Does my business really need social media?
Absolutely! The simple truth is that social media matters to businesses because it matters to consumers. There’s no doubt that social media and the Internet have changed the way we communicate, interact, and make consumer decisions. Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogging, is currently the number one online activity, with the average consumer spending over 4.6 hours a week on social networking sites.
That being said, not every business’ social media strategy should be the same, or needs to be major part of their overall marketing strategy. The best approach is to develop a comprehensive online marketing plan, incorporating both your website and social media efforts (not to mention online media buying, such as banner ads, pay-per-clicks, and premium business listings; but that’s a whole additional topic for a separate article). With 93% of adult U.S. Internet users on Facebook, and with more than half of active Twitter users following companies, brands, or products on social networks, every business needs social media to develop an online presence. Let us not forget about YouTube, with over 1 trillion views in 2011, and Google+, an integral part of the search-engine giant. But enough with statistics; let’s take a look at a few ways your business can be effective in the major areas of social media:
Add your company website link, list of services, and other relevant information about your business
Title your Facebook page, custom URL, and custom tabs properly (they are indexed as Heading 1 titles; very important for search engines)
Develop custom tab/app pages consisting of keyword-rich text (indexed with more importance than wall posts)
Post keyword-rich text on your wall on a regular basis
Add images of products as well as company photos
Create engaging, interesting posts that your fans/followers will be more inclined to share or interact with
Brand and customize your profile look and background, and be sure to add your company website link/list of services and other information about your business
Tweet about trending topics related to your business
Use hash-tags (#) when talking about important topics related to your business (keywords)
Share recent articles you’ve written, blog posts, awards your business has won, and other news (link to your blog or website as much as possible)
Build a network by following other Twitter users who are interested in similar topics
Produce how-to videos that have the potential to go viral and create goodwill towards your brand
Create video tours to show off your office space, or give a behind-the-scenes look at your business
Show off your products through demo videos
Brand and customize your profile look and background, and add your company website link/social media links, as well as information about your business
Add keyword-rich titles, descriptions, and tags to your videos
Follow many of the same guidelines for postings/use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but do it better… after all, this social network is linked to the all-important search engine giant that countless people use to make purchase and service decisions everyday
Use Google+ Sparks to keep up to date on relevant topics, and frequently share these updates with your network
Use Google Circles to organize your contacts and share content with the appropriate groups
Use Google Hangouts to host video conferences online and promote your expertise and knowledge
Integrate the +1 button in your marketing efforts, and use it to make recommendations to others/cross-promote
Build your network, increasing exposure to you and your brand
Use various areas of your profile to focus on keywords
Promote your blog posts
Create groups around key topics to discuss with like-minded professionals
Pin eye-catching photos, related to your keywords, that link back to your website
Turn a phrase or keyword into an attractive graphic that can be linked to a blog post and repined by others
Post interesting news tidbits, tips, and products from other companies in order to build a following
Use key phrases on your board
Utilize other social networks, like Facebook, to feed your following
To make utilizing social media easier, it may be helpful to manage multiple profiles through a social media manager, such as, Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
All this information can be overwhelming, and you might not feel all of it relates to your brand. However, with the wealth of possibilities these internet giants have there is definitely some way a solid social media strategy can positively impact your brand.
Whatever age group, socio-economic class, educational background, or geographic community your customers fall into; across the board social media matters, so make sure it matters to your business!