Are you using social media tools to boost your SEO and relationship marketing power? More businesses than ever are hopping onto the social media bandwagon. Social media works for your business in several ways. Read on to find out why you need to be using it for your business.
What is It?
There are dozens of social media tools that exist online and many can do a number of things for your business. Social media, first referred to a few years ago as Web 2.0, helped many businesses change the way they did their online marketing as it helped everyone realize that the Internet was about user experience. Web 2.0 enabled an easier than ever way to reach customers and prospective customers and actually build meaningful relationships with them. Web 2.0 meant a whole new way of launching new products, of permission-based marketing, of data mining, and of connecting with your customers.
Build a Following
Social media helps businesses reach people. Your social media accounts can help you build a following --- a captive audience that listens to your updates. This can help you share news and information and provide value add to your customers. It can propel your readers to action (clicking a link, signing up for a subscription, clicking a ‘buy now’ button, and so on) and it can help you create your online brand, building credibility for your business expertise.
The viral power of social media is one of the things that makes it most advantageous to businesses. By using it, your following could share your links and updates with those that follow them, and so on.
Boost Your SEO
Search engines pay a lot of attention to social media. By linking to your business through your social profiles you increase your search engine optimization power. As your followers link to you and show approval for what you are posting about, this can be read as a popularity vote for your niche, propelling your website up past your competition.
Social marketing tools have great business intelligence capabilities as well. If you want to know more about your industry, your competitors, and your prospects, many of these tools can help you mine for that information.
Here are some tips to help you begin to use social media for your business:
- Open accounts at some of the larger sites to start with. Twitter and Facebook are a good start.
- Create profiles that link back to your website and illustrate your professionalism in your industry.
- For Twitter, do a search (http://search.twitter.com) for words and phrases that relate to your industry. Follow those people that are talking about your topic.
- For Facebook and Twitter, use their tool that searches through your address book to help find “friends” to add.
- Add both Twitter and Facebook icons to your website or blog so that visitors can automatically follow you.
- Persuade people to follow you. Consider starting a social media contest. If people follow you, they could receive a ballot toward a prize. (Now you’ve increased your audience)
- Update your status with helpful information. Promotion is ok, too, but not for every post. Remember, people may look at your recent activities to determine whether or not you are follow-worthy so aim for a good ratio of value and promotion, otherwise you could be perceived as a spammer.
- Interact with your audience. If your social media presence is all one-sided, people may quickly ‘un-follow’ you.
After you’ve been using social media tools to promote your business for a while, look at your website statistics or have your search engine optimization consulting firm do it for you. It should be abundantly clear whether or not this strategy is working well or not. Your website statistics could help you determine new strategies going forward. There are additional tools out there beyond Facebook and Twitter that you could also take advantage of so start branching out further as well.