Social Media Marketing
"You need to be on social media."
It's a phrase most of us have heard a thousand times. Maybe you're still not convinced your company needs it. Maybe you set up accounts with good intentions, but you found that your commitment to social media has tapered off.
Whatever the cause, we'd like you to consider taking a fresh look.
Social media is like a conversation between your sales staff or frontline personnel and your customers and prospects. Even though social media is can be less formal than other methods of reaching customers, it should still consistently reflect your brand voice.
Each social media platform has a distinct personality that mirrors the way your customers want to be talked to:
- Twitter is short and sweet.
- LinkedIn is professional.
- Facebook is chatty.
- Instagram and Youtube are visual.
Your customers and prospects will pick the platform based on how they want to receive information. Because of this, you ideally need to be on each platform to maximize your visibility.
An added benefit of having a corporate presence on each platform is that you can monitor conversations that others may be having about your company. This will allow you to nip misconceptions in the bud or respond to criticism before comments get out of control.
Another great reason for being on each platform and consistently providing original content that adds value to followers is that it enhances your SEO and supports your brand.
How Social Media Affects Your SEO
From the SEO/in-house marketing standpoint, being on social media helps to:
Typically, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are seen as the three “go to” platforms. However, there are others that could be equally beneficial for your company to implement in order to boost your marketing strategy.
- Increase your brand's exposure and authority
- Drive traffic to your website
- Learn more about your audience in order to create better content
- Educate your followers
- Gain your followers trust
- Stay top of mind for when someone is ready to buy
In today’s social media focused world, having a Facebook business page is critical. Many people will try to search for your company on Facebook before they go to a search engine to look for your website.
From the company standpoint, Facebook allows you to add a lot of helpful information to your bio such as location, phone number, email address, company description, hours of operation, and much more. Facebook also lets you post content in the form of “wall posts” to help educate and build trust with your audience. These posts also help direct traffic back to your website whether it is through a link to a blog post, a CTA, or any other page on your website.
From a visitors point of view, Facebook not only lets prospects/customers/affiliates comment on your wall/posts to engage with others, they can also leave reviews. How a company responds to each comment and review helps to shape a visitors opinions about the customer service of the business.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is great for sharing content. Not only should a business account share original content that directs traffic to the website, they should also make a habit of sharing appropriate content from others and work to engage with other users.
If a prospects/customers/affiliates have something good or bad to say about a company, they are likely to reach out through a public space like Twitter rather than going to the website, emailing or calling directly. Fires can start and spread on Twitter quickly. Thus, your company should not only have a Twitter account, you must have monitoring guidelines set and followed regularly.
The only snag with Twitter is that your posts need to be kept short. You are only allowed to compose a tweet that has up to 140 characters. So don’t waste space by adding a long URL; use a platform such as Bitly to shorten your links and make the most of your tweets.
LinkedIn is the leading professional branding platform for both your personal and company brand.
A LinkedIn company page showcases your business and is the platform for the future updates. When you establish your business page, you should fill out your company profile, that can include a description of your company, specialties, website link, industry, type, location, size, and date founded. If you have more than one location, LinkedIn allows you to add up to five of them on one company page.
By creating a company page, you and your employees can also link to the company page when updating the "Experience" section on their personal profiles. This linking, in turn, allows you and your employees to serve as "ambassadors for your company" and broadening your social reach. Because of this, we recommend making sure all of your employees have optimized their personal profiles.
LinkedIn also allows you to assign managers (administrators) to your company page. This is helpful because it allows your team to access the page from their personal accounts to publish company posts and make changes to the page as necessary.
Google is the leading search engine today. Because Google really likes when people use their platforms, having a business page is very important. On Google+ you are able to create a custom profile, post content to your wall, and engage with others.
A great benefit of posting on Google+ is that everything you post is immediately indexed by Google. This means that if someone searches for something specific, your website may not appear, but your Google+ post might! This helps your SEO immensely.
Having a location page for your business also helps you to appear in Google Map searches. If you own a business with more than one location, you should have one Google+ page for each location. You can also choose to create a brand, organization, or artist page.
Yelp is the largest local review app and website. Yelpers (yelp users) use the app/website to review any business whether the business is aware that they have a listing on it or not.
It is important for a business to claim their listing for a number of reasons.
First, the business will gain control over the information added to the listing such as physical and web address, phone number, email address, hours of operation, and other such important topics, to ensure that they are accurate and kept up to date.
Second, the company will be able to respond to customer reviews, whether they are positive or negative, to show that the business has good customer service.
Third, an active Yelp listing helps boost SEO. The listing will show up in the first few search results on google. Having the link to your website on Yelp will help direct traffic.
Instagram is a visual based social media platform that allows users to post images and videos up to 60 seconds in length. This platform is great for sharing images and videos of your products, your team, and anything else you deem appropriate to help to raise awareness about your product or brand. It also allows you to show off the human side of your company.
Similar to Facebook and Google+, Instagram allows you to add lengthy descriptions to each post. While there hasn’t been an official limit, you really don’t want to write a book as your description. In the description area you can also use hashtags (up to 30!) and tag other Instagram users.
One small downside to Instagram is that URL’s in your photo/video descriptions are not clickable. You can still share URL’s in your post descriptions, but they will just take up space. A small work around for this is to update the URL in your bio to the link you that want to promote. Just keep in mind, if you share an image for a sale on a specific item, and then add a description that says something along the lines of, “Click the link in our bio to view the item in our shop!” you will need to go back later and edit that image description to something more accurate when you have changed the bio link to promote something else.
Youtube is a platform strictly for video. From a company standpoint, you can upload any type of video that you want; product demonstrations, commercials, employee interviews, discuss your company's FAQ’s, and so on. Of course Youtube also allows you to have a profile page where you can enter things such as your company name, profile image, cover image, and a description of your channel.
Ideally, your Youtube channel should be linked to your company Google+ page. Don’t worry if you page wasn’t linked from the start, you can go in and link the Youtube account to a Google+ account after the Youtube account has already been established. You can also change the owner of the page and assign managers in the settings under “Add or remove managers”.
Youtube is also great because you can take the video code and embed it on your website. This avoids a locally embedded video from hogging too much of your bandwidth.
Is Your Company or Brand Effectively Using Social Media?
Whether you’re already established and just want help with an account revamp, or if you are a “newbie” and need help determining which platforms your business should be on, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.
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