How to Drive Traffic to your Social Media

traffic

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and all the rest are a great way to get the word out about your business. Increasingly, the vast majority of businesses, small and large have profiles and accounts on the various social media platforms. They have chosen which ones are right for them and they are ready to use them to promote their products, services or brand. In my social media consultancy business I meet many small business owners as well as people who run charity organizations who have got to this stage but have not gained as many followers or fans as they would like.

Here are four simple suggestions of how to promote your social media accounts and drive traffic to them in order to build a stronger social media following.

Social Media Links On Your Website

Many of the visitors to your website are quite likely to be interested in following you on one or more of your social media platforms, so make it as easy as you can for them to do this. Find a clear place on your website, close to the top, near your logo or title, in the top right of the screen, by you blog posts, somewhere like that. Create or find some matching icons for your social media platforms of choice that complement your image and put them all together in this instantly noticeable spot and clearly label them. Many social media platforms make embeddable share buttons available, so consider adding one of those, so that anyone who visits your site can tell people about it through their social media. You could repeat these links to your social media pages on your “About Us” or “Contact Us” pages.

Promote Social Media Offline

Social Media is all about being social, so when you are in your place of work, or out and about interacting with people face to face, on the phone, or writing letters, remember to promote your social media sites. Your business cards should have your social media site URLs, as can your letterheads. Also, consider putting the URLs on any print advertising you send out, in the window of your physical location if you have one, at trade shows, or on your receipts. Encourage clients to “check-in” to your location, and offer them incentives to follow you on social media.

Social Media Links In Your Email Signatures

Customers may contact you by email to ask about your business, without having considered following you on social media. Customize you email signature with the social media icons below your name. Make sure that the icons are hyperlinked so that people can follow you easily. As you build a relationship with your clients and customers by email they will feel more inclined to follow your progress and news on social media. If you send our a regular newsletter, be sure to add links to this.

Engage Your Followers

Use your social media wisely, and make sure that your posts stay relevant to your business, and that you are interesting to your clients. If you are entertaining your followers, then they will be engaged and commenting on your posts, liking them, and retweeting them. This way their followers will see your posts, and if they like you, they may follow you too. Remember the social part of social media. Respond to people, take note of what does engage your followers and do more of it.

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How to Make Friends and Influence People… on Twitter

Not all of the small businesses I meet in the course of my Las Vegas based social media consultancy have a Twitter account. Many of those that do have set it up, linked the posts to Facebook, and done little else. Maybe some are Tweeting, but they are not sure how to gain new followers and get their message out there to their audience. To be effective on Twitter, you need to attract an audience of followers who find your tweets interesting, and even better, share it with their followers. Here are tips to make that happen:

Focus

Many personal Twitter accounts tweet about their general daily life and opinions, but that is not the way to run a business account. Choose your specific topic, and stick to it. Tweet about your business, your industry and the complimentary industries and news stories.

Consistency

Concentrate your tweets on your specific topic. If someone has started to follow you based on your previous tweets and bio, they want to see your content stay stable.

Be interesting

Make engaging comments and share great links, so that people want to share your tweets with their followers.

Be Tweetable

If you have a blog, or other online media content, include buttons for social sharing. Try to keep posts short and sweet, to keep them accessible.

Keywords

Follow others who are in your industry and use the same language as they do. If people are searching Twitter for certain words and terms you want them to be able to find you tweets.

Hashtags

Find out how your community is defining words and phrases using the Twitter hashtags, and use them too. You can get involved in lots of Twitter conversations that way.

Discuss

This is a social network. Just as you would not stand in a room at a party and shout out things about yourself, don’t do that here, respond to others, ask and answer questions.

Participate

Join in on Twitter chats, you can share your ideas and maybe even learn something.

Follow Back

Check those who follow you and retweet you, they probably have interests that are in line with yours. Thank them for retweets and follow them back.

Retweet

Once you have found those people who are both interesting and complimentary to your topic, retweet their stimulating tweets, your followers may want to read them too.

I would love to hear from other who have suggestions on how to build a Twitter following.

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How to Use Facebook for Search Engine Optimization

Many businesses of all sizes now have a Facebook fan page to promote their business. It is a great platform for online marketing for so many types of business. It can help build your brand and it can be used to engage with customers and clients, but another big area of added value from Facebook is that of Search Engine Optimization. If you optimize your fan page for searches using keywords, then your Facebook fan page can show up organically in listings when potential clients search for the products or services you offer.

Here are six tips on how to do that:

Page Name

Choose a page name for your site that is relevant to search terms that people may use. This may be your company name or a short summary of what products or service you provide.

User Name

This is the address of your page, in the format http://facebook.com/username, this is used by search engines, but also needs to be relevant and short for human users to remember it.

About Section

The Facebook fan pages have an “About” section, make sure you fill this in because search engines use this part of your page. Use keywords as you would for SEO of your own website, but be sure to write this in a way that is understandable for humans, not just search engines.

Link to Facebook

Set up links to your Facebook page from your business website and blog if you have one, and other places where your business is mentioned on the internet. For this to work for SEO, do not just use the plugins, you need a high quality link directly to your page.

Links and Likes

Encourage existing and prospective clients to “like” your page. Also, use advertising. For each user that “likes” your page there is a link back to your Facebook page on that individual’s list of likes. Search engines sees all profiles or pages set as public so will factor them into a page’s ranking.

Become a Place

If you add your business address as a Facebook Place people can “check in” to your business. Each time that happens, they are shown the “like” button for your page, which, if they click it, will increase the number of links to your page.

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Robert Cialdini Inspired Tips for an Influential Social Media Strategy

I am a huge fan of the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini . I think it schools everywhere should have it on their curriculum. Certainly, everyone in business, large or small, should read it. Here are my tips to apply his methods to an online social media marketing campaign. These methods can help you to increase contacts, leads and sales.

Become a leading authority. Take note of what your competitors and clients are discussing, online and offline, and learn about the topics. The people you deal with will not follow your advice if they don not believe that you know your subject. Consider starting a blog to communicate your thoughts to the world at large, and encourage others to read and comment on it.

Create social proof of your authority. People are more likely to trust that you are knowledgeable on your subject if you have other followers or fans. Collect and publish feedback and testimonials to provide proof to those who do not know you that you can be trusted.

Be accessible. Create interesting content for your followers, and make sure you target it at the right level for your audience. If people do not understand or like your content then they will not share it and it will not create discussion.

Create scarcity. Do not give too much away. Have offers that have limited time frames. Encourage people to take you up on the offers as soon as possible, because they might just miss out otherwise. Create exclusivity around your product or service.

Scratch each others’ backs. The book suggests doing something in advance for someone before you ask them to do something for you. People are far more likely to do things for you if you as a reciprocal favor. Make sure you know who does do favors for you and be sure to thanks them and make them feel good about helping you out.

Be consistent. Keep a target is mind of what you want to achieve and make sure that all your actions are done with that target in mind. Engage people with your organization, and always listen to people as well as putting your messages out there. I say this all the time, but communications must be regular and frequent

I cannot recommend this book enough. Contact us at our Las Vegas Social Media Coach Website for further advice on how to use Cialdini’s methods to promote your organization through social media.

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Five Reasons Small Businesses Should Be Blogging

When I meet people in the course of my Social Media and Online Marketing business here in Las Vegas it is rare to find someone who is new to social media but who has a blog. Most of the beginners have tried one of the more popular platforms, such as Facebook, but many seem to think that they do not have enough to say to write a blog, they do not think they need one, or are not sure how to get started. In fact I find that small business have lots to say on their field, there are lots of reasons why they need one, and they can set one up in just a few minutes. And if that’s not all, you can set one up for free. Here are my top five reasons why your small business should have a blog:

Traffic

A blog will drive traffic to your website, and more traffic can often lead to more sales. For this to work, you must update it fairly frequently. When users are searching the internet for an answer to a question they might just stumble upon your blog and then check out your site. A visitor to your site may continue on to your blog, follow you, and there you have a regular visitor to your site and an audience. When you publish a blog, tell people about it on Facebook and Twitter, this keeps your audience returning to your site for the information that you share. This in turn helps to build your brand.

Community

If you are working in your field every day then you will find that you have lots to say about it. A blog will help you to show your online community your expertise. If you regularly update your blog with the things you learn through your every day working life your clients get to see how knowledgeable you are within your field. Consider what you audience would find valuable and share your knowledge. All this increases your visible online presence, which helps to win new customers and improve relationships with existing ones.

Reputation

Your business is likely to have competitors and you need to make your company’s voice heard in the online community. It is likely that things have been said about your business online by other people, so you need to get your own voice out there, too. Your blog will help you to manage your reputation. Your clients will read your posts and make a judgement on your credibility.

Credibility

Many people are more comfortable making a purchase from someone they consider trustworthy, someone they feel they know. If people can regularly read your blog posts they will feel as though they are getting to know you. It is important to interact with your readers. Encourage them to comment on and share your posts, and remember to respond to them. This helps to build relationships and strengthen your brand.

Customer Service

A major use of a blog is to inform your clients of any major changes within the business or industry, or of any new products that you are introducing. Your customers can read your blogs and ask any questions about your posts, this is very valuable, as long as you take on their feedback, use it to make improvements and of course remember to respond to them. This is an excellent way of getting news and information about your business out to the world at large, and a quick and easy way for prospective clients to find out about you.

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Eight Tips for Using Facebook to Promote your Businesses

So many businesses have a Facebook fan page, but are they all using it effectively? The most important feature of any Facebook post should be engagement. You need your audience to click your links, “like” or share them and comment on them. Finding ways to encourage them to do this will improve your marketing effectiveness. Here are some tips to try out. Bare in mind that all businesses are different and will have different audiences, some of these tips are more relevant to some business types rather than others. Take the time to consider these eight tips, try them out, and see what works for you.

Pictures

We all like an engaging pictures, and the fast growth of Pinterest is proving that. Photos will get you more likes, shares and comments than text, video and links.

Short text posts

Nobody likes those paragraph-long rants on Facebook. Take a tip from Twitter and keep it short. Try to keep you posts to less than 100 characters in length, edit your post to take out any words that don’t add value to your statement.

Choose your Days

Post on Facebook on the days that your audience is most likely to be looking. Monday to Friday is best, people are busy doing things away from computers and other devices on weekends. I find Monday morning and Friday late afternoon is best, but your audience may behave differently.

Choose your Time

Figure out what time of day your audience is on Facebook and post then. Engagement tends to be higher in the early morning, end of the workday and late at night. Analysing your audience’s Facebook trends gets harder if you cover a wider geographical area.

Questions

Asking a question will yield greater comments, simply because a question requires an answer. Even if you are conveying information about a new product or some company news, try to end your statement with a question.

The Right Questions

Choose your question carefully. The words where, when, would and should lead to higher engagement. The word why tends to yield the lowest amount of comments.

Don’t be obvious

Avoid making too many obviously promotional posts. Share your views on industry events, post pictures of products that compliment yours, give people valuable information, try not to force your product or service at people, otherwise they will not enjoy looking at your post and they may “unlike” your page.

Post Sentiment

Negative posts are more likely to get comments, and positive posts are more likely to get “likes”. For my businesses, I prefer to stay positive, but either way sharing your feelings will encourage others to share theirs.

In my role as a social media consultant here in Las Vegas, I often talk about Facebook fairly early on in a meeting with clients. They have usually tried some posts, and have varying degrees of success with it. We talk through ideas of how to increase engagement on their fan page, and discuss these tips, as well as other ideas, and figure which ones suit them best. For more information, contact me by email and I would be happy to help. If you have further tips on this subject, please comment below.

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How to use Pinterest to Promote your Business

How to use Pinterest to Promote your Business

Pinterest is a social networking platform concentrating on images. It has grown so fast over the past few months and is becoming super-popular. It now ranks third on engagement after Facebook and Tumblr.

Everyone enjoys a nice picture and that’s what Pinterest focuses on. Users share any pictures they find online by “pinning” them to their boards, which they can organize by category. To use it you download a toolbar which is allows you to “pin” images from any website. It is sort of like giving something a Facebook “like” or a Twitter “retweet” except you can share anything from the whole internet. Users follow each others boards according to their interests, and can “like” others’ pins or “re-pin” others’ images to your boards.

There are a number of ways that you can use this fast-growing social network to promote your business:

Pin pictures of your own products

Create boards to categorize your areas of business, and start pinning photos of your own products, or of people using your services. These are likely to be from your own website or blog to begin with, but start searching for photos other people have posted around the interest of them enjoying whatever it is that you sell.

Showcase your services

If you have no tangible product to sell you can still pin examples of your work. If you are a hairdresser, post pictures of your clients, if you offer consulting services of any kind, you can post screen shots or inspirational messages, or people using the skills you have taught them. Be creative to find a visual way to sell your services.

Search Engine Optimization

Pinterest pins will drive traffic back to your site. Always remember to use relevant backlinks in order to maximize the search engine optimization value of your pins. Use targeted keywords in you descriptions.

Share your Pins

When you pin a picture you have the option of Tweeting them or sharing them on Facebook. Use this functionality for extra promotion and drive traffic to your Pinterest boards from your other networks.

Feature Price tags

Pinterest allows the user to add a price tag when creating a pin. This also allow you to create a link which can point back to your website.

Encourage Re-Pinning

Offer rewards for those who promote you. For example, you can ask users to re-pin and share your pictures in exchange for entry into a draw for a prize. Their followers will see you content and perhaps become your followers too.

Branch Out

People who are interested in your business will also be interested in the peripheral businesses that you deal with. For example, if you sell shoes, your clients will be interested in matching accessories, or clothing. Offer them that complimentary added value and you will bring in more followers.

Engagement

As with all social networks, forming relationships requires interaction and engagement. Follow what is going on in your community, comment on others pins, follow other users, ask your clients to pin their favorite of your products, perhaps while they wear or use them.

Pinterest is quickly becoming a dominant player in the social-networking field. Consider whether it is the right social networking platform for you and your business and your marketing strategy, and if you thin it is, get in there and give it a try.  For more advice on using Social Media to promote your business contact us by email and we would be happy to help.

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