There is the constant echo of “social media” and its use within businesses especially small to medium sized businesses. But what are the most popular platforms and how does each work to benefit a business? The main social media platforms are household names nowadays whether its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and more recently Google+ . Let us explain the use of each of these platforms in more detail:
The rise of social networking in recent years has changed the way people use the internet and drastically increased the number of hours people spend online. Obviously, this means there is the opportunity to get in front of more potential customers in new and different ways.
With over 750 billion users, Facebook one of the most used leading social networks and can allow visibility of your brand in such a way that potential customers can interact with you like never before. With the ability to create specific brand based profiles, pages and groups at absolutely no cost, customers can visit these areas, get up to date information and become part of your community without even having to leave the Facebook site, one major advantage to this is it is not as intrusive as other forms of marketing, meaning they are more likely to take notice and interact with you, increasing the potential of them buying what you are trying to sell. With so many potential customers all under one roof, it should be obvious that making your business part of Facebook in one way or another is a must if you want to increase you online presence and keep up with your competitors. Take a look at our Facebook page here:
A large part of Facebook advertising is what is done after you have created a profile, page or group as just doing this is by no means enough. There are strategies that can be implemented to ensure you keep your potential customers interested and engaged. It’s not about being a brand as such but more about creating a community that your potential customers want to be part of. This way, you can consistently get them to pay attention to what you are trying to market without having to do it the ‘hard sell’ way.
The Facebook Ads platform is a relatively new concept that although works in the same vein as platforms such as Google Adwords, has the potential to attract customers in a much more specific, targeted but also in a slightly different way. As you would expect, the Facebook ads are present within the Facebook social network. One of the major advantages with this is that social networks, especially Facebook, is not a director competitor of any of the search engines and where as people who use Google may not use Bing or Yahoo, or vice versa, People who use any of the search engines are likely to also use Facebook. What also separates the Facebook Ads platform from other Pay per click networks is that it provides the facilities to target potential customers much more accurately. Now, although it doesn’t use keywords specifically, it uses the user’s details, hobbies, interests, location etc to present your ads the correct specific target audience that match the parameters you set. There is a slight disadvantage with Facebook PPC network and it lies in the fact that people logged on and actively using a social network are not as likely to be looking to purchase a product or service at that moment especially when you compare them to someone who in using a search engine and types in a phrase such as “Buy cheap Panasonic LED TVs in Blackpool”. However, it does have its unique benefits and is definitely going to get stronger as social networking continues to expand and change.
Twitter is a micro blogging site that allows users to submit 140 character long posts about almost anything they are inclined to tell others about. These posts can include links to other sites, blogs, pages of interest etc. Twitter is used by a whole variety of people, celebrities and businesses all for different reasons. However, if you are a brand or business who wants to become part of Twitter and maximise its potential to drive more visitors to your website then you need a solid approach to achieve the desired effect. The first and most important step once a twitter account has been setup is to establish, build and continually increase the number of followers of your account. There are many ways to do this including the use of your own site and email marketing, amongst others. Basically, the more followers your Twitter account has, the more likely someone will take the action you intend from the twitter posts you send out. Take a look at our Twitter page here:
Once you have followers who are willing to listen to what you have to say, a consistent and long term approach is usually the most effective. A lot of people will post random bits of information but for a business you need to build and maintain your brands identity within the twitter community and doing this with an overall objective in mind will be far more effective. For example, if your business is one that sells consumer electronics and you have offers on a regular basis, ensure you provide these offers to your twitter followers along with links to information about new technology in the industry that reaffirm what you are trying to sell, helping to convince the customer that is the technology they want and you’re the people to buy it from. A further step is to stay active within the Twitter community and interact with your followers by following them and paying attention to what they have to say. The more you interact with you followers, the more they are likely to interact and ultimately buy into the products or service you have to offer.
Don’t forget Twitter marketing is an important part of social marketing and can have a very positive impact on your potential customers. Just like any other form of marketing this has to be done thoughtfully and always with the aim to deliver the desired result, be it generating more leads or spreading the word about a new product or service you offer.
YouTube is now unofficially classed as the 2nd biggest search engine in the world. We say unofficially because it is not actually a search engine.
YouTube is a video hosting site that allows any person or business to upload videos for others to find and view. You can create bespoke channels where all of the videos any single account has uploaded can be found. What is so important about this social media platform is the speed of its growth and the volume of its use. As the stats above clearly show, this is only going to increase as more and more people take to sharing and watching YouTube videos. Other than the obvious benefit that size of the audience YouTube offers, another huge benefit of having YouTube videos is that they can be optimised and are indexed in the search engines results pages. This means a video you have created for your business whether it about a product or service you offer can rank on the 1st page of the search engines for some your most important keywords. Further to this is that, according to Internet Retailer magazine, people who watch videos are also 85% more likely to buy than people who do not. Please take the time to watch one of our videos:
A lot of small to medium sized businesses are put off using video usually due to production costs. However, Rocketfish can create, produce and optimise videos at a more competitive cost than you might expect and these videos will undoubtedly generate more leads and sales. Please search “Condici mother of the bride dresses” in Google and you should see a video we created for one of our customers on the first page. This has done wonders for our customer and we could do the same for you.
The birth of social networking has brought the ability to market your business in a much more interactive way to allow you to build brand awareness with direct interaction of potential customers. The majority of people are already aware of the multitude of social networks available such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube which are based around entertainment for the user. This is where Linkedin separates itself. Linkedin is focused around business professionals and business networking. With over 60 million members some of which are executives in large companies, it can act as direct access to the decision makers in businesses, which if used correctly could be just the type of leads companies are aiming to generate. This type of social networking is much more effective for businesses operating at B2B level although it can also work at B2C level, don’t forget even business owners and executives want and need consumer products and in fact may have more disposable income than an average Facebook user.
So how do you market successfully using the Linkedin social network? Well, most importantly and not to dissimilar to other social networks, you need to build your own network. By creating a personal account and building a network of connections with people who are part of your business or know your business well, will allow you to build recommendations. From this, you can create a group for your brand which will expand much further than your network. With the traditional networking facilities to be able to create discussions, share information and news and even create sub groups.
Focus also needs to be placed on maximising the potential of your Linkedin profile. Imagine your profile as a landing page; it needs relevant, up to date information, appropriate use of keywords and good quality anchor text based hyperlinks as well as the more simple things such as a profile image, don’t forget it is still a social network at the end of the day even if it is part of your marketing strategy.
Another key to all social media marketing is to actively use and engage within the network. The more actively you use and interact on Linkedin, the more your Linkedin marketing strategy is likely to achieve its goal.
The final important step is to promote your Linkedin profile in as many ways and in as many places as possible, from you website to your blog or email newsletters.
Google+ is Google’s social networking equivalent of Facebook and has only recently launched in the UK. With it being such early days and their currently being drastically fewer users than there are on Facebook it remains to be seen how much of an impact it can have for small businesses. What we are all likely to agree on is that with it being a Google product, there is no doubt it will grow into a useful tool.
As you can see social media has a lot to offer small to medium sized businesses in a huge variety of ways and if conducted correctly and with the right help, not only will it elevate your online credibility, it will ultimately help generate more leads and sales.
Rocketfish Ltd can help with all of this, from bespoke page creation and bespoke account setup, to help with gaining “likes” and followers and ensuring you a have a solid social media strategy. So, if you would more information, call either of our Manchester office on 0161 839 9333 or our Blackpool office 01253 693 488 to discuss your requirements further. Alternatively, complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.
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