Things have changed much since the late 1990’s, and modern SEO is much different. In fact, it has much more to do with web marketing.
SEO – For many businesses (and the departments they employ), it’s a three letter word of DOOM!! SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been a thorn in the side of both small and huge business owners, confounding all but the most “gifted” of programmers and webite DIYers. Originally, SEO was “going into code and fixing it up so that it was more search engine friendly”. “…You essentially had to add a whole bunch of attributes to make it readable by the search engines”, so that your website/business would be at the top of the search, traffic gets directed there and you make the sale, get the views/the ad revenue, etc…
Much has changed…
Without angering too many people, I think it’s safe to say that the search engine giant of today (and probably the last 15 years…) is Google. And part of what makes google’s search engine so thorough is it’s ability to effectively “read” sites. So code has taken a backseat to content (content is king, you’ll hear that here and in a lot of videos, both past and present). Also, marketing, social media and the ability to make these things work synergistically with each other further enhances the efficacy of the infamous SEO. Our video down below explains it best (and all while holding/gesturing/not spilling a hot coffee no less 😉 ).
Social media is a vital tool for businesses when it comes to engaging with their customers and reaching new audiences. If you have followed this blog, you already learned how to develop a social platform strategy and what platforms are priorities for your business.
Your social media campaigns should be all about interacting with your customers in genuine, meaningful discussion. However, it’s possible (and easy!) to bring business conversion to your social media efforts without turning your accounts into endless streams of promotions or alienating your followers.
Look at what your competitors are doing for easy wins
Competitor analysis is one of the oldest tricks in the book and remains relevant (and potent) to this day. You can apply a competitor analysis to see what channels they are using and what methods are getting engagements. This can help shape your strategy on what tactics work and what not to waste your time or money on.
Create a list of competitors in your industry. If you’re a small business that serves a local area primarily, be sure to get a healthy mix of small business and larger, regional companies. While that other photography and picture frame company in town may be your most direct competitor, larger companies likely have larger marketing budgets. This means they’ve done a lot more research and investment on social media marketing and engagement.
After you have a solid list of your competitors, it’s time to investigate what platforms and methods they use to bring people to their sites or sale pages. This can come in many forms, including:
Twitter hashtags, tweets, and retweets
Facebook ads, posts, pages, replies, and comments
Keep an eye out for times where the competitor funneled followers to their sites or their business partners, especially if it also has strong, positive engagement in the form of likes, replies, or shares. If you spot a common tactic among your competitors that consistently receives positive responses, this is a strong indicator of a worthwhile approach and easy win for you. Also, don’t base your conclusion on just one competitor or a handful of tweets. The more research you do, the better sense you will get of an effective strategy.
Finally, it’s important to consider the size and marketing budgets of your competitors. If you run a small business, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do everything that other large companies are doing. Focus on your largest audiences that engage frequently.
Occasionally promoting your business is ok
Occasionally promoting your business with direct or affiliate links is acceptable, but don’t go overboard! Many of your followers are likely already customers so showing them sales or discounts on services they currently have will not further increase your revenue. However, new features, products, services, campaigns, charities, and business partnerships could bring them back into the buying cycle along with new customers.
Look for genuine opportunities to direct users to your service or product. “Did you know you could do this with our service?” posts are a great way to encourage interest from both current and new customers. Answer questions about your service or product – this can be a great way to mention trial or starter deals to potential customers. Some followers may be looking for a feature that is included in a higher level (or pro) package, creating an opportunity for an up sale.
Affiliate partnerships can also be an effective way to benefit your followers and earn money at the same time. Several businesses will pay you for sending them new customers. The important thing to keep in mind is to only become an affiliate for services that compliment your business and are relevant to your social media audience. If you run a site focused on movie news and reviews, consider affiliate programs for ticket buying services or services related to media in general.
Don’t constantly post promotional and affiliate links, but when you do, get the most out of it by following social media best practices:
Use URL shorteners for links.
Use emojis if it makes sense and feels natural.
Arrow emojis or even text-based arrows (?) are a great way to draw attention and encourage clicks.
Use pictures and video in your posts as much as possible; they draw much more attention than text alone.
One size doesn’t fit all: different platforms will likely require approaches.
There are several platforms out there that can help you assess the engagement and, ultimately, success of your posts. Services like Hootsuite and Sproutsocial will give you great insight into your social media campaigns on various platforms as well as compare your performance to your competitors.
Use social proof to establish trust
Social proof puts names and faces to the people that have actually used your product. By doing so, you build trust and rapport with the people around the initial person who used your service. It’s the online version of word-of-mouth advertising. A simple example of social proof is seeing your friends’ names and faces in the Facebook widget on a site you’re visiting. This becomes a form of social endorsement for the site.
Social proof for your company can accrue naturally, but it’s best to take a proactive approach. When someone uses or buys your service, encourage them to share the good news with an automated tweet or post. This generates positive feedback about your company in hashtags, threads, and discussions and can lead to the customer’s friends and followers seeing the post and checking out your company as well.
However, you can squeeze even more value out of social proof! Embed or take a screenshot of noteworthy comments and reviews and work these into your landing pages, sidebars, and other types of sales pages. These can be used as testimonials to help build trust with people outside of the original commenters’ circles.
Use social media to promote your lead magnets and squeeze pages
When it comes to online marketing, an email address is the single most powerful bit of information you can have for someone interested in your content or products. Lead magnets and squeeze pages provide an opt-in way to obtain email addresses in exchange for giving users quick, highly-valuable content. From there, you can use the addresses in your email marketing campaigns and sales opportunities.
Turn some of your most valuable content into lead magnets and promote them directly on your social media networks. In exchange for providing useful content (the lead magnet) to your followers, the squeeze page asks for their email which you can use later for marketing. For example, the following tweet promotes the lead magnet for a healthy taco recipe:
Users are directed to a squeeze page that highlights how tasty – but unhealthy – tacos can be and offers to send the user the recipe directly to their email:
After they enter their email, direct the user to a “thank you” page that reminds them to check their email and whitelist your site if it ends up in spam. This will help your future emails land in their inbox and acclimate the user to seeing your emails. Finally, do send the user the content without any more hoops to jump through. At this point, building trust is vital so follow up on your end of the deal!
About the Writer
Josh Weikel runs WHdb where he helps visitors find web hosting, learn what features they need, and start their own web site. For nearly 10 years, The Web Hosting Database has been a go-to destination for facts on hosts and services in the US and around the world. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Web Design and Interactive Media and has worked on several hundreds of sites since graduating in 2009.
For a social strategy to be maximally effective, it needs to focus on content distribution across multiple social media platforms, utilizing the unique features of each platform in order to get the desired message across in a way that audiences can understand and connect with.
This guide to developing a social media strategy across multiple social media platform is directed at brands that are interested in building awareness among their natural audience.
Why do you need to develop a Social Strategy across Multiple Platforms?
Your brand needs to develop a social strategy across multiple social media platforms for one or more of the following reasons:
Potential customers and more generally your target audience are in all likelihood very active on various social networks
Every social media platform has key influencers you could use on your team
The social web has not showed sign of slowing growth rates
Social media has a powerful influence on people’s purchasing choices
Getting Your Campaigns Focused
A social media strategy is developed to serve specific purposes, such as generating leads, growing sales, extending customer service ability or developing business brand awareness. With many companies the goals are – all of the above and more; and the target audience are prospective customers, existing customers, business partners, the press and referral sources.
It is therefore important to first of all understand your goals, and focus on different goals through different campaigns. Sure, there may be some goals that are aligned, which can be tackled within the same campaign, but often you will need to split your campaigns to deliver the right messages in the right places at the times to achieve your goals.
Businesses are now using multiple social media platforms to market to and communicate with their customers. In this article, we will look at the various characteristics of some of the main social media platforms to help you to prioritise which to use in your business. A killer website these days needs a killer social media marketing strategy.
Projections show that there will be more than 2.67 billion registered social media users spread across various networks by 2018. Facebook is the most famous social network and currently has around 1.97 users every month. The choice of social media platform for private use depends on the taste and preference, but for business depends on applicability and market dynamics. It is often hard for a business to select the most suitable social network because they are many.
The following are crucial factors to consider when selecting social networks for your business.
1. Understand your target audience
Which channels do your potential clients use most? If you target the younger generation, consider using platforms that support videos such as Snapchat and Instagram. Adopting Snapchat when you have a target audience of women who are more than 55 years old will likely be a total miss. It would also be unwise to use Pinterest when your target market is older men because research shows they just don’t tend to be on there that much.
You have to understand the social media demographics and user profiles.