If you are starting out in business one of the easiest things to do to get your brand noticed is to set up social media accounts. These are free to set up and all that is needed is a bit of time to understand:
· who your customers are
· where they hang out on social media
· when are they online
Once you have understood these aspects, you can fine tune your content to suit your audience.
And remember that social signals are considered a ranking influence in Google.
Let’s look at Twitter. It takes around 10 minutes to set up an account. Adding in a photo of yourself or brand is important. Nobody wants to follow an egg head. Add a description that is relevant to your business. Then start following people! Use the hashtag (#) in searches to find people who are tweeting about the topic you are interested in. Then follow these people if they seem interesting.
Make sure that you don’t just tweet about your brand the whole time as that gets pretty boring. Find interesting, witty, trending content and add it into the mix.
Most people have a Facebook account. So it is easy enough to open a Facebook page for your business. Make sure that you are posting as a business when you want to be by using the settings at the top of the page. Use the hashtag to find topic or pages you are interested in and like these pages. Make sure that you ask your friends and family to like your page so that you have some fans!
Most people find this social media tool incredibly difficult and frustrating to use. It is reportedly a growing network, second to Facebook with 343 million users so it is worth getting to know. Setting up the pages is not as straightforward as Facebook. You have to decide whether you are a brand or a local business for instance. Brands do not get their location on Google maps. So choose carefully if you are a local business.
Once your page is verified by Google and is complete it may be listed as part of the local listings on the search pages so it is well worth setting up correctly. Posting is quite similar to Facebook but it is more flexible. There is formatting that can be added to the posts to make them more enticing. Photos are easy to post and have a big impact. The big plus is that because it is owned by Google, the posts can be indexed quickly by Google. +1’ing posts on Google can give credibility to posts in Google’s eyes and this may help with ranking your website. Not only that, but it can drive traffic to your website.
Social Media Tools
Once you are up and running with the accounts things will become easier. You can start to use tools to automate the process of posting. You can analyse which posts result in the most engagement and fine tune what you post to get more engagement. You can find out when your followers or fans are mostly online and focus your efforts to posting during this time. You can find people or pages with the biggest influence and engage more with them.
For a small business, stage 2 described above is probably something to consider once you are established. You can even outsource this type of activity (to this type of digital marketing company for instance!). The power of social media for small businesses is something which is underestimated. What do you think?