Social Media is a great secondary form of marketing. Depending on what your business is and how you use it, social media can really play an important role in helping you get noticed and staying relevant. There are many forms of social media - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, etc.
If you are offering something of value and interest to your customers through Facebook for example, than utilizing social media can benefit both you and your customers. On the other hand, if your plan is to just send someone away from your site to a stale facebook page because ‘that’s what everyone else is doing’, than this strategy can actually hurt you.
We can help you figure out the best use of social media for your business.
Our favorite social media is ‘ShareThis’. It’s a way that your customers can easily spread the word to THEIR friends using THEIR favorite social media networks, and you don’t even have to be involved. Let’s face it, most of us are too busy running a business to be updating our Facebook page, tweeting, and posting videos and photos everywhere.
Here’s how ShareThis works. A current or potential client goes to your website, loves what they see, and clicks on the ‘ShareThis to facebook’ button (or the social media of their choice like ‘ShareThis on Twitter’, or ‘ShareThis by email’), and a post automatically goes up on THEIR facebook page with the link to YOUR website along with their comment (like “check out this amazing product”). Now you’ve introduced your product or service to a whole new social network that didn’t know about you before. With more than 50 forms of social media out there today, it’s impossible to master them all. Why not let your visitors do that for you while helping you to promote your business.
Twitter is a site where you can post messages and also read/follow someone elses messages. These text-based posts are known as tweets. Tweets are also considered microblogging because they can only contain up to 140 text based characters (unlike a blog which you can write unlimitted text about a topic). These tweets are displayed on the author's profile page and are delivered to his/her followers. Twitter can also be used as an advanced form of website marketing. We recommend that all the standard forms of marketing are covered first. A great way to use twitter is to pull the twitter feed right onto your website. So whenever you 'tweet', it's also automatically pulled into your website, which is a nice way to keep your site more current.
Facebook is a site where you can have your own profile page, upload photos, and invite people to become your friend or fan. It's a great social networking tool and is wonderful for keeping in touch with family and friends and finding people you've lost touch with. Again, this can be used by certain businesses successfully as an advanced form of website marketing by inviting people to join your group, which ultimately grows the amount of people that know about your business. Certain businesses can benefit from these advanced marketing techniques if done correctly and if you have the time to spend on them. But quite honestly, it is not as important as the basic forms of marketing that should be done first. And it primarily depends on what your business is and how you get people interested in becoming a part of your network. If you are offering them something of tangible value through these outlets, such as interesting posts, insiteful information, or promotional deals, then you will be more successful with these endeavors. But then again, these same things can be offered through email newsletters and on your website.
Note: The Facebook 'Like' button on your website allows people to 'like' your website. There is a different Facebook 'Like' on your Facebook page that allows your Facebook friends to 'like' your Facebook page. The two do not correlate. We often get asked why these two numbers are different.
LinkedIn is a business oriented social networking site. The original mission was to 'help make the world's professionals to become more productive and successful'. It's a way to share jobs, updates, and helpful insights. It's mainly used for professional networking and connecting with other business professionals.
Google+ (Google Plus) is not only a social networking site, but an authorship tool which associates web-content with the author. When you use the author tag on your website and link it from your Google+ page, your profile photo will show up in the Google search results. Owned by Google, it's currently the second largest social networking site in the world, after Facebook. Google+ ties all of the Google services in together - YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Google Play, Google Music, Google Voice, Google Wallet, Google Local and more. The benefit to this social networking site is 'circles' which allows you to separate everyone into groups such as friends, aquaintences, and colleagues, and then choose which group you'd like to share certain things to. The +1 button is similar to Facebook's Like button. It allows you to recommend sites. There's a lot of other nice social features like hangouts and chats, but the main SEO benefit is the authorship tool.