A problem for every small or medium sized business that depends on a website (like mine) is how to get as much traction to your website as cheaply as possible. And secretive Google, which constantly changes algorithms of how it prioritises certain websites over others, does not make this task any easier for us! Social media is constantly gaining importance and there are indications that social media is growing its role in influencing how well your website will rank. Even if customers don’t find your webpage, they are very likely to find your social media accounts and from there your webpage is only few clicks away. Do you still doubt effect of using social media? I will tell you my personal experience. A few years ago, I was looking as a customer for a wedding photographer. And somehow instead of searching in Google, I ended up searching on Facebook (social media now incorporates their own search engines). And I was successful. I would consider myself as a fairly standard user of social media and since social media helped me find my wedding photographer, it means that it must work for more of us out there! Good news for all us working hard updating those social media profiles!
One thing is clear, Google algorithms are trying to find naturally popular websites visited by real people. What does it mean? Websites, that people find relevant, attractive and where there is an interaction. There are ways you can improve your results keeping some simple rules in mind.
Task: Check out your Google analytics for your webpage and see how much traffic goes to your website from social media and how long they stay for. You will be surprised how much traffic can come from pages like f.i. Facebook.
- Before you start the long journey of trying to establish your company on social media, it would be worth thinking about your product. Not every product is suitable. Social media favours visually attractive products. And by that I mean a service as well. Imagine a personal trainer. Even though your product is not visible, you have to think of yourself as a product, posting your successes, articles about a healthy lifestyle, creating nice looking discount offers and competitions etc. You need to try to be as relevant to your readers as you can. Your product should be fun, good looking and constantly updated.
- Why to reinvent the wheel? Find the most influential people in your business area and follow them to see how they are doing things. Get inspired. They must do something right to be that successful. Try to apply some of their tricks for your social media sites.
- Create an account name that is not duplicate name of some other company. Make it easy for your customers to find you!
- Try to link your website to your social media and create social media buttons. Share and tag as much as possible!
- Keep your posts/blogs regular. If you decide to post about three times a week, stick to it. If you struggle, plan your posts ahead and schedule them. Your audience likes to feel connection to you as a brand and irregular posts mean that they are likely to replace you with someone else. Also, do not think that if you did not post on social media for a few days, you can do a series of posts in a short space that will make up for it. Your followers won’t enjoy it and it will not help you with SEO. Only regular posts/blogs should be helping you with SEO. Also try to answer any questions from your followers in timely manner so they feel more connection to your brand.
- Think which part of the day your customers are likely to check social media. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 7am and 8 am are great times to post. People are usually on the bus, train… to work and spend time browsing. Also evenings are great, I personally found that there is more traction between 8pm-10pm in the evening. It may have something to do with people putting kids to sleep, watching TV, relaxing and browsing social media.
- Create interesting content that your followers will find worth sharing. Do not concentrate only on text but be aware that great pictures/video accompanying the text is necessary in order to draw people’s attention. Do post behind the scene which make it interesting for your followers and helps them connect more with your brand. Social media marketing is more personal than classic marketing methods and sometimes difference between private and social media marketing is not so clear cut. Use this as your advantage!
- It is a long haul. Social media marketing is about long term commitment and it won’t happen overnight. Prepare for long nights writing blogs and posts and supply yourself with loads of coffee. 🙂
- If your product is local, concentrate on attracting real people in your area using keywords, making your posts relevant to people you want to be your customers.
- Join groups that are relevant to you. Social media offers you to join groups, where you can network with other businesses, find new potential customers or just check what is trending. If you have a valuable comment, share it with the group and do not forget to include a link to your site. That way you can spread the word with more people that can potentially become your followers.
- Find businesses that complement yours and agree on mutual sharing of content on social media. This will help your posts to get out there and reach more potential customers.
- Learn from your mistakes and successes. Analyse, which posts/blogs get more or less traction and try to repeat the successful behaviour in future
Social media marketing and Google SEO may seem like a jungle sometimes and hard to navigate and understand. It takes a long time to build so don’t get discouraged by lack of response at the beginning!
If you have any other tips, that have worked for you and I have not mentioned them in this article, let me know in comments. It is always great to learn from others.