Social Media For Businesses: How to Take Advantage

Using social media to enhance your position on search engines

The Art of Social Media

All those lovely social media icons. Image by MKH Marketing (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Today’s businesses would be foolish to ignore any form of social media as part of their SEO campaign. Business owners are taking advantage of this to promote and grow their company. It is being used in many different ways, from promotion and brand awareness to providing a unique customer service platform. Unlike more traditional methods of communication, social media allows for greater customer interaction.

Having a presence on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest is now a necessity for any fast growing business. There are many benefits of a well organised campaign for your business. This article will discuss eight of the best and take a look at how you can take advantage of them.

Eight Effective Ways to Boost Your Online Presence

Today, promoting your website goes beyond producing high quality content and hoping it is seen by your target audience. Promoting your efforts on social media sites and the like helps to drive traffic to your website or blog. Your copywriting skills could be on a par with William Shakespeare but if nobody apart from yourself has seen your writings, it all counts for nothing.

1. Original well researched content still matters

Supposing we replace ‘chicken and egg’ with ‘content and traffic’, poorly written derivative content wins few friends with readers. Search engines loathe it even more as it undermines the authority of their results. Always endeavour to create original content: if you have enough confidence in your writings, ‘shout about it’ in the online sense. Before the ‘flim flam merchants’ try to spoil the SEO party.

Well researched original content builds reader confidence and in the long run, encourages other web developers to link to your page.

2. When blogging, keep to a regular pattern

What could be considered as ‘regular’ is subjective. In bus terms, once hourly is classed as ‘regular’ in parts of North Wales, though pretty garbage in Greater Manchester from Ashton-under-Lyne to Shudehill Interchange. For many businesses, once a week should suffice for the maintenance of a company blog.

‘Once weekly’ however is enough for thoroughly researched posts. But, take exception if your business has an important announcement to make. If the story is broken five days before your usual blogging day, don’t leave it till then. Mention it now when the story’s hot.

3. Consider other social networking sites: not only Facebook or Twitter

This may come as a shock: some people refrain from using Facebook or Twitter. Depending on your target audience, cast your net wider, towards other social media sites likely to show off your wares. Is food or fashion your raison d’etre? Add Instagram to your portfolio. Business to business communications? LinkedIn.

Though Pinterest is often associated with foodies and crafters, ignore this social networking site at your peril. If placing pictures of a good looking Victoria Sandwich cake isn’t your scene, it’s a very good source for curating infographics.

4. Don’t forget email!

As much as – or perhaps more so than – social networking sites, people still check emails. Even more so with the rise of the smartphone. Some people may prefer to be updated by email and this is a popular option for business-to-business communication.

Instead of getting somebody to send multifarious emails, you may prefer to use a service like MailChimp. As well as sending multiple emails, analysis of engagement rates are recorded.

5. Customer engagement also drives traffic and maintains interest in your website

The use of social media shouldn’t only be the preserve of promoting links to your website. On your Facebook page or Twitter feed, share blog posts and links from other sites which may be of interest to your readers.

Structure this so it ties in with previous content you have written and your company’s industrial sector. In doing so, this allows dialogue between yourself and your client base.

6. Guest posting: it takes two to SEO 

Inviting guests to post on your blog, and blogging on theirs in return could be good for your rankings as well as theirs. Before you do, show some discretion: does your desired guest blogger have the pure link juice or the one made from concentrate? If we wish to keep the extraneous E numbers away, our desired guest should be someone in a similar field to yours.

7. Never underestimate the power of good imagery

This is especially true with blog posts and landing pages. The power of a good image could draw readers to written content on your site or your social networking accounts. You could use public domain or Creative Commons images, or stock images from a source like Shutterstock.

Using your own images is better still. Not only due to the content being original but also the fact the copyright rests with you. For indoor photography, a portable photo studio kit and a tripod is a good investment. If you already have a DSLR and an external flash, use it!

As well as your blog or website, Flickr.com, Pinterest and Tumblr are good platforms for showcasing your imagery.

8. We are all online broadcasters now

Before Marconi’s invention, ‘broadcasting’ meant the distribution of seeds in a given area. Then, the ‘seeds’ became listeners, and our broadcasters donned tuxedos and plummy accents behind a desk in London. Or played records from a boat outside territorial waters, honoured listeners’ requests and opened supermarkets.

Today, the ‘seeds’ are also the target area of your website. Whether for the people of Ashton-under-Lyne or the whole of Greater Manchester or further afield.

Whilst you’re creating and promoting a website, it is best to imagine yourself as a Tony Blackburn or a Mike Sweeney behind a keyboard. With countless social media accounts on the go, pushing your business whilst keeping your websites and social networking accounts current.

For ‘listeners’ read clients: if the content’s well received, it is likely to be shared on other social media profiles. Word of mouth is also good.

One More Thing…

Before you embark on your social media campaign, creating an action plan you could refer to now and again may be helpful. Prior to making your presence known on social media websites, it is always worth exploring how your company publicity materials could transfer onto your profile pages. (Some websites have cheat sheets specifying resolutions for Facebook covers).

A website or blog is only a small part of your online presence. The rest is all promotion: driving traffic to the site via social media accounts and winning new business.