It used to be that you only needed to have a web site and as far as online marketing was concerned it was: job done! These days though as more people have embraced the internet, especially via the mobile access on-the-move, the growing internet audience is spreading out further. Increasingly this means over to social media.
You have heard in the media “hash tag this” and “message me on Facebook”, but the online revolution may have escaped you a little bit. That’s okay. Culture change pretty fast with online media and it’s hard to keep up. We know. We work in it all week and it’s a challenge for us too.
The audience you seek for your business is fractured. In TV, it used to be that there were just a handful of channels, then channel 4 came along, then channel 5, and then the satellite channels elbowed their way onto the telly. Pretty soon audience numbers for prime-time shows were falling because there was so much choice. The same has happened online.
Potential customers are just as likely to find you from a post in a Facebook group about your market niche than they are to find your site from a Google search. Don’t get us wrong, ranking high in organic Google search results is still a great objective to have, but it’s become more difficult than ever to achieve and tougher still to sustain it.
Catch Eyeballs Everywhere
People search in YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest with regularity now. They still search in Google too, but it’s more something they do if they don’t find what they want on a social site that they’re visiting at the time. You want them to find you and it’s tougher now to get their attention online. There’s so much distraction.
To deal with this situation, it’s necessary to have social media accounts on several popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube to show up when users of those sites run a search. If you’re not there, your competitor is, and they’ll likely get first dibs on the new sale or commission.
Expand Beyond The Web Site Model
There is a primary need today to expand beyond a web site. Make your web site the core place to find information about your business and the goods or services that you offer.
Then treat several other social media channels as alternative ways to get some initial information out about your business which can act as marketing breadcrumbs leading potential customers to your web site later.
Create A Good Media Impression
Don’t think of media image as solely how your brand may be represented on TV (if your marketing budget was large enough to afford TV advertising). Today, people quickly form their own opinions based on how staff at the business portray themselves on the net.
A kind comment or helpful link posted in reply in a related group or page on Facebook can have a positive, pay-it-forward, results in the goodwill it creates when done altruistically and with consistency.
Having fresh content written for your web site’s blog is a good idea, but equally updating a Facebook account with a new post every week or so is useful too. Just copying existing content from your own site and re-purposing it on Facebook might not be seen as that helpful if the people visiting your Facebook page have already seen your blog.
Instead, consider something short and pithy as a fresh Facebook post. This can compliment a more expansive piece containing deeper thoughts on the same subject for readers to digest posted on your web site.
Share Good Ideas
Don’t keep good ideas to yourself. This also relates to ideas other people in your industry thought of first. If it is likely to help others, consider tweeting it as a link on your Twitter page and credit the person correctly.
Indeed, for every promotional tweet, add a small handful of tweets recommending great related content around the net. If you can, inject some of your own or your staff’s sense of humour to show that there are real people behind your business. After all, no one really likes the modern automated phone system: “dial 1 to be ignored, dial 2 to have your time wasted, dial 3 because we don’t really care enough about you….”.
If your industry lends itself well to interesting, eye-opening photographs, then make sure you have a Pinterest account where these photos can be posted. Even large conglomerates like GE which makes aeroplanes and machine parts found a way to post about the people behind these huge planes and made it interesting.
Coca Cola shares stores about the people behind the brand. Bring your brand to life with some good photography. Cameras on most smartphones are more than adequate to snap off a half-decent shot these days. Don’t get left behind. Find your voice!
Everywhere At Once
Being everywhere at once doesn’t mean being so busy marketing that you have no time to do any “real work”. In reality it means meeting people where they are on the net, rather than waiting and hoping that they find your web site. Going out to find them. Please them enough that they’ll want to visit your web site to follow-up on what you can do for them. That’s a better way.
The occasional post on a social channel, just a handful of times a week can be enough to spark interest if the comments and content are interesting. People like to work with the little guy/gal. They like the personal touch. A real human answering the phone.
The same is true of human stories and snapshots of life in your industry. What may seem mundane to you, could be interesting to other people. It gives you and the business a personality and this makes other people want to work with you more. You just don’t know until you try.
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