If you or the SEO company in NJ you’ve hired think social media is only for high school kids and gossipers, then you’re sorely mistaken. And if you own any type of business, in any industry and of any size, then you’re not just mistaken, you’re missing out.
Social media, in all it various forms, has evolved into an incredibly powerful internet marketing tool. Nowadays, simply throwing together a company website isn’t enough. You need a genuine web presence, and you can’t get there without social media.
No matter what you do, parts of your current and potential customer bases will be using social sites to find reviews, research offers, and compare prices. Many people discover brands through sites like Twitter or Facebook today. You need to establish and maintain a presence on platforms like these, and not just because your target audience probably already has.
Search engines are giving more and more value to brands and sites that are active on social media too. It’s easy to see why these platforms have become incomparable tools in terms of the ways they can drive more traffic to your site and generate quality leads.
So, let’s go over the major social media platforms on which you need to establish and maintain a presence, and what you need to do to be active and well-optimized.
84% OF ALL B2B MARKETERS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA
WHEN COMPARED WITH OUTBOUND MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA’S LEAD-TO-CLOSE RATE IS 100% HIGHER
The Major Players
This one’s not too hard to figure out. Take one moment to think about the kinds of sites you, your friends, and members of your family most commonly use. What communities are they members of? Where do they go to discuss products? Get recommendations? Watch How-To’s?
Which sites are popping into your head? It’s probably some variation of:
Now, there are plenty more, of course. Other image and video driven sites like Instagram and Vine, for example, but those first ones popped into your head for a reason.
It can be difficult to decide how much time to give to each platform, and certain industries or companies may have a better chance using certain social media platforms than others. So let’s go through the major players and see what they offer so that when you or your SEO specialists decide it’s time to jump on the social media bandwagon, you’ll know where to start.
The Major Players: Facebook
Facebook’s business page feature is a great tool for any company trying to build up their online brand identity. It allows you to not only display the basic stuff to the Facebook community, like your location and contact info, but also to get creative with multimedia and to keep your social profiles up to date with any industry or company news. And nowadays, your Likes count is pretty important too. So what do you or your NJ SEO experts need to do to get those Likes?
Be An Active Part of the Community
On any social media platform, it’s essential that you stay active, participate in conversations, and openly interact. Sometimes it helps to enlist some in-house help or even build a team of people who can provide updates or interact with visitors. You can also reach out to an outside SEO company to take some of the workload as well.
strong>Link Up With Your Other Social Pages
Remember, there are a lot of other social media platforms out there, and the sidebar on your Facebook page is a great place to include them. That way, visitors can easily check out your other profiles and get a sense of your overall online presence.
One of the best ways to attract people’s attention on Facebook and build strong relationships is to use tags. By tagging other pages, whether it’s a friend or another brand, you’re spreading the word about them to your Facebook community and, in turn, your post will pop up on their page as well. It’s a win-win!
Customize Page Tabs
Custom tabs allow you to include your own custom content alongside the standard Facebook tabs like Likes and Photos. By using custom tags, you can create a better user experience and have more control over the content you provide for this community.
The Major Players: Youtube
At this point, who doesn’t use YouTube or at least know about it? It’s gotten to the point where people commonly say, “YouTube it,” as a substitute for telling people to check out an online video, even though there are other options.
People love to spread the word about and pass along videos to their online communities. That’s why video production is an increasingly valuable part of internet and search engine marketing, and YouTube has become the preferred place for people to go to search for video content.
So, if you haven’t already, start using video as part of your marketing strategy. It’s a great way to show off products or services, prove your worth and expertise in your industry, and to let happy customers tell their stories to potential ones.
Create Your Own Channel
The first thing you need to do to start building up a brand presence on YouTube is to create your own account homepage. You have some options in terms of color, theme, etc., so it’s a great way to link your YouTube channel with your brand personality.
IN THE U.S. ALONE, 100 MILLION UNIQUE USERS VISIT YOUTUBE PER MONTH
Keep Your Homepage Maintained and Updated
Just like the homepage on your company website may be the first impression those visitors get of your company, your YouTube channel will probably be the first glimpse the site’s community gets of your brand. So make sure all your information is current and accurate, all your links are working, and stay on top of your comments section.
Share Your Videos
There are far too many ways to share the videos you upload to your YouTube channel, and far too many other communities and individuals who they may appeal to, for any business or SEO expert to neglect promoting video content through email, your blog, other social platforms, etc.
Create a YouTube Tab on Your Facebook Page
We talked about the importance of creating custom tabs on Facebook, and setting up one for YouTube is a great way to connect these two aspects of your web presence. It’s also a great way to introduce your content to different audiences within the communities they frequent, and to ensure you’re getting the most out of your videos.
The Major Players: Twitter
Twitter’s short and sweet nature has started something of a revolution. It’s a real-time network in which users tweet, or post updates, in the form of 140 characters or less. As one of the top SEO agencies in NJ, we work with a lot of businesses and have watched them, firsthand, realize the incredible potential this blossoming community has.
Follow the Right People
A big part about Twitter is who you follow. Follow companies and individuals that are in your industry to stay up to date with news, trends, and upcoming industry events. Hopefully, you’ll get some followers in return and expand your reach.
Don’t Get a Bad Reputation
For some reason, stars from both the sports and entertainment worlds tend to tweet when they probably shouldn’t. It’s easy to get a bad reputation on the site and render all your hard work useless. People want interesting or informative content, so give it to them. If you need to enlist the help of outside SEO specialists to do so, do so.
Respond to Other Tweets
Just like any other social media platform, you need to be active, and you need to prove you are to the Twitter community. So, reply to others and participate in the conversation, whenever possible and appropriate.
Hashtags are the best way to actively get a conversation going on Twitter. It basically means you’re tagging related tweets to make it easier for others to follow the discussion and participate in it, or to respond to news about products, events, offers, etc.
The use of hashtags also helps you in terms of your visibility on the site. If you or the SEO company in NJ you’re working with tag your content correctly, then people searching for related products, services, or information will find your tweet.
Now, right off the bat, you’re probably thinking, how can I include links in my Tweets when I only have 140 characters in the first place? There are services available to shorten URLs for this reason. So, use them, because it’s a great way to point users to additional useful and related content.
The Major Players: LinkedIn
LinkedIn is basically the Facebook of the business world. It’s still the most popular networking platform for professionals.
AS OF 2014, OVER 300 MILLION USERS HAD ACTIVATED ACCOUNTS WORLDWIDE.
Just because LinkedIn is geared towards other professionals, that doesn’t mean it’s not a highly valuable social network and marketing tool. You can use the platform to recruit employees, find industry advice, and to find new potential customers as well.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn company page, you need to start thinking about creating one. It’s a great way to connect with other professionals, get in on important discussions pertaining to your industry, generate new leads, and share relevant content.
You or your NJ SEO experts can also use the platform to share recent blog posts or tweets, showcase your brand mission and the products or services you offer, and announce employment opportunities. And that’s not all.
Use the Groups Feature
LinkedIn also allows you to create Groups, which is an essential step when you’re trying to start some kind of community on the site. All you need to do is choose your industry, decide on a Group name, and then start inviting other LinkedIN members who you think naturally belong or could offer something useful to the community.
Once you get your group together, start asking questions, seeking advice, participating in the conversation, and posting company and industry updates. If you find a way to seamlessly weave in a mention or two of your own products or services, that’s okay too. The point is, using LinkedIn this way is a great way to build meaningful relationships in your industry and to generate new leads.
Enhancing Web Presence
There’s a difference between simply establishing some semblance of a web presence, and doing what’s necessary to enhance one. It’s not enough to create profile pages on the major players, ensure the data is accurate and current, and then walk away.
You or your SEO agency need to start gaining loyal followers. That means being an active member of the community, not a dormant one. It also means sharing valuable content, whether you created it or not.
If do manage to get some loyal followers on these social sites, they can become brand advocates, and that kind of follower can be incredibly beneficial to have as part of your online community.
Use Images and Videos
A great way to go above and beyond the normal, text-based updates and such, is to use more interactive, visually appealing content on the social media platforms like podcasts, blog posts, high-quality images, and effective videos.
The point here is, this kind of content brings visitors in closer to your brand. It allows you to introduce them to the people behind your logo, the human element.
That’s why videos that incorporate members of the staff, and images from industry events or company outings or projects, can be so effective. Just be sure to share links to this kind of content on the other social media sites, or instruct your team of SEO specialists to do so.
Use Your Blog
While blogging may be the best way to get your true voice and personality across to your audience, it’s also a great way to provide optimized content to search engines, which will boost you in the rankings, not to mention it’s one of the most affordable SEO services available.
92% OF THE COMPANIES THAT UPDATED THEIR BLOGS MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY GAINED ONE CUSTOMER DIRECTLY FROM THESE EFFORTS
While it may seem tempting to jump right in and find your brand voice along the way, it helps to keep a few things in mind:
• Address and answer FAQ’s
• Be authentic and avoid shameless plugging
• Include CTA’s in every post to generate leads
• Include social share buttons
• Include visual content like images or videos
• Encourage comments and conversation
Podcasts, like blogs, have become an important part of internet marketing because they’ve become a popular way for online users to access content. Whether they’re using their iPhone, tablet, etc., people tend to prefer this form of content when they’re on the go.
On top of the fact that podcasts are popular among online users, they’re also relatively inexpensive to create and they tend to reach good prospects rather than browser-types. So, not only are they one of the cheap SEO services, they also have the power to connect with the right kind of audience, an audience more inclined to act.
Getting Started Is Almost Too Easy
Like blogs, podcasts aren’t bogged down by structure. Even some of the more successful ones tend to play it fast and loose in terms of structure. You can use audio or video or a combination of the two, and you don’t need much in the way of equipment.
You Can Go Live
You can also broadcast live and invite your audience to come check it out. It’s a great way to introduce yourself, and not just your brand, but the people behind it. People tend to feel a deeper connection when they meet a company this way.
Incorporate Social Media
Sharing your podcasts is essential as well. Again, don’t ignore those huge social media communities and make sure your podcasts are somewhat visible on these platforms.
How do you share your podcasts?
• Share links on LinkedIn
• Post the content to your Facebook page
• Archive it on your custom YouTube channel
• Tweet the link, and use hashtags if it’s part of a series
Now you know who the major social media players are and the fundamentals about using these platforms to enhance your web presence. So let’s go over some last-minute tips to make sure that when you or your SEO agency starts building your brand’s presence on these sites, you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Schedule Your Content Creation and Delivery
One of the most common traits among companies that get the most out of social media is their use of a schedule. Crafting a detailed spreadsheet will help you stay on top of industry events and allow you to disperse your content when and where it will be most effective.
Maintenance Is Key
If you or your SEO company in NJ don’t get it yet, a big part of social media success is being an active member. Stay on top of your profile information, update and post frequently, and share relevant content whenever possible. You need to keep things fresh.
Links will always be a key part of internet marketing success, and that hasn’t changed with social media. Whenever you post content on your social pages and profiles, you should try to link to additional, relevant information whenever possible, and if it makes any sense to link to a landing page, go for it.
Delegate Some of the Work
Remember: Gathering some other members of your organization, even forming a social media team, can be very helpful when it comes to coming up with content and staying active on all the various social media platforms.
The most efficient way to maintain a presence across all the social media platforms, or at least across all the major players, is to use each social site to promote your presence on the others. Get Facebook users to follow you on Twitter, promote your YouTube videos with links on Twitter, etc.
The point is, you or the SEO professionals you hire need to do what it takes to connect your various social media efforts so that all the different communities will start to recognize your brand, and feel its presence everywhere they turn.
Just remember, stay active, interact, and keep a close eye on your performance so that you can make any necessary adjustments along the way.