January 26, 2012
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A Common Business Scenario:
A customer walks into your store (or visits your online store), you greet them nicely (or welcome them to a user-friendly landing page), and have your best selling products on display, but they don’t buy.
Would you approach them and demand an immediate return on your investment (ROI)?
Of course not!
The same is true for social media.
Social media has the power to do huge things for your company – it can improve search engine optimization (SEO), act as a branding tool, and more. But first, you must put forth the effort in order to expect great things in return. Get past your social media slump and ask not, “what Facebook can do for your small business, but what you can do for the Facebook community.”
Here is the truth about what you should and should not expect from social media as an online marketing tool.
1. Don’t expect to “Sell, Sell, Sell” by inundating prospects with promotions.
Promo code, promo code, promo code. You’re probably aggravating your current fans and steering potential users away. You won’t become successful in social media by simply promoting your business and its products. Social networking is not a platform meant for abrupt self-promotion. You must engage. And to do that, you should communicate openly with customers about things that matter to them.
Construct a daily social media content plan. Utilize online analytical tools, including GoogleInsights, to track and compare industry related trends. And invest in viral, engagement social media campaigns to upgrade your online marketing efforts.
2. Don’t expect to use social media as your only form of marketing and PR.
Think of social media as a vehicle, not the destination. Search is still ‘king’ in terms of marketing your company online. Your website should be the hub of your business activities — properly tagged and coded for optimal search results.
Don’t expect Facebook or Twitter to completely replace this crucial aspect of online marketing. Studies indicate that over 61% of consumers are searching for businesses on Google, Yahoo and various search engines. In other words, more than half of consumers will search for your products and services online, therefore your web presence must be properly managed, measured and marketed to ensure that you’re ‘spotted’ in the right place (online) at the right time (when users are searching).
Take a more realistic approach. Instead of relying fully on social media, link social media efforts to your main business objective.
3. Do expect better search engine optimization (SEO).
When you integrate social media into existing online marketing you instantly increase site traffic and backlinks, thereby improving your Google ranking.
Get started and streamline all of your social media networks with consistent usage of your logo, bio, keywords, vanity URL’s, etc. Here are a few social media integration tips that you should consider to improve SEO:
a. Unify keywords across social media platforms, blogs and websites with Google’s Keyword Tool
b. Provide your website URL on all social media networks
c. Encourage employees to “Share” business content
d. Add a “Share” button on your company blog
e. Properly name your social media profiles for consistency
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