Social media marketing contributes to the search engine optimisation of your website by building an awareness of your existence. The more rich and useful the content you share, the more value you add to people’s lives, and the more stock they put in that value. You want your followers not only to read your content, but also to share it around their own circle of influence.
It is very important to bear in mind with this is that it takes time to build your following. Consistent commitment to it is fundamental to your success.
Social media marketing is meant to convert browsers into buyers. That means that you need to get people to take action in a way that benefits your organisation – but you have to do it in a way that is not hard-sell. A call to action is a motivational boost rather than a demand for something. Getting that right is key to converting your followers.
Consistent updates on your Facebook business page are necessary to keep your following interested. However, having a strategically focused campaign will keep people coming back for the next chapter in the story you are telling them. The stories you are spinning should be based around the focus of your marketing campaign and must be people-centric.
If you are currently concerned about the lack of following on your Facebook page, fear not! With a focused strategy and consistent updates, you will start to see it grow over time. Make sure that the story you tell reaches your target audience by making it relevant to those who you want to speak to. There are two things to remember here:
- Don’t bombard people with information all in one go; they need time to digest each piece you send out.
- Respond to any and every comment you get, as this will help your followers to feel connected with you.
Considering that the Internet opens you up to doing business with anyone, anywhere, who has a connection to the World Wide Web, there is always a chance that some of your interested followers will not speak your language. Luckily Facebook has taken this into account by adding a ‘translate this’ functionality which allows you to translate from or to any number of languages. You could bring this to the attention of your readers every once in a while by writing ‘don’t forget you can translate these posts to read in your own language by clicking on the link below’ on your wall.
As you update your Facebook, so must you update your Twitter feed. Engaging with people relevant to your organisation or cause will build your following fairly quickly. There are two ways you can draw attention to your tweets:
- By using @ followed by the Twitter handle of the person you want to engage with, such as @aXentweb, and then write your short message to them.
- Use hashtags (#) to include your comments or links in a wider conversation. So for example #ContentMarketing will link you to everyone who is talking about the subject of content marketing. People searching for your hashtags topics will find your tweets.
In your tweets you can add links to all sorts of information including your website, your blog posts, your Facebook page, other people’s relevant articles, photos, motivational quotes and inspiration.
Responding to followers is expected, and the more personal you can make your response, the better it is received. The more interactive you are, the more followers you will get in a shorter period of time.
This particular platform is fantastic for any organisation that uses imagery regularly. If you have photographs of your business or products, this is the place to pin them. Images linked to articles on your website are an effective way to promote awareness of your online presence while also engaging with your audience and potential audience.
Pinterest is essentially a virtual pin board on which people can pin images that educate, inform, inspire or entertain in anyway. People can pin any images they find online onto their pin board. The implications of this are significant, since it means that anyone can engage with and share your content, whether or not they follow you specifically on Pinterest.
You can also create great infographics and share inspirational or motivational sayings, which are renowned for their sharing potential. Because of the way Pinterest enables the spreading of imagery, it is easy to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. It’s simple: pictures capture the imagination.
LinkedIn is a professional to professional platform that acts as a CV as well as a place to interact with people in similar areas of expertise or business interest.
One of the most important aspects of this platform is your profile: you must ensure that it is a full as it can be of your professional achievements, as well as any possible relevant links to your work. You can use LinkedIn to search for jobs, or find employees. You can share content on it, and you can use it to network with other professionals in your industry, and solicit prospective clients.
There is also the option to pay for LinkedIn Premium Services, which opens you up to a good deal more sophistication in terms of what is available to you on the platform, as well as the searches that you can do for jobs or employees. In particular, the blog functionality offered by the premium package is an invaluable tool for a professional business looking to expand its reach through online marketing.
Google+ is a fairly new platform in social networking terms, having been launched in 2011, but it is growing fast. Also, it is created by and linked intrinsically to Google, which is the most powerful search engine currently available. Being active on Google+ will give you organisation a boost in organic Google search and set you above those who are not registered with the network.
To interact on Google+ you need to create circles of interest and then engage the people in your circles in discussions on relevant topics. You can do this by posting articles, commenting on articles, and posting questions. You can join hangouts, get involved with communities, upload photos and create pages.
You need to create a person profile and then link your business page to that, very much like you do with Facebook. The difference with Google+ is that the two are much more closely linked and harder to separate. Once you have your profiles and have joined or created relevant circles, you must, once again, start interacting if you are going to increase you influence on Google+.
These five are the most common social networking sites used by businesses to leverage their potential. This is, however, far from an exhaustive list of potential social networking tools that you can use. Part two of this post will include another few examples and how they can also be used to increase your circle of influence on the World Wide Web.
Which social media platform gives you the best return on investment? And which of these sites do you find the most user-friendly?