Social media is the latest buzzword in the virtual world of Internet. Initially, it may have been associated with the young who used it to stay connected with friends. But, in a very short period of time, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and YouTube have proven that they can serve as powerful marketing tools for businesses both online and offline. Social media is here to stay and (being a relatively new phenomenon) it has achieved a considerable scope for growth and evolution.
Social media is so powerful because it helps customers connect directly with providers and other consumers. Businesses can promote their products and communicate with customers to establish relationships and spread awareness about their product(s), service(s) or brand(s). This would obviously lead to improvement in sales and offer better chances for future growth.
Using Social Media
So much to gain from tools that are essentially free, is this too good to be true? Well, the answer is Yes and No. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. are freely available for use by anyone. But, using them well is quite another issue. If you are using them for business marketing purposes then they need to be treated as seriously as any other marketing tool. In order to be effective, social media marketing needs to be backed by a well-thought out marketing strategy and its execution needs to be carefully monitored, for any course corrections that might be required in future. Consequently, for success, social media requires resources like time and manpower that are not freely available.
Integrating social media into your existing business or ecommerce site can be quite time consuming. It also requires in-depth understanding of social media tools. You cannot just tinker around with it to see what happens. Social media should not be treated lightly, just the way you wouldn’t treat any other marketing tool like print ads or television commercials lightly. Since social media is used to directly connect with customers, you need to make sure that your customers always see the best face of your business.
The physical process of integrating social media platforms into a website is not very difficult. You can have the hyperlinked icons of various social media platforms and social bookmarking sites on your website and blog through a simple process of pasting codes and icons available from the social media sites into your website’s structure.
Using SMO to take your branding to an entire different level
One of the most popular services we have is our branding package with content writing. We have been able to make a company (with as few as one fan) look like they are a huge operation by branding the tools consistently. We then take it a step further and go into Twitter, Facebook and even our client’s blogs and post strategic content on their behalf. Here are just a few of the sites we worked on:
Using Social Bookmarking
If you have an ecommerce site, one of your critical priorities should be to get it optimized for search engines. This would ensure that your website would appear among the top search results when users are searching for information/products/services that are available at your site. It’s one of the best ways of ensuring that your target customers are aware of your sites and are reminded about it at the right time.
Search engine optimization has proven itself as an effective method for getting qualified traffic to the website. SEO is not enough; we need to combine it with newer tools. Although SEO is still a must, we now have another very good tool for driving qualified traffic to websites. It’s called “social bookmarking”. Social bookmarking sites help in building quality, one way backlinks to specific websites. This increases direct and indirect targeted traffic to those sites and also gets them indexed by different search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
However, once more, I would like to emphasize the importance of planning. All social bookmarking sites are not same and there’s no point spending resources on all social bookmarking sites that are available just because they may be free to use. Social bookmarking activities should be based on the nature of your business and the content of your site. For example, if your site provides financial services there’s no point bookmarking it in a site that primarily attracts teens (however well-performing it may be). You have to keep in mind that you require quality traffic to succeed. This means that people discovering your website through social bookmarking sites should be potential customers. You would also need to decide how to go about the process of using various social bookmarking sites. Ideally you should maintain a balance between promoting your products and providing value to the social bookmarking community. That’s how social bookmarking works and that’s the only way you will find your links appearing at the best places in social bookmarking sites. Moreover, the content you are bookmarking needs to be compelling. Otherwise, other people won’t bookmark it, which is an important element of social bookmarking.
Moving on to the technical side of things, in order to make it easy for your users to bookmark your content in various social media sites, you need to make the process as easy as possible. Don’t forget the icons! And make sure they are prominently displayed on your site. This is how you will be able to successfully integrate social media into your website. At our company, we are now even integrating sites like Facebook into the shopping cart experience. This gives your customers the option to tell the clients right then and there, while they are excited and in the moment, that they just bought from your site.
But, the one thing I must stress on is the content and maintaining these SMO sites. People want to see an active community. Quite honestly, consumers are tired of hearing why we think our products, services, and company is better than our competitors. They want to hear it from others, and when they do, they are more likely to buy from you. I know what you are thinking, when will you find the time to do all this? We are here to help, we have full time content writers and SMO specialist who will research, write, and then send to you for approval information relevant to your business. We also can except a list of topics and research the things you want, draft posts and then send for your approval. If you are not making noise and your competitors are, who do you think they will buy from?
If you are not sure about your in-house capabilities, you should not hesitate to outsource the work to a company like ours who uses all the latest ecommerce platforms and SMO tools to help you quickly and cost effectively integrate these features into your online business.
So are you ready? Lets start making some noise!