One of the keys to building a business is through the use of advanced social media marketing tactics. Unlike traditional marketing techniques, such as postcards or print ads, social media does not have to cost a penny, thus increasing your chances of a high return of investment. Anyone can set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a Google+ page for his business. Using these effectively however is an entirely different story.
Advanced social media marketing goes beyond the obligatory account setup and occasional posting. It means connecting both with people and leveraging the latest technologies, like search engine optimization, to get the most out of every post or update. With that in mind, here are some ways to take your social media marketing to the next level.
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Do not take my above criticism of marketing to mean that you should do away with offline marketing. Rather, you should integrate online and offline marketing so that your social media addresses will become as known as your company name. On business cards, postcards, in magazine ads, and even on billboards, include your Twitter name or mention your Facebook name. To really push your social media accounts, consider a Quick Response code that leads to your social media account, especially if the print media is advertising a contest or other event, relevant topics to your social media page.
Video and Graphics
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The use of video and graphics related to social media is also one of the ways that must also be considered if you intend to maximize the results of your social media campaign. They can be shared easily and they can create excellent conversations. These conversations about the content of your site are exactly the purpose why in the first place you are using social media for your business. But how can you translate sensible conversations in social media into traffic or revenue? You can do that by providing a link to your site wherever it is appropriate and whenever there’s an opportunity.
In your multimedia tweets and shares for example, you can make the most out of them by always including a link back to your business page. For instance, an image that you post on your Facebook page should include a “deep link” to your site. A deep link is one that links to an internal page in your site, not just to its home page.
You can also boost your search engine optimization by posting videos about your products on such sites like Vimeo or YouTube. These videos can be silly or serious as long as they include your product in an interactive way. Of course, make sure to include the URL of your website at the end of these videos. YouTube has an additionally helpful transcription feature which allows you to add keyword rich copy to your video. Google will use this as they are categorizing search engine indexing. The more that people in general are exposed to your product/business, the more likely it is that they will invest in your company.
Relevancy is what people want when they see updates on your Facebook, Twitter, or G+ page. In a recent study of 43,000 Twitter responses, the “informative” Tweets got the highest rating with “boring” Tweets getting the lowest. The point here is that, users want relevant content without too much promotional information getting in the way.
Another key is customization of your channel. If you are using a site like Twitter or Facebook to update activity, make sure to customize updates so as not to give the impression that updates are automated. It gives your site a personal feel that will earn trust from its users.
Get involved in social media on a local level by adding your permanent business address to Google Maps and yellow page sites. It will increase your likelihood of being found much more quickly through search engines. How does this relate to your social media sites? People share and comment on map locations. Your Facebook page can include your Google map location. FourSquare is another example of where maps can be useful as people socialize by checking into locations and sharing on other social media sites. If you’re location isn’t listed, you’ll be missed out!
Promotions through Social Media
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Periodically, have special online promotions and contests specific to the social media platform. Try to garner Facebook likes, Google+ Plus1’s, and Twitter Retweets. Some examples on how to do this include:
- Simple “luck of the draw” contest for those who retweet one or more of your tweets.
- Trivia challenges featuring questions about your company/relevant material. The prizes do not necessarily have to be anything big; a coupon or small item will do. The purpose of this is to engage your audience on a semi-personal level. It shows the fun side of your company as well as makes winners feel valued; people love to win things.
- Special online-only coupons. This can be done either in a coupon section of your site, or you can require that customers join a “special club” which, in addition to allowing them access to site coupons, will periodically send them e-mail updates with special promotions and company updates. This makes them feel like insiders and builds positive sentiments toward your company.
- A free coupon for everyone who “likes” you on Facebook or Plus 1’s you on Google+.
Consider hiring staff whose sole function is managing your social media. A consistent voice and level of interaction across the various social media sites is critical to long-term success. It takes a lot of time and energy to manage all of them.
When you do NOT have a dedicated staff, inevitably there will be periods where your interaction with friends, followers, and commenters is going to drop off. This sends a mixed signal – like a friend not calling you back or taking too long to call you. You can get free help from social media managing tools, such as HootSuite.
Social media is a major commitment for any company to undertake. Doing it right means you will get the most out of the relationships you build and you will also get the added benefits of search engine optimization. Today, social media marketing is becoming a must for businesses everywhere, so take the time to learn how to best utilize this free method of marketing and you will soon see the benefits attached.