|Newsletter 2012 Online Marketing, Social Media Tips|
Every month as we publish our monthly newsletter, we will be updating this page with the latest online marketing and social media top tips here:
2) Complement online with offline - as part of your marketing plan ensure when possible your online marketing activities complement the more traditional offline marketing activities. This way maximising your marketing campaigns as you run them throughout the year, re-enforcing the messages as people see them offline and online.
4) Promote as Expert - establish yourself above the crowd, there are probably many businesses offering similar services as yourself. One way to distinguish yourself, is as an industry expert in your field and thus draw people in to you over time, known as inbound marketing. Just like I am now in providing these top tips to help establish myself as an industry expert in social media and online marketing. There are people looking all the time for the services you provide, help them choose you over others with useful helpful advice. I often find it leads to referrals as well.
5) Part of Sales Process - social media and Google can be used as part of the sales process. For example use LinkedIn to collact testimonials and copy these to your website. Then mention them in sales proposals, the prospects may even know one of the people giving the testimonial too, which can only further help build your case as why you over your competitors.
6) Google yourself - ideally you are looking to see at least your testimonial page and LinkedIn profile (if applicable) come up on page one of Google. This way if prospects were to do this (and we have heard a few people doing this) they could research you and feel further reassured in talking to you during the sales process.
7) Social Media Helps Optimise Websites For Google - Google loves social media as it helps them distinguish active sites from inactive sites to specific keyword seaches. You can use social media to drive hits to your website, mentioning the keywords within the message that contains the link to the site. Not only to the home page, to sub-pages too, which helps Google provide more accurate results.
Google is able to pick up on this and so could over time deliver the visitor to the actual page they require on your site rather than them having to browse from the home page to find it. That's even if the home page would come up within the Google results as it might not be rated high enough for the specific keyword search used.
8) Content is King - on your website ensure the content for each page is optimised with the right keywords within it. Remember the content still needs to be readable to the viewer. Keywords can be more than one word, for example for our business "social media" is a keyword. Then ensure the page title, the sub-page link, meta description and meta keywords all mention some or all of the specific keywords too (where applicable). You can also be location specific, e.g. "social media training exeter" is a keyword that we would use for the sub-page that is about social media training in Exeter.
9) Draw Your Customer Base In - known as inbound marketing. There are likely to be people looking for help on the services or products that you provide every day. Inbound marketing is about applying a strategy to draw these people in to your business so that they eventually become a customer through the know, like and trust process. Social media and search engine optimisation for your website is ideal for this as allows you to be found on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well the Google search engine.
10) Online Advertising Can Help Here Too - within the Google search engine, Facebook, LinkedIn and certain other websites you can advertise your business online targeting your customer base via specific criteria. For example on Facebook you can target by location, age groups, male/female, interests/keywords. As well as within the advert itself making it clear what you are promoting and who too. This way by being able to narrow down your market and really target your customer base you can vastly increase the chances of generating more leads, making it potentially quite cost effective to the budget you might spend on other forms of marketing.
11) Facebook Ads - following last month's top tip we do recommend if serious about using Facebook for business that you run a Facebook Ad campaign to grow your fan base and in turn your reach within Facebook. Out of the three key tools it is the hardest one to grow a following too and really you have to market the Page for people to know about it and in turn for some of them to like it. The most effective way to do this is to run a targeted ad campaign within Facebook by location, age groups, keywords, interests etc. Like Google Ads it is pay per click so you only pay when someone clicks on the ad and you can set a daily budget to control spend.
12) Keep Posting Content - if running an ad campaign keep posting interesting relevant content that your customer base would find useful to know - 2 to 3 times a week. Otherwise we have seen drop off in conversions from click-throughs to Facebook Pages (from an ad) to people liking the Page, making the ad campaign less effective. However don't over bombard your Facebook Page with too many posts as remember most people on Facebook are using it to primarily keep in touch with friends and family, so they won't like being overbombarded. For this reason we don't recommend automating all Twitter posts going to Facebook.
13) Use Hootsuite - ideal for when using more than one social media platform - post messages to more than one platform, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. You can choose whether to post to 1, 2 or 3 platforms. You can even add more than one account from the same platform, for example if you had 2 Twitter profiles.
14) Control What You Post Where - again using Hootsuite is a great way to control what you post and where it goes rather than automating it all. LinkedIn announced recently you can no longer automate tweets across to personal profiles on LinkedIn, which we think is a good thing. Twitter is more conversational based and so you can otherwise end up with mid-conversation tweets on your LinkedIn profile, which won't make much sense to those viewing it. LinkedIn have now stopped this, however you can still use Hootsuite to send key messages to both Twitter and LinkedIn by choosing them when applicable.
We would also advise against automating tweets across to Facebook as you can end up bombarding your fan base and turn them off. Posts from a Facebook Page go into a fan's personal news feed, the same area they receive friends and family updates, so best not to overbombard here and again use Hootsuite to control what you send.
15) Schedule Key Messages - one way to help save time each week is to use social media dashboard apps like Hootsuite to schedule key messages to social media plattforms in one go, whether to Twitter, Facebook and or LinkedIn. This way ensuring messsages are going out on a regular basis via your social media streams. We recommend not to automate every message as otherwise you'll start to not checking your platforms on a regular basis and dropping off from engaging online, where your online followers may then notice.
16) Use Smartphones - each of the key social media platforms have their own app for smartphones and so does Hootsuite. These you can download from the relevant app store on your smartphone. Then send messages whilst on the go, complementing those that you have scheduled. This way you can use dead time, perhaps when on the train, bus, early for a meeting, in a queue etc, to check your social media streams and send messages. This we find works particularly well for Twitter where ideally you need to be sending more than one message every working day (or at least most working days).
17) Tracking Keywords on Twitter - using our favourite social media tool, Hootsuite you can permanently track when particular industry related keywords are used by anyone within a Tweet on Twitter. This we find particularly useful in researching and staying up to date in our industry, which is fast changing, almost every week. Also for some businesses, potentially opportunities too, where you may be able to respond to someone's need that they've expressed via a Tweet and they may not have heard otherwise of your business.
18) Lists - Managing the Twitter traffic - ideal for when following too many profiles and you can't keep up with all the tweets within the main stream you're following and or you have multiple audiences or locations that you want to further focus on using Twitter. Within Twitter or on Hootsuite you can create Lists relating to a theme, industry, location etc and then add relevant Twitter profiles to those lists. This then allows you to focus on the tweets relating to that list. All helping to manage the Twitter traffic, which can otherwise become overwhelming.
19) Photos / Videos - particularly on Facebook, posting photos and videos helps make content much more engaging and catches the eye increasing the chances of your post being seen and read. If you're thinking of creating photo albums on your Facebook Page, do be careful not to create them all at once as otherwise you may end up bombarding your fan base with multiple posts within short timeframe.
20) Competitions - on Facebook there are strict rules to follow otherwise your Page could end up being suspended. You cannot directly run a competition via the banner, posts, notes etc. They have to be run via 3rd party apps that plug in to your Facebook Page, unfortunately this does involve a cost. However this can be a great way to engage your customer base online, gain likes as well as email addresses. Here you can then email market to them as well (perhaps send a regular newsletter). We often recommend Wildfire Apps for running competitions and can help where assistance is required.
21) Message Connections - did you know that LinkedIn can act as your second address book? For those that you connect with on LinkedIn you can send them an email without even requiring their email address. This is a great way to keep in touch with those that you're connected with online. You can organise your contacts too by location and industry, contacting those that fit a particular criteria when applicable.
22) Participate in Groups - within LinkedIn there are discussions groups by location, industry, accreditions, organisations etc. These groups are a great way to reach out to a wider targeted audience online. UK groups often have hundreds or in the low thousands of members. International groups often go in to the high thousands of members. Where else could you do this for free! You can participate by joining on other people's discussions and kicking off your own discussions.
Why not join our group and post your online marketing queries here - at the moment there is some great info on blogging by RSH Copywriting.