Start on the right marketing path
(Or take a detour to a better one than the one that you’re currently on)
By now, you’re probably getting excited about the prospect of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of new visitors coming into contact with your business.
You probably already have the basis of a way of creating or revitalising your company’s online presence. Online marketing is just like offline marketing in so many respects.
Nothing is more important than having a good plan.
Depending on what goods or services you sell, you’ll have more or less of a captive audience to listen to your value proposition. If you sell houses, you might be able to talk to a prospective client for half an hour even if they’re not interested. If you conduct seminars, the audience might feel like they have to stay all day, because they paid upfront and want to get as much as possible in return.
Online, things are very different, and attention spans are much shorter. This length of attention is one of the main differences between offline and online businesses. Visitors can back-click to their search results in a few seconds if it looks like they haven’t found what they want.
Because of this, you have to distil your sales message to make it instantly recognisable. At a glance, each page of your website should tell a visitor how they will be enlightened or entertained. If they’ve arrived at your site in error, that’s fine, but if they’re a suitable prospect, then you need to engage their attention quickly.
Gather information about your business
To proceed most efficiently, you need to collect some information regarding your business, offers, and your favourite type of client or customer.
Before getting started in helping you with your online campaign, we need you to gather some information. We’re unlikely to be experts in your particular sub-section of the industry. While we can research, guess and extrapolate, we prefer some factual input from you to make sure that we’re on the right track.
As you’re probably aware, internet search engines use algorithms to order data. The most important aspect of this revolves around keywords, key phrases and associated synonyms. One of the best ways of increasing online visibility is to identify which of these words and phrases best relate to your business. We then use these words and phrases liberally, in as many places as possible alongside your company name. (We use these words as much as possible while making sure our content is very readable. We also avoid overuse of keywords).
We also ‘spoon feed’ these words and phrases to the search algorithms in a way that ticks as many algorithmic boxes as possible. There are many other tasks ahead, but keyword research and proper use is the most crucial building block, along with link building.
When we build links carefully and gradually across the internet, they have to be in blocks of text that also contain relevant keywords and phrases.
We need to answer some critical questions
So, we start the process with a few questions that need to get answered concerning your business.
These are the most important questions to ask:
- List as many keywords and key phrases that you can think of that apply to your business. If you sell bicycles, then you will write ‘men’s bikes’, ‘men’s bicycles’, ‘women’s bikes’, ‘women’s bicycles’, all the way down to ‘cycle chain’ or ‘bike sprocket’.
- Who are you targeting? I.E. Who’s your perfect customer? Who do you want to find your website and take action that leads to revenue?
- Give us a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ for your company. This elevator pitch should be more important than any mission statement.
Do you know what an elevator pitch is? Just in case there’s a quick explanation:
When you’re at a dinner party, and someone asks you what you do for a living, there can be a tendency to ‘dress up’ the explanation. Many of us like talking about ourselves or our business, and we can effortlessly bore or confuse people. If you get in an elevator with someone and they ask you what you do for a living, or what your company does there’s little time.
A badass businessperson can very quickly sum up what they do, who they do it for and the results they get.
(The value proposition, target audience, and problem solved).
We need to distil this into a few sentences because this fits into the attention span of an average internet surfer.
When a client comes to us for content marketing assistance, first of all, we ask them to answer the three questions above. After this, there are a few more questions that we need answering for us to help them:
- Please list direct competitors websites for your business. We can research how well they’re doing in the internet marketing areas that we’re targeting. We can audit backlink profiles, for example. This analysis means that we’ll know how hard they’ll be to outrank, and how long it might take. When reviewing competitors backlinks, we can find opportunities to get the same backlinks as them. Then if we get some extra ones, we should be able to outrank them.
- Please list places that your target audiences go online. (The people and companies from question 2 above). The best place to recruit a larger audience is to go and ‘hang out’ with them. LinkedIn and Facebook are two prominent places, but please list any others that come to mind.
- Please provide admin and login credentials for anything that fits into our action plan. We DON’T need to see anything valuable such as your hosting, domain or email management accounts. We DO need to be able to log in to any Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media accounts. We also need to be able to log into the admin control panel of WordPress, or whichever content management system you’re using.
Our immediate strategy
Research is the first step. We’ll audit your website for statistics relating to site speed, health, and SEO ranking factors. We’ll also do this for several competitors. (If you don’t have a website yet, we can focus on competitor intelligence).
While we’re conducting research, we’ll get started on developing the social media presence for up to five social media channels. We’ll organise a platform where any of us can log in and review, edit, comment or post on any article across the whole set of social media accounts.
We’ll put a system in place where we can set up alerts for when any of your businesses keywords get mentioned across the internet. From this alert, updates, links or articles can be posted across the social media platforms. This system will keep a regular supply of ‘hot news’ that can get discussed.
We’ll compile a list of relevant backlink targets. Some of these will be easy to create, some will require outreach, and others might cost money (e.g. sponsorship or high-quality directories). These links will be built gradually and carefully so as not to cause unnatural spikes that search engines might not like. After a month or two, ‘before and after’ external audit tools will show clear progress across the web assets.
Longer-term strategy can then be discussed, depending on initial results. Our approach will evolve as we shelve misses and double down on hits.
We hope that we’ve explained our process clearly, feel free to supply as little or as much information as you have time to compile. We can do our research, but some of these requirements can only come from you, and all the elements are best coming from you.
Reach out to us if you have any questions!
We want to get found online, but what exactly do we want our customers or clients to see? Here are some simple ideas to help you achieve the results that you desire.
Following on from our article about creating an internet omnipresence, we examine some ideas around how to go about this. We can start with our website that needs to get created or expanded as much as is feasible.
The idea here is to put a volume of knowledge onto our sites so that we offer more in-depth information on as many topics as possible. We want to include as many industry-related keywords and key phrases as we can, and use synonyms and variations in the wording of phrases. This diversity will send signals to Google, Bing and the other search engines that we are authoritative in our area, because of the depth. Because of the width of topics, we’ll be more likely to be included in longer and more complex searches from users.
When people search nowadays, the terms are far more varied than they used to be, and the search engines can differentiate this and offer accurate results. Both search engines and searchers have evolved.
Create content about every topic that you can think of
So, the idea will be for us to cover every conceivable relevant topic in our niche. There’ll be limits to this, as you wouldn’t want to put sensitive company information, or your successful marketing tactics online. You should cover every topic in a way that helps a visitor. Hopefully, we leave them wanting more by offering ‘teasers’ of better information or solutions. They find out more if they buy/sign up/enquire or whatever goal we have in mind for them.
We want to make our content clickable, linkable, and helpful.
An example of clickable content would be a headline and subject that piques curiosity. This headline encourages searchers to click on our result in the search engines rather than someone else’s. (Not to be confused with clickbait!)
Clickable search results can help increase your ranking position. Imagine one of your posts is at number seven in a search and it’s getting more clicks than number six. Googles algorithm will detect this as a signal that your result is more relevant to the search and often switch the results.
Examples of clickable headlines/topics:
‘Discover the 3 best ways to avoid caking when applying eye makeup.’‘The biggest mistake that new engineers make that can hurt their career.’‘The solutions to the 5 most common challenges while chopping meat.’‘The top 10 countries to work in as a chef.’‘3 regions that you should avoid visiting altogether at the moment.’
People might get curious if the article indicates that it’ll help them avoid a big mistake or be better off somehow.
A piece of linkable content is something that another webmaster or author might want to share with their readers.
When writing an article, it’s often helpful to include statistics. Other times complicated concepts are introduced that can’t get explained in the limited space in the content.
If I were writing about the increasing popularity of home-delivery gourmet food, I might want to show a graph or an infographic. I’d include one that I found through Google and link back to the source. If that source happened to be you, (because you created an attractive piece of content), my link back to you will increase the power and authority of your site.
These links are added to help people find out more about a topic. They’re also similar to a bibliography in an academic book or paper. The reason why bibliographies exist is to show that research has gotten done, add credibility to the writer, and for them to cover themselves.
(It is OK to use small snippets of text or data under ‘fair use’ in copyright law.)
Unlike a bibliography, a backlink is sending ‘link juice’ and power back to the source. Over time these links make the whole destination site more powerful and authoritative.
This increase in website authority is what we aim to achieve.
Examples of linkable content:
- An infographic where information gets displayed visually.
- A controversial viewpoint that causes an opponent to write an article debunking it. They’ll link to the argument they’re referencing.
- Something groundbreaking, remarkable or funny. Something that people would want to share with their peers or associates.
- A resource that others would like to share. For example, you might create a free downloadable safety manual. You could then send an email to training managers, letting them know that they can use this for free to help them in their training programme. You would then ask if they could include a link to your download page from their website so that as many of their visitors can benefit as possible.
Valuable content will solve problems and answer questions.
These pages will correspond to actual and typical questions that searchers have.
Examples of valuable or helpful content:
‘Solving the problem of trouser legs getting oil from bicycle chains.’‘How to reduce or eliminate lower back pain.’‘Free downloadable map of the park.’
We can search for questions related to our industry, then answer them in as much detail as possible. If we can do this through a video, Slideshare or Infographic then even better.
These new articles will be helpful, but also clickable and linkable.
1) Re-purposing existing content.
If you look through the emails or newsletters that you’ve sent to subscribers, some will be out of date. Other emails will still be timely. The best ones will be timeless or ‘evergreen’. If you look through your emails, notes, reports or anything that has not gotten published online, ask yourself whether this work could be re-purposed.
If you don’t have a subscriber list yet, then look through emails that you’ve sent to colleagues, customers or suppliers. You’ll find that lots of these can be tweaked and changed into blog posts or articles. Make sure you change names or specifics or ask permission from other collaborators if you want to use these details.
Anything that might be clickable, linkable or helpful can be re-jigged into a blog post, report, ebook, or infographic. This practice means that the work you’ve done in the past can be recycled and additional value can get garnered from it. Use topics that are as helpful as possible without letting out trade secrets or any ‘secret sauce’ from your in-person presentations.
2) Create a Glossary of terms which will be a powerful page on each website. With so many keywords on one page, this content is likely to appear in many different searches. It’s also linkable and helpful.
3) Create an FAQ page, (or expand an existing one), for the same reasons as the Glossary of terms.
4) Think of any top 10 lists for any aspect of each business. Searchers love top 10 lists.
To think about starting to write articles can be daunting to someone who doesn’t do it regularly. It’s like anything in life; it gets easier with practice.
We don’t have to think of article ideas for the next year. We only have to get inspiration for one or two. Hopefully, after reading this, you have an idea for at least a few. We get these produced, and during the process, inspiration strikes, and within a few days, there are more ideas for articles.
Fast forward two years, and we have a hundred pages or more on each website. Visitors are finding us from different keyword searches going into the thousands. This rise is partly thanks to the increase in authority. It’s also because of the number of keywords, and the different wording of search queries matching the content on our sites.
At this point, a new competitor has an uphill struggle trying to catch up with our sheer volume, depth, and width of written material. This material will be on domains that have a track record of producing valuable content for years, with many backlinks to internal pages of the
Need an online presence? Get an online omnipresence!
How’s your online presence?
Almost all businesses need an online presence. Most business owners realise this. The problem is, too many company websites look old fashioned and out of date.
So many look like they got created because:
… Some bright spark encouraged the boss to get one, many years ago. (The bright spark has since left through frustration).
… The boss heard that they really ought to have one to keep up with their competitors and ‘stay up to date’. That was as far as the online efforts went, a few thousand invested into a website that just sat there stagnating, receiving virtually no visitors.
Why do most websites look like this? They say that appearances can be deceptive, but in this case, these are the two most common situations that explain what has happened.
So, with TV, print and billboard advertising becoming less and less cost effective, what will you do? Will you keep hammering the telephone to try to keep new business coming? More client visits? Expensive prima donna salespeople, who don’t have enough leads, and can’t close enough new deals to be cost-effective?
Anyone who has got their online efforts on track will agree, having people calling and emailing you to do business is far better. Even better still is to get up in the morning and take a look at how many orders came in overnight while you were off duty.
Speaking of making money in your sleep, doesn’t that sound a bit like the online dream that many marketers try to push with their guaranteed push-button systems?
What’s the truth? Is it easy to create or expand an online business?
What are the pieces of the puzzle in relation to creating an online omnipresence?
The key is in the word business. What does your business offer, how many clients do you have, and how healthy are your margins? An already successful business can become even more successful by improving their online presence. If on the other hand, you have an unsuccessful business, it’ll probably fail online too.
So, assuming you have a successful business…
(Meaning that you have a product or service that people will pay you for, at a rate that allows you to pay all of the bills, and some extra to use for expansion).
You go online. Perhaps you sell a physical branded product that can be sold on Amazon, or through an online store. Perhaps you sell a service in the local area, you’ll want to create or improve a website that’s search engine optimised for the local area. You’ll want to make sure your business is listed in Google My Business (the new ‘Google Places’), and featured on local directories and by local media.
Many businesses don’t fall into these clear-cut strategies. You might want to look for customers in other areas. You might be choosing between paid advertising, social media marketing or trying to find affiliates to sell your product for you.
In many ways, creating or improving your search presence is an experiment in itself, so the best way to go about it is by using a blanket strategy. We call this the online omnipresence approach. Instead of choosing A particular avenue, you’ll want to pursue ALL that are suitable for your business.
You move from one to another mastering a technique at a time, until your customers are finding you everywhere. Unlike an offline business where the process is more labour-intensive, online efforts are in many ways cumulative.
For example, if you opened a new restaurant and gave out flyers in the street, what happens when you stop giving out the flyers? New people stop seeing them, and you are relying on different marketing methods. Imagine if you used the same time that it took to create the flyers, but added your business to Yelp and Zomato, new potential customers can keep seeing your message for weeks, months or years to come.
When movie film reels and plastic records got invented, actors and singers were able to become far more successful and wealthy. Suddenly, there was no need to perform every week at the theatre or go on tour. Their performances could be heard and viewed by millions, for decades. This principle embodies the logic behind nurturing a successful online presence.
Sam and his model train shop
So, let’s imagine that you own a model train shop. The local fanatics know who you are and where you’re situated. Every now and again you set up an exhibition and get some new publicity from your local newspaper. How will your business grow? You’ll probably be in a situation where you rely on Christmas sales every year to keep going. One bad Christmas and the following summer is going to be hard.
Now imagine a different city and a different store. The store owner there is called Sam. Sam has every product that’s stocked in the store also listed on eBay, Amazon, AND a Shopify E-Commerce store. He’s getting more significant discounts from his suppliers because of the volume of business that he’s doing.
While people are competing on price online, Sam isn’t. On his blog, he posts instructional ‘how-to’ posts on every aspect of building miniature landscapes to display his trains correctly. People are so happy with the advice, they’re less price-conscious.
Not that Sam doesn’t offer bargains because he does. His products are bundled together in packages that get specially priced. This tactic works because, in the bundle, two items are very profitable, and two are ‘loss leaders’ to make the package price more attractive. The loss leaders are lightweight, so they don’t affect the postage and packing cost much.
As well as the instructional posts on Sam’s blog, he has a YouTube channel. The YouTube channel, and a recently started Podcast are found and downloaded all over the World. Sam is even starting to appear on other peoples podcasts, not just concerning model trains, but how to run a successful online business as well. He speaks at events and can’t believe that he gets paid for it.
The model train shop isn’t just a shop, and the ‘shopkeeper’ isn’t just a shopkeeper. Sam is now a renouned expert, and the shop is more of a showroom, especially now it has moved to its new premises that are ten times the size.
Sam, (the model train expert), now has four e-books published on Amazon Kindle, one of them is only 50 pages long and retails at £3. Between the four e-books, the revenue is about £2500 a month. This modest amount is excellent because it’s an entirely passive income. The books are delivered by Amazon, as is the monthly cheque.
Sam’s model train store now has the most substantial following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in its niche. Products and offers are listed there by an outsourced online advertising specialist. Sam only checks last months revenue, and next months spend. The ad guy is now using Google Adwords to advertise on other peoples model train websites. Sam can’t believe that this is allowed. But it is.
Other industry websites publish Sam’s articles. These ‘guest posts’ allow return backlinks. These gestures amaze Sam as his website is better, so too are the value of his product bundles. Why would competitors send their visitors to him? But they do.
The hardest decision is when to slow down. How much success is enough success? Since Sam put a general manager in place, he doesn’t need to do so much. He can focus on his passion, which is to create a bigger and better model railway system. But it’s tempting to take his Amazon UK listings and bundles on to Amazon US, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, and anywhere else. After all, they already know Sam through his blog, YouTube videos, podcasts, guest posts and speeches.
Sam often sits back and wonders what his grandfather would think of how the small family store evolved with modern technology.
So, this story is excellent; it’s fictional but based on reality. You might be wondering whether this would work with a service, or with other products. We might need to modify or tweak the process. Some online avenues will be suitable, and some won’t, but let’s explore them.
It might seem like a lot of effort, but the hard work is mostly in learning each new technique. After that, many processes or marketing materials will be in place permanently, such as the podcasts, guest posts and e-books. Other tactics, (once proven profitable), can be outsourced or carried out by staff members. (For example tactics such as running Adwords or eBay campaigns). At some point, most successful online business owners find that the business almost runs itself, just as with offline corporations.
Hopefully, you understand the difference between an online presence and the online omnipresence that we promote. Can your business be omnipresent on the internet?
Contact us and we’ll give you our best opinion.
We’re all online, and most of us visit Facebook
We all have our favourite places online. Most of us probably spend too much time online (this view is prevalent among partners and family members). The internet has almost become the new ‘drug of the nation’ in a similar way to television.
Some businesspeople harbour negative views of Facebook that are either inaccurate, or out of date. They might think that it’s for teenage girls to share ‘duck faces’ or for some people to display a photo of every meal that they eat. The truth is, like many things in life, you get out what you put in.
Facebook is global, with 2.4 billion users. No matter what business you’re in, your customers are hanging out there.
Isn’t Facebook for Teenagers?
Teenagers are often early adopters of new technology. Older people tend to ‘catch on’ later. Facebook didn’t get created for kids, and most adults visit Facebook. The numbers of elderly Facebook users continue to rise.
Take a look at this article from the Pew Research Center. The statistics for the last few years are a real eye-opener:
- 71% of online American adults use Facebook.
- 56% of internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45% who did so in late 2013 and 35% who did so in late 2012.
- 58% say they are connected to work colleagues.
- 39% say they connect to people they’ve never met in person.
These statistics are surprising since only 23% of the adult population use Twitter. 58% of adult internet users connect to their work colleagues. That shows that Facebook is wholly established among late adopters, and is a medium that crosses work boundaries.
Not every country will have demographics like the US. But with 1.3 billion users worldwide, (Update: In 2019 it’s now 2.4 billion), to ignore Facebook could mean that you’re missing out on plenty of eyeballs from potential customers.
To avoid our Facebook pages turning into teen sites, I must pre-warn everyone. Please resist the temptation to follow Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. As long as we connect with industry-related companies and people, we should be fine.
Please take a look at NASA’s Facebook page that has 1.3 million ‘likes.’
They ‘ve somehow managed to avoid teen hysteria despite many boys and girls wanting to be astronauts!
Whether you’re selling lemonade or racing boat engines, you set up your stall where your customers are likely to be hanging out. That might be at the edge of a fairground, or a high profile trade show. Fortunately, whatever business you’re in, you can be sure that many of your potential customers are on Facebook.
We’ve discussed why your business should be using Facebook. Before you do, decide whether you want to separate your business profile with your private one. This separation is a personal choice, and there’s no right and wrong. It’ll be more effort to maintain two sets of social media profiles. The decision will depend on the nature of the business that you’re in, and the types of updates you post privately.
But don’t write Facebook off. Give it a try; you can always reduce the amount of time you spend on it if you fail to get traction. If you’re looking for ways to expand your business, Facebook might be the best solution.
Some clients are nervous about using social media for business use
There are a number of reasons for this.
- Some worry that they’ll be publishing more information about themselves online. Not just lunch or holiday snaps but actual business dealings.
- There are well-founded privacy fears.
- There’s also the fear that the information might be searchable ‘forever’. The worry that a foolish comment on Facebook will come back to haunt them again and again.
While there are elements of truth in these fears, most fear in life comes from the unknown or a lack of understanding.
Most of us are now aware of the fact that we can adjust the security settings on our social media accounts. Most of us realise that employers search for the social media accounts of potential employees online. Most of us know that if we want something to be kept private, we don’t post it online in the first place.
The thing is, everyone and his dog is now on social media for greater lengths of time. We can’t ignore it for our outreach and marketing efforts.
With our business-related social media accounts, we can also allow greater or lesser exposure to ourselves as individuals. A quality online resource is no less valuable whether an authors name is published or not. Authors have used ‘pen names’ for hundreds of years. Actors and singers also change their names to something that they think is more appealing.
At the other end of the scale, many online ‘personalities’ publish everything about themselves.
It isn’t just an online phenomenon. I’m half expecting a new TV reality series called ‘I’m a celebrity, and I’m on the toilet’.
Many online businesses have the owners name as the name of the website and the company. Some people ‘are’ the business. These people get so attached, they often find that they can’t find an exit. No buyer is willing to take the chance that the tribe will follow a new business leader.
Most of us are happy to be somewhere in between.
We want to create a brand, but at the same time, we want our customers to feel like they’re talking to a real person. This personal touch is how a reader can feel connected.
So, we put the brand front and centre, but make it easy for an interested customer to know with whom they are dealing.
“OK, I get the idea, how do I go about creating a company social media presence?”
As far as what user names and emails to use for each account, there’s a short answer and a longer one.
The short answer is that is doesn’t matter from a tactical point of view. The longer answer involves an explanation and some recommendations.
When someone visits a social media page, they’re on that platform out of preference, and they’re going to like/favourite/re-tweet/comment/direct message etc. on that platform. They’ll rarely hunt down an email address, go to their email account and write you an email. The primary purpose of the connected social media email address is to log in and receive notifications.
Because of this, there’s no need to create any new email addresses at all. You ought to have domain-based email addresses for your business, which are separate to your ones. I expect that you are already doing this. You have a [email protected] and a [email protected], right?
So, to stop any accidental miss-posting where you post a private post to your business, or vice-versa, you set up a social media management platform for business use. We use and recommend Hootsuite, ou connect your company pages to Hootsuite with your company based domain email address, ([email protected]), and your company user name (Robert Widget).
But I’m too busy to manage new social media accounts!
Then, every day during work hours, you set aside a 30-minute block, which is social media development time. You log onto Hootsuite and access all of your company social media accounts. Then you like, tweet, comment and share as much as possible for that 30 minutes. Then you log off.
Two 30 minute sessions will get better results. Avoid spending too much time on social media, though; it’s a slippery slope. (Unless you see a direct financial payoff).
The rest of the time, you might check your personal Facebook that’s connected to your smartphone through an app. You might see tweets that come up on your desktop or laptop that’s logged on to your private account.
More about the mechanics of the social media management platform:
As soon as each social media account has a login, it will get added to the Hootsuite platform. There, any of your authorised colleagues can see notifications and make posts or updates. Remember that you won’t be reading and responding to emails from people who found you through social media very often. Right Inbox’s email reminder feature ensures you never lose track of these emails with automatic reminders.
Facebook and LinkedIn have social media pages that can get connected to your main accounts. Extra managers can get added or removed. Your companies Twitter page can be created separately. So, if you want multiple staff members posting, you need that management platform.
You could use any email address to set up your new company social accounts. We advise that you use company domain-based emails for all new company social media accounts. So if occasionally someone does decide to email, the company email address matches up.
You ought to use your first name ([email protected]) to keep the personal touch if someone does decide to search for your email address. You could also use [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] because it doesn’t matter, the email addresses are just for set up, notifications, and account security (to change passwords, etc.).
As far as keeping your private account separate, this is easy. The social media management platform is the best way to go about this. But it is quite easy to keep things separate anyway.
For example, with Facebook, if you’re a manager of the page, Facebook will ask you whether you want to post as Bob or Robert Widget. You can decide which profile. With Twitter, you can only get logged into one or the other.
But again, because you’ll probably be using the management platform, only your professional profiles will be connected. This segmentation will eliminate the potential situation where you accidentally post as yourself. Don’t provide your social media management platform with private profiles, and you can’t post to the management platform, simple.
(By the way, people don’t know who a pages managers are unless they post as themselves and make it clear that they are the admin. Also, there’s nothing wrong with posting with your private profile; it’s just that this article is for those who don’t want to).
Any of you who are cat lovers and objected to the dog picture above? Here you go! A social media-loving cat. Or are we letting our private posts get mixed in? If its who we are, then it doesn’t hurt, does it?
What if our clients don’t want to communicate with us through social media, they might have the same fears as us?
As far as clients not wanting to mix their private life with business, it is up to them. If they don’t want to like or follow your company page, then they won’t. They’ll decide. Some people use their social media pages only for work, or only for family, only for friends. Some people even create new social media accounts to be an internet troll, or to cheat on their partners. Again it’s up to them.
You’re just offering the opportunity to communicate with you on the platform of their preference. That’s all.
The issue of having too many social media accounts to manage doesn’t matter. It’s because you’re adding all your social media accounts to your social media management platform. You’ll be able to re-use profile pictures and other graphics.
Caution: It can take a while to create an active social media account.
Remember MySpace? It was huge, and now no-one uses it. No-one knows the future, how would you feel if one day, you have a considerable following on Twitter or Facebook, but it’s inactive? Because ‘the herd’ has moved, and you have to start from scratch?
Balance is essential, though, pick four or five that are relevant to your business. For most companies, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter make sense. If your business is more visual (flower arranging, art & design, etc.), then Instagram and Pinterest might make more sense than Linkedin.
“It sounds like a lot of work, can’t I use Facebook only?
If you spend valuable time and effort, creating an article for your company, then you want to get the word out. Bear in mind that you’ve set up the social media platform with a single login. All you have to do is cut and paste the URL to your four social media accounts. You add a few sentences that might inspire thought or solicit questions.
Why would you miss out on the extra exposure from some of those accounts? Once the pages have been created and added to the platform, the posting is quick and easy.
Don’t I have to keep posting to get the benefit?
Because of the social media management platform, there’s only one log in to potentially four, or even ten social media accounts. If there are five in your company who you ask to make a post per day, across only four social media properties, this is 20 new posts every day. That’s a decent amount to build a following. This posting can be done with one social media dashboard, and with one login.
What can we post?
You want to post about your own company and its offers, but you can and need to share other peoples exciting updates and products. There are software tools to help you find related articles, and even schedule the posting of them a week or a month in advance.
Bear in mind that you’re probably already posting industry-related updates on Facebook or Linkedin. You will syndicate these same updates to more social media accounts each time. You’ll also get organised and get help if needed.
I’m still concerned about the privacy thing!
As far as keeping private and work social media accounts separate, ensure that business email addresses get used for business. Gmail/Hotmail/AOL type addresses get used for personal. You can go a step further and increase the security settings on your private accounts. So only family and friends can see them, and so that they don’t get shown in the search engines.
Finally, if you’re worried about complaints from unhappy customers, or internet trolls, remember that security settings can be changed so that every comment is approved. The page could become a closed group if there were too many incidents of abuse. Admins can delete or edit every comment or post anyway. Worst case scenario, you can close the page.
It might be that Facebook flops for your businesses. Twitter might be great. Who knows the future? Considering some huge companies got built on each social media platform, it’s worth a try for you. Some companies sole source of revenue comes from Facebook or Instagram. It depends on your industry and your companies business model. (Luck is involved too).
The world is changing, and people are spending more and more time on social media. They are even on it while watching TV, who would have thought that this would have occurred. At the same time, traditional advertising continues to be less cost-effective. You ought to at least try to go where peoples attention is going, or risk getting left behind.
We’re hoping that this lengthy article helps to provide a tipping point to your complete understanding of the concept of social media marketing.
Because we have Hootsuite, there’s separation from our private accounts, and minimal extra work to manage each new account. There won’t be a misguided best friend post of the picture of you cross-dressed for a birthday celebration on your work Facebook account. Likewise, your work colleagues will never be able to wind you up about your hand-painted porcelain egg collection that you polish every day.
As far as people following you, that’s their decision, and you don’t need to ram it down their throats. If they want to follow on Twitter, they can do. If they prefer LinkedIn, then that is fine. If they only use Facebook because they don’t have time for any other platforms then great. If they don’t like social media and want to Skype, email, telephone or write a letter, then that’s OK too. You want to have as many lines of communication open as possible for the good of your business.