Making the most of social media

Nov 3, 2013 by
Making the most of social media

Long gone are the days when social media was merely a tool for keeping in contact with distant friends and getting the latest celebrity gossip. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or a number of others, social media is now a widely used tool for businesses to market themselves online.

Effective social media campaigns can lead to dramatic improvements in brand awareness, customer loyalty and conversion rates. And yes, social media is finally starting to have an impact on SEO as well.
Social media graphic

Today’s children are born into a world where social media is already prolific, by the time these children become the next generation of consumers they will be more plugged into social media than ever. With rapid technological advancements constantly helping to bring people closer together, businesses that fail to grasp the potential marketing power of social media are sure to be left in the dust. Here are some ways you can avoid common mistakes and make the most of your social media campaign.

Presentation is everything

The first thing to remember is that your social media presence is an absolute representation of your business. You must uphold the same high standards in the way you present yourself on social media platforms as you would in a press release or on your own website. This sounds obvious but the number of companies which fail to keep the layout and design of their social media profile in line with their company’s web site is staggering. Outdated information, lack of images or poorly worded prose are also common errors that are detrimental to brand integrity. Always try and ensure that your profile name corresponds to the name of your company for search purposes. If that’s not possible, create a username that combines the name of your company with its location or most identifiable product.

Out of all social media platforms, Google+ has perhaps the most scope for conveying your personality; so make sure to fill out the profile accurately and include a friendly, professional photo. Google has stated that social signals from Google+ contribute to searchrankings; so for this reason alone it is a good platform to be active on.

The art of conversation

Whatever platform you choose, all it takes is the click of a button for a potential customer to create or sever their connection with you. Likewise, people are far more likely to trust a company they have interacted with successfully online than with one which has merely come up in a Google search.

Nowadays a company’s social media profile is treated as an integral part of their customer support service – when people send a tweet with a problem they expect to have their requests attended to. Therefore, it is paramount that you take the time to respond to people’s questions (and grievances) and contribute valuable input to related discussions. It’s also recommended to thank people for retweets and especially to share other people’s content.
Making connections

Remember, manners don’t cost a thing; handling interactions professionally on social media takes a minimal amount of time but has far reaching positive benefits in terms of customer loyalty and brand awareness. The reverse is true for companies who fail to interact with people on a personal level or use social media to ruthlessly self promote with no regard for their audience. If your Twitter feed reads like an automated spambot, it might be time for a strategic rethink!

Share and care

Spamming aside, social media is a great way to get people to link back to your blog and boost its SEO performance. Make sure to installShareThis (or a similar plugin) on your blog so that people are easily able to distribute your content to their connections, just by clicking on the social media button of their choice. While your content must be well written and of high value, it can only go viral (at least within your niche) if you are consistently able to get your blogs shared far and wide through social media. This will also be highly beneficial for your SEO rankings and business reputation. Giving people a unique benefit in the form of promotions available only to people who like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter can also be a great way of attracting new social media connections.

Finally, check out this previous post to find out how to find or generate smashing topics for your blog.

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