As an Internet user you definitely won’t have missed the social media explosion of the last few years. With shiny new platforms popping up seemingly every day, social networking can be a great way for small and medium businesses to market their services at grassroots level for little to no outlay.
As well as promoting your business, social media can also be really handy for driving traffic back to your website to further market your services, as well as help to boost your SEO score and Google ranking. Read on to find out how to maximise your social media marketing to help boost your search engine ranking, as well as inside tips on some of the major social networking sites.
Make your site social
The power of social media lies in its ability to engage with your current and potential clients directly, and drive them back to your website to convert into customers. There are lots of tricks you can use to market your services on social media, and also make your business website more share-friendly so your visitors can do the marketing for you!
Create useful content to give away on social media
The major tip here is to give users a reason to follow you on social media that makes them feel you are adding value – if a social account is constantly only posting marketing messages, chances are this is going to achieve the going to come across as pushy and you’re going to quickly unsubscribe. For example, if you are a small business accountant, why not post a link back to your website with a tax time checklist? Or, if you sell health products, post recipes and nutrition inspiration for your followers – linking back to your website of course!
Add social share buttons to your website
Making it as easy as possible for your visitors to share your website content means they are more likely to click and post on impulse when they find something useful that they want to share with with their friends on social media. Adding a “Share This” button to your blog posts and other content, such as a Pinterest button on images (more on this below) is an easy way to encourage your visitors to do some of your advertising for you and promote your products. Again, having useful content on your website makes your visitors more likely to share.
Optimise your post titles and descriptions
Not only do keyword-rich titles and descriptions on your pages and blog posts boost your rankability, they also carry across to the snippets that are displayed when you post a link to sites such as Facebook – so be sure to add a catchy title and description to your content to make social media users more likely to be lured into clicking on a shared link. Titles and descriptions for SEO and social media can be easily edited using Yoast – more on that here.
Now we’ve looked at some ways to make your website more social media-friendly, let’s examine some of the most popular social media sites that business owners can utilise to connect with customers and promote their services.
According to Statista, Facebook boasts over one billion users worldwide, making it the biggest social networking platform to ever grace the web. Facebook business pages are a way to not only engage with your own friends linked to your personal account, but also other users who “Like” your page and posts.
The best way to do this is to encourage your website visitors to Like your Facebook page. A Facebook Like Box, usually featured in the sidebar or footer, allows visitors to Like your page without even leaving your website.
Once you’ve got a number of people following your page, the next step is to promote your services via your Facebook status updates. Avoid overt marketing messages – people will be turned off if they feel that you are trying to sell them something. Instead, bring value by offering tips and useful information relating to your services. This has the added benefit of ongoing visibility, with your status updates appearing in the News Feed of anybody subscribing to your page.
Writing regular blog posts is not only good for search engine optimisation, you can also drive traffic back to your website by posting links to your blog on Facebook as status updates. Remember, with social media less is often more – the last thing you want is for people to un-Like your page because of status update fatigue.
Pinterest has really grown in popularity in the last few years. A mix of digital scrapbooking and mood boarding, images or “Pins” are saved to categorised boards. As a visual bookmarking tool, Pinterest is effective due to its focus on sharing content via images.
You can promote your business services by sharing a combination of both your own and third-party content. Stagger your Pins so they appear steadily to maximise your exposure, rather than Pinning in short bursts. You can also comment on other people’s Pins to give your business more visibility on the social network, and use hashtags to categorise your content, which is helpful in searches.
Just like Facebook, you can also use Pinterest to drive traffic back to your own website. This is a two-step process – firstly, make sure that your website is full of high-quality, visually appealing images which visitors will find attractive to Pin to their own boards. Consider implementing a Pinterest button into your site, which will show a “Pin It” message when somebody hovers over an image, allowing them to share your content with one click.
Secondly, Pin your blog posts sporadically onto your own feed, along with an eye-catching image and a catchy title to encourage people to visit your website to read more. Remember to use keywords and hashtags in descriptions to increase visibility, but keep it concise. With any luck your content will get re-Pinned multiple times, marketing your services to the Pinterest community.
This social networking platform enables users to engage in “microblogging”. Short, 140-character updates, or “Tweets”, allow small bursts of information and encourage brevity – an important skill in the fast-paced world of social media.
Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to customise your profile to reflect your brand. After signing up and creating your page, the next step is to start following other people. Try following your customers, i.e. users who fall into your target demographic, business affiliates such as partners, contractors and suppliers, and prominent organisations and figures in your industry. You could also follow other local businesses in your area.
As with other social media, the trick is to Tweet content which brings value to your followers. By engaging with other users, and reposting or “Retweeting” their updates, you can connect and create a business community with others.
You can also use Twitter to drive traffic back to your website, just like Facebook and Pinterest. If you have a new blog post or a new service you wish to promote, you can post a link in a Tweet, using hashtags to make your updates searchable. Your Tweet might even be Retweeted by another user, and if they have large number of followers that is potentially thousands of people who will see your post. There are even online tools such as bit.ly to help shorten your URLs to save valuable characters in a Tweet.
These are just some of the ways that social media can be used to build your brand, engage with existing and potential clients and drive traffic back to your website. For more information, give us a call on 1300 16 16 44 to find out the best social media integration strategy for your website.