Social media. A term that makes many business owners and marketers shudder, but it's really not all that bad.
Social media. A term that makes many business owners and marketers shudder, but it's really not all that bad. In fact, building a strong social media presence and delivering a successful, comprehensive social media marketing strategy is easy once you know how to.
Do Them All
Regardless of what your customer demographic is, make sure you produce a complete profile on all of the big social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+, and if your audience includes those under the age of 25, do Snapchat too.
Even if you are a purely online business, local business profiles are essential to your success. Services like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yelp are vital. Include as much information as possible in your profiles, such as your opening hours and contact information. Give a detailed description of your business and the products or services you offer.
Forty-six percent of all Google searches are local. Yes, nearly half of the Google searches for products and services are local. And, in many instances, particularly mobile searches, even when a user does a general search, the top results are ones from local business profiles. So, if you don't bother to create those local profiles, you're passing up roughly half of your potential business.
Set a Schedule
For any social media platform, you need to post and interact with your audience regularly. Your social media presence is no longer just about getting customers or leads from interacting with them on Facebook or Twitter. Google now uses social signals as part of its ranking algorithm, so having no social presence, intermittent posting, or low or no social signals hurts your search engine ranking.
Use Careful, Specific Targeting
If you want to run a paid social media marketing campaign to boost your online presence, get more traffic or enhance conversions, be very, very specific. Many businesses go with the misguided notion of targeting everyone and anyone with social media ads based on the theory that you then won't miss a potential lead. The problem is that you generally pay for impressions and that will rapidly eat up your entire marketing budget without actually targeting many real customers or worthwhile leads.
Instead, be really specific. First, build a customer persona. What's their occupation? Gender? Age? Location? Language? Interest? Disposable income? All of those key elements that go into describing your ideal customer should be applied to audience building for a paid social media campaign. This way, you only target people who are likely to be interested in your products or services, which maximizes your marketing budget and significantly reduces the cost per conversion.
Avoid constantly sharing "Look how great," "Come buy my product," "My business is awesome" posts. While this is one element of building your brand on social media, arguably the most important is actually interacting. People like to know that there's a person behind the business. If someone comments, likes, shares or reacts to one of your posts, interact with them. Give their comment a like or a response. Start a conversation.
Another good plan is to tag other local noncompetitive businesses in relevant social media posts and strike up a conversation with them. They get free social mentions, they'll most likely return the favor, and you'll increase your social reach as you're seen by the other businesses' followers. Share something interesting from other social media accounts. Comment on somebody else's photo or post in a meaningful way. These kinds of interactions help you increase your reach and garner trust.
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