Social media is definitely coming into its own. A large number of people just use them for fun, but social sites can also be very good marketing tools. In 2014, it is even more vital that you establish a presence online through sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Google’s Hummingbird update revamped the way search works. As a result of the upheaval, social network activity now counts toward search engine rankings. This is a whole new world of optimization and one that will take many sites a while to implement. You can get ahead of the competition by adding social sites to your optimization strategy now.
There are dozens of social media websites available to business owners. It can be a little confusing to sift through them all and find the best option for your needs. Google+ and Twitter have both proven to affect site rankings and should be high on your list of sites to use. However, you will need to go where your audience is.
It can be very difficult to maintain a regular presence on more than two or three social media sites, so you will need to choose the right ones for your business. If you are handling the entire marketing campaign on your own, it’s best to start with one site and build from there once you have the hang of it. Another option is to outsource this part of the process.
The first thing to consider is whether or not your audience frequents the site. If your audience is teen males, for example, they probably won’t be on Pinterest. Likewise, you are less likely to find senior citizens on Twitter. Know your audience and find the places they enjoy hanging out.
Other things to consider include:
- Format. Does your product or service lend itself best to photos, video or text? This will help determine where you choose to promote your company. Some networks, such as Facebook, are ideal for multiple formats.
- SEO. Not all social networks are identical in the impact they have on search engine rankings. Google+, Twitter and YouTube tend to have the biggest effect, but many other sites are also good for SEO.
- Learning curve. Most sites have something of a learning curve. You can avoid this completely by hiring a social manager, but if you intend to handle the networking yourself, be aware that some sites are more complicated than others.
Choose the site you feel would have the most benefit for your business and begin there. Once you have built up a following and are comfortable using the site, you can branch out to others. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself… SEO includes a variety of factors and you will need to spread your time out over all of them.
Using social media can be time consuming. It is not a set and forget type strategy. You will need to regularly update your accounts and interact with your potential customers and followers. It can be useful to schedule a specific amount of time each day to spend on social media.
In order to get the most out of your accounts, you should do the following:
- Ensure that your profile is up to date and optimized for your main keywords.
- Add new followers regularly. Choose these people carefully and look for those who are already active on the site and have plenty of followers themselves.
- Interact with followers. Ask questions, comment on other people’s status updates or tweets and generally be part of the group. This builds trust and makes it more likely that others will share your links.
- Check for messages daily. You should really respond as quickly as possible to private and public messages.
- Don’t spam. No one cares to see ads over and over again and you will rapidly lose followers if you only post ads and links to your own site. Instead, post useful information, tips, and links to other quality sites in between your own links.
- Make it easy for people to share your content on social networks. Add icons to your site so it only takes one click to share photos or articles.
- Take your cues from trending topics. What people talk about on social media is often a good indicator of what will be popular if you write about it. This can gain you new followers and help you stay on top of top trends.
- Stay active. An account that doesn’t post anything for several weeks or months and then suddenly springs to life for a short time, only to go dormant again, will not help your cause. Slow and steady wins the race.
Social sites are far more important now than they have been in the past. With a little planning, you can boost your rankings through this method alone.