3 Great Tips on How to Maximize Social Media Efforts
If you are running a website or a small business, surely by now you, or your SEO company, have already created several social media accounts. You must have also followed the tips about optimizing your profile/about page and inserting pertinent keywords into your account descriptions. Now that you are all set, the next step is to use those accounts to effectively promote your website or business to customers and new audiences.
Establishing Goals and Social Media Presence
First and foremost, you need to have a goal for your social media arm. It is always easier to run a campaign if the goals are laid out. Accordingly, you also need to evaluate the strengths of your social media accounts so that you can set realistic goals.
For example, if you get plenty of Likes or Followers on your official Facebook fanpage or Twitter account, then you can use them to:
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Advertise your products, services and special offers
- Secure early conversions (ex: allowing customers to make reservations for limited products on sale)
Obviously, getting plenty of Likes and Favorites should be one of your first priorities. Similarly, you need to figure out which social media websites do your customers and target audience frequent the most. It’s the only way to maximize the marketing and promotional potential of social media accounts. You don’t have to be present on every single social media site out there; you just need to be present where your customers are.
Assuming as well that you already have quite a significant following in your social media accounts, you should then work on maximizing them for promotional and optimization purposes.
Socialize Like a Real Person
At the heart of social media marketing and optimization is socialization. If you cannot interact on a more intimate level with your customers, it would defeat the purpose of getting into social media. It will be as though they are visiting an ordinary web page, and you already have your website for that.
Use your accounts to socialize with customers and the general public. By actively interacting with them in the earlier stages of your social media campaign, you can determine the type of people who are drawn to your website/business, find out what grabs their attention, know the right way to talk to them so that they will respond, and so forth. Interactions in the social sphere can help pave the way for their trust and confidence to develop. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before your website traffic and conversion rate increase.
Here are some specific things you can do:
- Start conversations on your wall. You can ask specific questions or get people’s opinion about certain things. You comment on something that’s currently very popular, but state it in a way that will invite responses, be it affirmations or objections, from your audience. It doesn’t always have to be about your website, or the products/services your business is selling. The point here is to have a conversation and have an active wall.
- Welcome conversations started by other people. That’s even a good thing because it means your audience is starting to take the initiative of reaching out to you. It also fosters the sense of community among your fans/followers/subscribers, which is very important because these people might just become your most loyal customers. As heated arguments among fans are very common in social media though, you should also monitor posts and remove ones that are offensive to you or to others in your page.
- Mention names when responding to the responses people made for your original post. Singling out people makes them feel noticed, and that you pay attention to what they have to say. It’s just like how adoring fans are with their celebrity idols. They feel excited when they are specially mentioned, especially in social media because their friends and everybody else can see it. This will also encourage other people to be active on your page, knowing that there’s always a possibility you might reply to them.
- Send private messages when you have to. Let’s say someone is misbehaving on your wall, and you’d like to do some damage control. Any form of reprimand is best conducted in private. It’s possible that the person also didn’t realize he/she has done something offensive. It’s common in social media since people of different cultures are interacting with one another. You can also send private messages to say thank you, answer delicate inquiries, and respond to negative or heated feedback.
- Time your posts at hours when majority of your contacts are active. During weekdays, the peak time in Facebook (1-4 pm) and Twitter (1-3 pm) is in the afternoon. Apparently, both networks get a bit deserted during the weekends. Your own crowd may have a different peak time too, so be observant of the times and days when most of the people in your contacts lists are usually active. Time your own activity to coincide with theirs so that there will be instant interaction between you and your contacts.
- Make some posts sound a bit more personal, like inserting “please” when asking for a conversion, using “guys” to address everybody, and using the pronoun “we” in announcing social milestones. These friendly words will make customers feel like they are part of your team, and that your accomplishments are also theirs. This is another stepping-stone for building trust and loyalty among your customers.
- Use online tools to monitor and manage your social media accounts, like Hootsuite, Commun.IT and Tweetdeck.
Make Each Post Count
That is ultimately what maximizes social media for website promotion and optimization. That means each post must be able to achieve something:
- Post a link to your blog encourage and people to share it.
- Get people to visit your website or blog.
- Ask everyone to like your posts.
- Ask your contacts to invite their friends to become fans or followers.
- Encourage customers to make a purchase.
- Post something interesting and entirely irrelevant once in a while. This is in accordance to the “start conversations” tip. Even a simple “Good morning” post for your contacts will have achieved something: it tells people that your account is active, and that you’re ready to answer questions and post interesting things for the day.
Don’t “spam” your contacts by posting too many at the same time. It’s annoying, not to mention useless because people will likely dismiss them and flag them as spam. If there’s one thing you should avoid, it’s making your account look like a spam generator.