A Simple Guide to Marketing on Social Sites

Social sites

From the days of Myspace to the current landscape of nearly 200 (or more) social media platforms, social sites have really grown into something, haven’t they?  It used to be that sites like Facebook and Instagram were nothing more than a collection of peoples’ pictures and random thoughts, but now they are thriving, self-contained communities with ecosystems that rival the entire Internet. They’re also a huge contributor to any successful business, which is why today, we will be discussing the basics of marketing on social media.

Why Market on Social Sites?

Before we delve into the how, let’s talk about the why. As an insightful and intelligent business person, I’m sure you’re wondering “why should I invest my time and money into selling on sites like Facebook when I could just pursue other marketing strategies? How do I know it’ll work?” Those are great (and common) questions.

Here’s the deal with marketing on social sites: it works like magic – which is to say, it’s often mysterious in how it works, but there are foundations and best practices for attracting followers and delighting customers.  Worldwide, there are about 3.5 billion people using social media. That means that when you advertise on social sites, you are broadcasting to a huge audience.

In addition to the pure scope of social media advertising and marketing, there is also the added benefit of creating a more personal relationship with your potential customers. When you interact with people on these platforms, you aren’t just a generic brand, but a personality to which the consumer feels directly connected.

One final benefit of using social media as a means of marketing is that it can have a crossover effect with other marketing strategies. People who like your brand on social sites are likely to talk about it with other people in real life, and social media can even help boost your SEO. Boosting social pages on all your print and digital materials will further enhance your presence and reach.  You get quite a bang for your buck with the proper use of social media.

How to Market Using These Sites

Ok, so you’re still with me, right?  Here’s the deal.  There are a couple hundred platforms out there, but we only really need to worry about the top ten.  It’s not likely you’ll be able to spread across multiple platforms.  That would require an enormous amount of effort and budget.

So how do you actually start marketing on these social platforms? I’m so glad you asked, because I’ve been dying to tell you.  Start with your target demographics and put in the legwork (or hire us) to research typical demographics for the following platforms:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. YouTube
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Snapchat
  7. Reddit
  8. Pinterest
  9. Google+
  10. Tumblr

Figuring out your target audience can be tricky.  If you’re trying to sell a fancy wine, you’re not going to want to be aiming at broke college kids. Develop some buyer personas and learn who your audience is.  Do some research about what platforms they use and when they are likely to log on.

Once you have this figured out, start planning posts out by the week. If you are going to be posting 3 times a week, aim to make the posts somewhat related to the days and times you’re posting. This will make it easy for your audience to follow along and will help keep them engaged.

What kind of posts are we talking? Well, an easy and efficient way to go is to create posts that link directly to other content, such as a blog or product page. This lets you get your brand out there without being overly pushy or sales-y.

Warning!  Don’t let this be the only kind of posts you create.  That would be too boring, unless you have an amazingly talented blogger.  Facebook really doesn’t like it when you lead people off the platform, so if that’s all you’re doing, you won’t get as much reach. 

Making posts that are likely to connect with the audience emotionally is a must on social sites. If your targeting parents to sell kids clothes, throw in a few posts about how great kids can be (or how terrifying and funny it is to be a parent of ever-growing children).  If you’re talking to broke college students about your restaurant, talk about how super it would be to eat something other than Ramen tonight.

This allows your audience to feel a connection with your brand on a more human level. Everyone knows a sandwich place wants them to buy sandwiches, but when the sandwich shop talks about their dog-friendly culture, it takes on an element of sincerity and humanity. This is what separates you from the competition.

How to Start

Putting off things like marketing on social sites can be easy. It can seem so complicated from the outside, but the reality is, it’s quite simple once you start. Make a business profile, learn who you’re trying to reach, and start planning your posts.

If you like a bit more structure, try planning out posts in a spreadsheet. This will make your post creation easy and seamless and allow you to stay consistent.

Of course, you could always hire someone to manage your social media marketing and help you through the process.  Partner and account director, Rachael Herman, is a social media expert, proving success on multiple social channels across a variety of industries over many years.  Her secret?  Well, she won’t tell me.  She says, “every social engagement specialist has their own methods.  My way wouldn’t work for you, and yours make me jealous.”

Now, there’s a lesson to eat away at the mind’s walls of uncertainty.  Thanks, Rache!

If you’re looking for some help from an engagement specialist, schedule a chat with Rachael.  She’s happy to consult and won’t hassle you with sales pitches.

Google for the Gram: Using Social Media SEO

Social Media SEO

There’s a good reason the kids are calling this digital space we all love the ‘interwebz’. It is a unique realm where everything is connected, from endless Wikipedia rabbit holes to social media SEO. Yep, it turns out you can use that Facebook page for far more than finding out what your old college friend cooked for dinner last night; you can actually use social media to get more hits from search engines. Ready to learn how? Then grab my hand and let’s delve into the magical world of social media SEO.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a broad term that encapsulates any use of social media sites to promote a product or drive traffic to a site. Social media SEO is a simple extension of this type of marketing, wherein the postings on social media are used to raise your company’s webpage ranking on major search engines. This can be done in a few ways, such as:

  • Incorporating links into posts which boost SEO
  • Building connections on social media sites which affects relevant search results
  • Making your site/profile optimized for social media searches

Social media SEO is a fantastically efficient way to multitask. It’s kind of like when your daughter tells you she can write a paper while she watches TV, and you learn that it’s actually possible.  It’s the same when you realize how much social helps your brand and SEO, especially when you see that it saves time and money.

How to Use Social Media to Boost Search Engine Traffic

As stated above, social media can boost SEO in a variety of ways. One of the easiest and most obvious methods of social media SEO is optimizing the post itself for search engines. Having a well-crafted post on social media ups the chance of that post being discovered by potential clients when they Google related terms.

Another beautiful little crossover between social media marketing and SEO lies in the fact that social media is itself a type of search engine. More and more people are turning to social media sites when they want a new pair of boots or a sweater for their dog. People want to know what their peers think about potential products, and the human element of social media means that a search on Instagram is a great way to find out if indigo is the right shade for Mr. Waffles.

If you’re going to be using social media marketing, why not capitalize on the SEO side too? Social media will really give you insight into who your audience is and what they’re looking for.

One final way social media is relevant to SEO is that search engines are starting to factor in social media when ranking search results. While Google has said that social media is not a direct factor in ranking, there is plenty of evidence that it indirectly impacts actual ranking factors, and pretty dramatically.

As if that weren’t enough, SEO is a constantly shifting game. Any good SEO marketing strategy will consider the changing nature of the business and adapt, and if trends continue, it is highly likely that social media likes and shares will become direct factors in search engine rankings.

This means that you have a great opportunity to get ahead of the competition by building your social media now. The best part is, even if the social media factors don’t end up being incorporated directly into search algorithms, the work will benefit you in many other ways including helping you:

  • Build your reputation
  • Reach more customers
  • Learn what makes your customers tick
  • Retarget audiences for increased loyalty
  • Sell more products and services

The Takeaway on Social Media SEO

Synergy is everywhere on the internet. This is especially true when it comes to marketing. If you want to maximize on your investments in this area, social media SEO is a great way to go. It’s easy, it’s efficient, and unlike the endlessly streaming clips of store-bought cookie reviews I watched last night, it will make you feel like you’re maximizing productivity. Now go get in on this Google-Social crossover episode.