social profiles as it is for your network. Ideally, your social profile will act as a gateway to your business website. It’s simply a portal, but a popular and free portal at that. If your company still prefers to shy away from social interaction on these sites, you may still find the creation of an SEO-friendly profile can lead to additional traffic — and no company should discount this method of traffic-building in this digital age. Increased traffic to a business’s site can lead to increased Google page rankings, too.
While many businesses remain puzzled about what a social appearance could do for their business, other businesses are defining this marketing avenue for themselves. Choosing to use them and think about them in creative marketing ways is one way to begin to market on a digital stage. Social sites offer a myriad of professional ways to communicate and engage with current and prospective clients. Plus, registration is free. What on earth could your business lose and how much could it potentially gain by ramping up its social?