So you want to market your business online through social media marketing? Not sure where to start? Well, here are some strategies to get you started, including the power of hashtags on Twitter. (A subject that I will return to later). They are free and easy to apply and great for any small business or if you are just working from home to make money in your industry of choice, as well as using the best iPhone apps.
- Instagram account for companies – One of the key actions that has emerged from Instagram is that small businesses around the world are embracing this relatively new phenomenon to market their businesses. Visitors interact with color and image platforms (as well as short videos) and see a different side of business. It shows a very human side of a company, which shows that it is not just about selling, selling, selling. Take action on Instagram if you haven’t already. A great little app for your iPhone, it allows you to interact with your clients even when you are not in the office or, in fact, not even at work …
- Facebook and Twitter – FB is still the world’s favorite with Twitter hashtags inside. The saying goes, your friends are who you talk to on FB, on Twitter, you talk to the world. Hashtags are a must have on Twitter, although they are still frowned upon in Facebook and Facebook marketing. Although people use them, I am inclined not to as they serve no purpose in the way people use FB to search and therefore not the ideal way to make money for your business. There is a rule of three on Twitter, so if you want to use hashtags on Twitter, never use more than this. You don’t want to be caught spamming on any of the sites, or FB would shut down your page. Tag your keyword in the search box and see what people are saying about it. Join the conversation if you can and answer questions if they have any. This is a free thing and it will make the world notice.
- Facebook advertising – You also don’t have to subscribe to FB’s top ad ranks, although you would make use of their ad manager as you can use it to view your audience demographics. FB tools allow you to see exactly how many people you could be targeting who are already on FB. FB will calculate the number of people who match your ‘ideal customer’ criteria (so if you haven’t, go ahead! It’s very valuable!). I would also recommend that your friends share your company page etc. Join groups on FB who are already interested in the area or product you are marketing, watch the discussions on these pages and join. Once people see you as an expert, they are more likely to trust you and therefore buy from you. In the next paragraph, I highlight another tool: Google+ and the way to benefit from all of these social media platforms is to be consistent with their content and link to all of them for ease of posting. The best iPhone and Android hardware apps for this are free and make this process a breeze. I recommend the free Hootsuite account to get started.
- Youtube – is not ruled out, and is growing steadily in social media marketing. It’s being used as a search engine by a growing number of people (you can also link a Google+ account to this, and it has skyrocketed marketing success. Mainly for larger companies, but small businesses are also targeting it. Everyone owned by Google, of course, is the big G word you need to impress on the net!) I would definitely consider making movies about you, your team, product and doing demos on how to use your product or if it’s a service, use the video to tell them how they will benefit from using your service. People need to know what the benefits are.
The art of Has, how …
- As a mantra, always remember this … ‘Have, which one, then’. In other words … tell your customers what you have or what your product has, then tell them what that service / product will do. ‘So’ … tell them the benefit of them using the service / product. You will also need to use this type of content on your website. Have fun with your videos. Add music (free music, of course, various sites will offer free music) and credits, also add a link to your website at the beginning and end of the movie. Don’t go longer than three minutes – people tend to get bored if it lasts longer than this. Keep this in mind with your podcasts as well. AudioBoom for Business is a great place to upload podcasts very easily. They do all the formatting with you and you can download the app so you can make podcasts and upload them on the go. Three minutes on this site will get you a free account. If you want to do hour-long podcasts, you will need to pay. Around £ 60 a year is still a good investment, but first of all I’m sure the free account will work just as well.
- Blogging – I can’t stress this enough. Use WordPress (loved and adored by Google) – I also recommend a plugin called Squirrly SEO. Together with the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you will maximize your chances of reaching the first page in Google results. It’s a tool that sits alongside your posts in the editing stage and will help you make the most of your use of keywords that Google searches. Use the Google Keyword Tool to find the keywords your customers are likely to use to find you. Tap on a keyword and the plugin will tell you who is searching for that word, talking about it from instant news feed and from social media. It will even give you a variety of royalty-free images to use, so the hard word is made for you. It will also tell you as you type if your post is Google compatible and how to maximize it. You get the first 40 keywords for free, then you have to pay after that and it costs around £ 6-9 per month. An excellent investment without going broke. Of course, with your blog, you can share it everywhere, even here (!) And other sites like Empire Avenue and Tumblr.
REMEMBER! Google loves links and you will get a high G score if you have a lot of inbound links to your site from other sites. The best way to do this is to share your content as stated above. Always make sure that the links come from sites respected and respected by Google. Don’t just ask people to link to your site from any old place. Google will detect you and you will lose credit with them. Publish your articles in places like E-zine, another favorite Google site. If you’re not sure about something, better advice? Look it up on Google first, Google your keywords and see who comes up – the first page is your competition. There is also a WordPress plugin for E-zine that allows you to publish your article the moment you publish it on your blog. I would use the WP plugins to the hilt. They are brilliant and useful, especially the All In One SEO plugin, which I highly recommend and which will do all the SEO for your site.