Social media has become popular and powerful enough that any website should be taking advantage of it. Is a cost-effective promotion tool for reaching thousands of potential customers without spending a single dollar on pay-per-click ads. There are quite a few widely known social media sites that are worth checking:
- Google Profiles
- YouTube or Vimeo (if you have or will have any video content)
- Flickr or Instagram (if you have any graphics or images content)
Each of the site above has its own pros and cons and its target audience. There are also many other online communities that are worth a look:
- Slideshare (if you have any presentations)
- Scribd (if you have any document content)
Depending on the industry you are in, there are many niche communities and social media service you may join (e.g. in software, this might include places like StackOverflow, Github, Hacker News, etc.)
Using social media as a marketing tool can help you grow, here are some of the benefits
“ 64% of marketers are using social media for six hours or more and 41% for 11 or more hours weekly. More than half of this marketers who've been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales.. ”
- Increase brand awareness: Having a presence on social media, makes easier to your customers or users to find and connect with you. This way is more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
- Higher conversion rates: Studies made by Hubspot reveals that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, improving your probabilities of conversion.
Higher brand authority: Engaging and interacting with your customers regularly is a demonstration of good faith for some users. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users.
Increase inbound traffic: Without social media, your website traffic is restricted to users already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile is a path that leads to your website, and every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is an opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you post on your social media channels. The more inbound traffic you will generate, also increasing your leads and conversion rate.
Better SEO rankings: SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic through search engines, but the requirements changes very often. Currently updating your blog, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, and distributing links pointing back to your site is not enough. Google and other search engines make social media presence a significant factor in the formula to calculate your website rank. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.
- Richer customer experiences: Social media it’s a communication channel like phone calls or email. Giving thanks for a customer compliment or addressing a comment about a customer issue and taking action to make resolve the matter, it’s is an opportunity to prove your customer service level and improve your relationship with your customers.
- Improve customer insights: Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.
- Potential losses are minor: The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.
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You have a limited amount of time and resources that you can spend. It's very important to consider all these online communities carefully before choosing the ones you want to focus on.
- Setting up these accounts diligently is important - don't just re-use the same short bio or snippet over and over.
- Spend the time to build fleshed out profiles that have comprehensive information and interact/network with peers and those with similar interests to help build up a reputation on the network.
- Be sure that you are active and post updates approximately once per week. You don't want to spam your connections, but regular postings will keep you top-of-mind and boost your thought leadership credentials.
The effort is worth the reward - empty, unloved social accounts do virtually nothing, but active ones can drive traffic, citations, awareness and value.