Using Social Media to Build Your Business, Part III

Create the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page social media

Is your business looking for more leads? Better brand awareness? Engagement? Conversions? If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, you need to have a social media presence, and developing that presence should be one of your first steps in creating a strategy.

Included in that umbrella term “social media strategy” are social networking sites, social new sites, blogs, real-time updates, and display ads. Each has its own value in terms of advertising your business and building relationships with customers and potential customers. For the purposes of this blog series, however, we are going to focus on three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tap into the power that is LinkedIn by creating a page for your business. It’s an essential part of your company’s successful online presence. It can be time-consuming to do it well, however, so you may want to delegate its management to one of your team members.

Here are some tips:

Make sure your page is memorable. Use interesting, compelling graphics to feature your company’s products and services. Do some research on your target audience and what might work to help your business get noticed.

Solicit the opinions of others. Customers can provide “recommendations” on LinkedIn. These are similar to reviews, and they will be seen by those who visit the business page. It’s a great advertisement for a company and gives credibility to its products or services. The recommendation will also be shown on the writer’s page, giving your business even more exposure.

Post! Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’re not actually posting your company page, what’s the point of having it? You can share items from your personal page, share company milestones, special offers, and highlights from employees. Yes, this does take some time, but it can be well worth it in the end when it comes to improving your online traffic,

Start your own LinkedIn group. Groups are one of the most valuable aspects offered by LinkedIn. They offer a way to connect with others who have similar goals. Well-run groups provide credibility to a business as well as offer a way to connect with consumers and fellow group members.

Using Social Media to Build Your Business, Part II

How to Use Twitter for Business social media

Is your business looking for more leads? Better brand awareness? Engagement? Conversions? If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, you need to have a social media presence, and developing that presence should be one of your first steps in creating a strategy.

Included in that umbrella term “social media strategy” are social networking sites, social new sites, blogs, real-time updates, and display ads. Each has its own value in terms of advertising your business and building relationships with customers and potential customers. For the purposes of this blog series, however, we are going to focus on three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Consistency is king when it comes to Twitter. You literally have to worm your way into people’s lives! If you are going to do this, you need to have a posting frequency that your audience expects. Whether it’s twice a week or twice a day (better, incidentally), be consistent about it so your followers know what to expect and so they are not disappointed.

So is commenting. If you want to build traffic, you have to be noticed. Don’t post and run; post and converse. Comment on “tweets” that intrigue or interest you. Retweet others. Thank others when they retweet you. Social media–and Twitter–is all about building relationships. Relationships are a two-way street; don’t forget that.

Keep in mind you cannot build a following overnight. (And it goes without saying that the “get 10,000 followers for just $29.95” type deals are completely useless.) If you want a quality circle around you, it takes time to build. Take caution when it comes to being controversial. You might get attention, but it might not be the right kind!

Consider using Twitter ads to improve engagement with customers, increase brand strength, and offer professional promotions.

You cannot operate in a vacuum–in life or on the Internet. Be unique, be interesting. Stand out from the rest of the crow. And remember–it’s all about your followers and readers. Provide them with good, interesting content and do it on a consistent basis

Using Social Media to Build Your Business, Part I 

Is your business looking for more leads? Better brand awareness? Engagement? Conversions? If you answered yes to any of the social mediapreceding questions, you need to have a social media presence, and developing that presence should be one of your first steps in creating a strategy.

Included in that umbrella term “social media strategy” are social networking sites, social new sites, blogs, real-time updates, and display ads. Each has its own value in terms of advertising your business and building relationships with customers and potential customers. For the purposes of this blog series, however, we are going to focus on three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

How to Attract Customers With Facebook

With some 1.35 billion users, Facebook is a social network where every business can connect with its audience. It can be a bit tricky, however, to build a following on Facebook–particularly as changes continue to be regarding who will see what you post. But there are some things you can do that should help.

Make sure you have a “like” button on your website. This makes it easy for people to like your page without even having to leave your website. Ideally, you want your readers to remain focused on your website when they are there, so having the like button makes it easy to do that–while still connecting with your Facebook page.

Include your page on your personal profile on Facebook. Add your business as your employer in your personal profile in the Work and Education section. This will make it simple for those you are connected with on Facebook to become a fan of your business page. This way your Facebook page will be connected to your personal profile link on your Facebook comments.

Suggest your page to your email contacts and your Facebook friends. Facebook provides these options under the “Build Audience” menu. It can be a bit time-consuming to do this as you can’t “select all.” But it is definitely worth it to go through the process.

Get involved in conversations on other relevant pages. You can participate in conversations and like other pages as your business page. This is an excellent way to get attention for your business in front of targeted audience. If you leave interesting comments, people will start looking at your page to learn more about you, and this will translate into additional “likes” from potential customers.

Try Facebook ads. Social media advertising can be tricky, but Facebook provides you a way to really target your audience with very specific demographics. You can also promote your posts using a budget you set (say, $10, $50, or whatever else you decided). Just remember that your goal is to reach as many people as possible who are your ideal customers.

The Rules of Engagement of Social Media

social media engagementSocial media networking has been around for a while, but some people are still having trouble navigating their way through the sea of stuff that is out there. The most important thing to remember is that social media is about building relationships; it’s not about blatant self-promotion.

Here are some basic rules that will keep you playing nice:

Be selective. Choose carefully which networks you join and who you invite as a friend. If you don’t know someone personally, send a personal friend request, indicating why you would like to connect.  Stick to people who appear to share common interests and common friends with you.

Be a good listener. If you are at a real cocktail party, there are visual clues to help you know when to listen and when to speak. You don’t have that luxury online, so developing thoughtful listening skills is be a great asset.

Be involved. And add value to online conversations. Give more than you get by offering helpful comments and useful links; be free with compliments and share a bit of information about yourself.

Be responsive. It’s important to respond to feedback or questions in a timely manner. Don’t stop the flow of conversation.

Be generous. Social media works best when you are generous with your knowledge and expertise. Self-promotion should not be your first goal.

Don’t be overly promotional. It bears repeating here: Social media is about building relationships. It’s okay to promote your products and services on occasion, but that should not be your primary focus. Announcing your book is fine; sending spammy messages on a daily basis about your book is not.

Be yourself. Being genuine is critical to any successful social media marketing campaign. Find your audience, listen to them, provide value to the conversation, don’t spam, and be yourself to get the most positive results. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not.

Be consistent. This holds true not only among your social media profiles, but the persona you are online should match who you are in real life. Don’t send mixed messages!

3 Tips for Using Pinterest to Boost Your Ranking in Search Engines

Pinterest continues to gain momentum in terms of companies using it successfully to market themselves. Companies are becoming Pinterestaware that Pinterest is a great tool when it comes to raising brand awareness and driving traffic to a company’s website. In this article, we’ll focus on how building link opportunities with Pinterest can help optimize your website or blog for the search engines.

If you’ve been blogging or have even just had a website for a while, you are aware of the importance of links. The more links you have, and the better the authority of those links, the better chance you have of ranking higher in the search engines. It’s kind of a no-brainer. If you have a link from the HuffingtonPost, obviously that will have more value than a link from another blog that doesn’t get much traffic.

Here are three ways you can build links by using Pinterest:

  1. Find guest blogging opportunities. There has been some negative press about guest blogging recently, but when you do it correction, it still has great search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. Pinterest makes it easy because you can take a look at the categories section and easily find topics that will fit your industry. Once you plug in your search, you can quickly scan pins to see what might be a good match. You are looking for websites that are authoritative and that also offer opportunities to guest blog.
  1. Find sites to host a giveaway. Giving away your products gives you amazing potential to reach your target audience by tapping into the sites they frequent. In order to enter the contest, users will have to like, share, and tweet about the product being given away–all of which results in reaching a wider audience. It is likely that the blogs that will host these giveaways will also cross-promote on Pinterest. Again you’ll want to use the search feature on Pinterest. This time look up “giveaway” and then “giveaway” plus your targeted phrase.
  1. Analyze competitive links. If you’re using Pinterest for business, it’s likely your competitors are too. Pinterest has a feature that allows you to find pins that come from a specific domain. You will be able to instantly see the images that have been pinned from your competitor’s site (and your own!) using the “source” feature on Pinterest. This will allow you to assess the kind of content they are sharing and getting others to share. Not only will this give you ideas for your own business, but you could discover some of the top “influencers” on Pinterest that could help you increase the reach of the items you pin.

Pinterest is more than just a virtual bulletin board of pretty pictures; it can actually work to help your business gain momentum in the search engine rankings race!