How To Make Social Media Work For Your Business
Businesses small, medium and large alike understand that getting the word out to customers is essential. Whereas in times past broadcast and print media dominated the marketing efforts of businesses of all sizes, we have seen a shift to online marketing over the past 15 years as search engines, social media sites and corporate websites vie for the attention of the Internet searching public.
Advertising is expensive, a cost that you cannot avoid. Offering some measure of a level playing field is social media, a way for you to get the word out without any initial start up costs. This may sound too good to be true, but it is a fact: you can sign your business up to LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and a host of other social media platforms for free. Your only cost, at least initially, is the time you invest in engaging with your audience.
Let’s take a look at how you can invest your time to bring new customers to your business.
Social media is all about social interaction, a way for people from all around the world to gather together and to publish their thoughts on a share platform. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube represent user-driven platforms as do blogs. You will want to have your hand in each of these areas. Consider smaller or less known sites too: StumbleUpon, Quora, Reddit, Digg and Delicious may not be as large, but each one can offer the impact that your business needs.
Your objectives should be clear and concise, based on realistic expectations and measurable outcomes. That means knowing what you want to get from your social media efforts and developing a campaign based on actionable strategies. Your objective can be as general as getting new customers and as specific as bringing in more males in your area aged 25 to 34. Likely, your objectives will change as the impact of your social media efforts takes hold.
Your social media efforts are a collective work and should be tied together. For instance, your tweets on Twitter can automatically appear on Facebook. Your Facebook updates can be incorporated on your blog. Your LinkedIn interactions can be tweeted and your YouTube videos can be shared most anywhere. Learn what it takes to disseminate your information and create content that is linkable, sharable and above all else interesting and beneficial. What you do online is part of a collective, a global effort to share information across the world wide web.
You need to know your audience. These are the people that are interested in your product or service, individuals that can be converted into customers.
You can get demographics information from Google Analytics, making use of your User Report to pull up details about your site visitors. These people come to you through the search engines, from the social media sites and directly. Your User Report can tell you the age, gender and income of your site visitors as well as provide satisfaction scores. Understand the bounce rate — how often people leave your website for another site and track other behavior.
Google Analytics offers a wealth of useful information, details that can help strengthen your business. Learn how to compare your demographics over time and measure conversion rates too.
Know that you know what you need to do, you need to execute your strategy. This process can start off simply through opening a few social media accounts and beginning to post updates regularly on your blog. Through the various social media platforms, learn how to write out a profile, upload links, share updates, interact with other users and more. With blogging, you’ll want to establish a schedule of writing that your customers will expect, optimizing your articles for keyword strength and relevance.
Clearly, the social media arena is a broad one and can get much involved. You may find that you simply do not have enough time to do everything that you want to get done. Therefore, making use of other tools such as guest blogging, hiring a virtual assistant and using the services of an SEO consultant can relieve you of some of this burden.
With guest blogging, you can post guest contributing information right on your site, outlining the types of articles you would like to have featured. Offer a minimum word count and guidelines on your desired writing style. In return, you’ll provide a writer byline and a link back to their site.
A virtual assistant can help you handle those menial tasks you do not have time to handle yourself. Such professionals can respond to comments on your blog, engage with your social media followers and promote your site.
An SEO consultant can help take your business to the next level by optimizing your website to bring in more traffic. Your consultant may recommend redoing your website, adding in new content, marketing via different platforms and engaging in a marketing campaign. Services that can assist in this include, BestSEOCompanies.com who is a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.