Social Media for a Healthy Business
As a channel for direct communication between your business and your customer Social Media is invaluable. It allows you to promote your brand and deliver your content online.
There is a wide choice of SM platforms available which can all be used to your advantage. Which platform will work for you is determined by many factors, including the type of business you own,
your target market and which products and services are offered.
Once you’ve decided which platform to spend time and effort on, decide how you will measure your success. Remember – “What get’s measured, get’s done!”
Don’t give up at the first hurdle, If your first strategy doesn’t succeed, learn the lesson and move forward. Let’s explore several of the largest and most successful platforms.
Twitter is a social network where people share messages up to 140 characters in length – the definition of short and sweet if you like.
Users follow each other and subscribe to each other’s updates. Twitter can be slow-burner but there are ways to increase how rapidly you amass a (quality) following.
Start by creating and optimizing your Twitter profile – let people know who you are, and why you’re worth following.
Tweet, tweet, tweet. A good tactic for growing followers is to tweet often – your content and re-tweets of others content. Don’t be afraid to tweet it more than once. Remember that different time zones and user-activity are in play.
A Social Media planning tool like Hootsuite is a great way to help you manage this. I also use Buffer.
Make it visual – Take some extra time to create and use visuals to add to your Tweet, like Facebook this pays off in engagement, click-through and conversion.
Whatever platform you are using Social Listening is relevant and will help you to curate content as well as stay in the conversation.
As an industry expert, you need to monitor conversations taking place online. This will help to recognize opportunities to respond and contribute and to leverage your social media exposure.
There are various tools available to help with this.
Google Alerts – An easy to use tool that gets content delivered to your inbox by email – individually or as a daily or weekly digest. You can even decide the best time of delivery.
Social Media Planning tools – also have functionality allowing you to track keywords.
Curate great content – Use other Social Media platforms to glean relevant content to talk about. Good sources include Feedly, Prismatic, Twitter (lists), LinkedInPulse and what’s hot on Pinterest and Google+. You may also subscribe to certain blogs that support your content.
photo, and your page is older than 30 days, you can claim a custom URL that matches your brand, making your page easier to share and easier to discover.
Still weighing in with a huge 1 billion monthly active users (count em folks!) Facebook remains the most popular Social Media platform for building a community of advocates and evangelists to promote your business using word of mouth marketing.
To grow a fanbase on Facebook, make your company page as searchable as possible. There are a few tips to make this happen
- Fill in your company’s info completely in your profile
- Make sure that you’ve included links to your business website and what your company offers in terms of products and services
- Invite people you already know to like your new page – this can be friends, family and existing customers
- Ask them, in turn to spread the word
- Integrate Facebook into your other online channels – on your website – add Facebook’s social plugins (Like box and Like button) to ask people to engage with your page without visiting facebook.com
- Content! As always add value to your customers by sharing relevant, useful, thought-provoking content. Tune in with your ideal clients and you’ll have a good idea of
what will resonate with them. Do you know your buyer personas? More information here.
- Advertising – If you need to boost your audience and have exhausted your contacts list, use some of Facebook’s excellent advertising resources including demographic targeting to reach people likely to be interested in your business.
Please see my Kindle eBook for more on Twitter and Facebook – Social Media Savvy – Twitter and Facebook.
Since publishing this article I have learned that Google+ will be split into 2 separate products – Photos and Streams – watch this space…! More here
Google+ isn’t just another social network a small business can use to boost its online presence, but it’s also the ultimate resource to maximize visibility on Google search pages.
Being on Google+ is a must for any small business because the platform works hand- in-hand with Google Search. This includes potentially ranking higher on search results, integration with relevant Google for Business services, and the ability to draw customers in by providing key business information — such as location and directions, phone number, photos, reviews and more — right on search pages.
Google+ will also let you promote posts, specials, deals and other content to a wide range of audiences, from those in your Google+ “Circles” to people simply searching for your business on Google.
Google+ doesn’t have the clout of the other big platforms so, don’t use it exclusively but do use it!
How to leverage SEO through Google+
1. Publish content to your Google+ page
If you’re already creating and publishing content to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, publish that content to your Google+ page, as well. Again a Social Media Planning tool helps.
2. Claim your page’s custom, branded URL
Once you have your page set up and you’ve got more than 10 followers, a profile photo, and your page is older than 30 days, you can claim a custom URL that matches your brand, making your page easier to share and easier to discover.
3. Link your website to your Google+ page
Link your Google+ page to your website to not only create an inbound link from Google+, but to allow your Google+ page to appear on the right-hand side of search results.
4. Fill out your page’s “Links” section
Every Google+ page gives you the opportunity to add links that are important to your business in the “Links” section under the About menu. Include your site, blog, social profiles, and any page you want to drive traffic to.
5. Complete your story = your tagline + introduction.
The first 45-50 characters of your Google+ post becomes that post’s page title in Google’s search results, so ensure that line hits the mark and describes your company well.
This counts for each post too! Make these characters count.
6. Add visuals – videos, photos and animated GIF’s
Google+ is very visual. Unlike other social channels (besides Pinterest), though, Google+ supports animated GIFs. GIFs stand out among static images or videos that need to be clicked to play, giving you additional chance to get the attention of a prospect.
LinkedIn is a social but business focused platform which can be used to engage with prospective customers as well as prospective employees!
This makes it a unique forum which combines relationship-building with knowledge-sharing.
Need to start your own profile? Sign up here!
Do you have a profile but want to be more proficient in using LinkedIn? This is for you.
Your Company page needs to be optimized to make it easy for the right people to find your page on LinkedIn by adding keywords in the description and “Specialties” sections.
Make it visually appealing – Update your cover page regularly with professional images that reflect your company’s achievements, events, products, and services.
Share updates on your company regularly. Remember that your reach improves with each like, share and comment.
Ask questions to prompt your followers to take action on your updates.
Please see my Kindle eBook for more on Google+ and LinkedIn – Social Media Savvy – Google+ & LinkedIn
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Great tips! Thank you for this, Rachel. I’m off to work on my Google+ page now…
Thanks Karen, glad you found it useful. Good luck with Google+, always something to do!
Rachel that is quite an informative read. I am very interested in your perspective on Google+ and have found this quite helpful to my understanding of SM and beyond. I’m look forwared to your webinar. on Facebook Remarketing Hacks 6 May 2015….
Thanks Judy, I’m glad you got something out of the article. Look forward to “seeing” you at the AAVIP ‘Virtual Business in Brief’ Mini Conference in May. My topic will be more Facebook ads for beginners – creating ads that hit your target audience – a work in progress…!
Great blog Rachel.
There has been a recent update (2 Mar 2015) regarding Google pulling the pin or more to the point changing/splitting Google+ (read the following article by @jmbrandonbb from Inc.com)
Thanks Alex, interesting developments with Google+. Agreed it has been a difficult tool to get to know and use. I’ll be interested to see what develops moving forward. In the meantime Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue very strongly!