Social Media Optimization
It is no secret that modern technology has created a society in which the internet plays an integral role in the communication, interaction, and social management of today’s people. This dependance has opened the door in terms of marketing strategies, as well as in the way that companies relate to customers. The rise in popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the marketing tactics used by companies looking to interact with their customer base.
All relationships, whether between couples, friends, acquaintances, associates, co-workers, family members, etc., utilize a social media component. Although it may sound ridiculous, social networking has emerged as a vital player in the communication between people. For businesses, Social Media optimization is a necessary marketing strategy because the internet reaches more people aggregately than most other tactics.
Social Media’s “Big 5”
Although there are tons of social media sites, there are five main power-players that run the table in terms of social networking. These moguls include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest, and Instagram.
With a user base slowly approaching one-seventh of the entire world’s population, Facebook is easily the largest social networking site in use today. This global outreach makes Facebook a marketers dream, and has completely changed the way companies interact with customers. By creating pages on the site, companies can reach up to millions of potential customers, if done correctly. Facebook pages are a great place to start with internet marketing, and can be shared across other mediums of social networking.
Twitter’s popularity has exploded in the past three years, and has become a great user interface between people and companies. Websites and TV stations use the “hashtag” feature for polls and ways to quickly relay information between people. Twitter’s applications for the marketing of a brand or company are endless, and are quite simple to breach. All it takes is a little bit of work, some clever tweets, and the right approach from the start. The viral potential for twitter posts makes it perfect for spreading a brand across the web.
The lesser used but still massive social networking site, Google+, offers a relatively new approach for the management of your online social interaction. The “circles” of Google+ change up how people receive the updates from companies not directly involved in their social lives. This still does not deter the usefulness for marketing, though. By creating a page on Google+, people can follow a companies page separate from their actual social circle, and still receive all of the information.
Even though Pintrest and Instagram are rather new in the social media sphere, their style and usability make them perfect marketing tools. Both are classified as social sharing sites rather than social networking—a minor difference in style, but carrying the same major implications.
Pinterest allows companies to virally seed content to a large following, as well as bring traffic to their site. Although Pinterest is used nearly exclusively by females, the setup of the site is phenomenally innovative. The “pinboard” style allows for popular posts to gain momentum and exposure to more and more people. A marketer’s dream—creating a popular image, infographic, meme, etc., and posting to Pintrest will create exposure back to the original site.
Instagram is the most recent social sharing medium to truly take off in popularity and be used by companies for marketing. It is not a text based social medium, but focuses primarily on the uploading and sharing of images. It started as an iPhone application with a primary focus on picture taking, but rapidly developed into an image sharing social medium. The marketing potential of Instagram transcends the holds of other social sharing sites by combining the viral sharing ability of twitter with the popular trends of image posting, such as memes. Companies using Instagram can create a loyal following of people to their page and subtly drip feed their brand in to their posts, while posting other likeable content first.
Social Media and SEO
Social media composes around 22% of all internet use, topping any other type of site on the web. This startling statistic should be reason enough for all companies to invest in social media optimization for their site. Plenty of businesses have hopped on board; however, most of them do it wrong. They hear from scumbag internet marketers and uncredited SEO agencies that buying Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and Pintrest re-pins will increase their social standing and eventually their site’s ranking in Google. There is not doubt that social media optimization is a huge factor in SEO, but Google looks at viral reach and social shares to make sure you are not manipulating the algorithm with falsified tactics. A lot of times, these methods can backfire and end up hurting the site before they see any positive results.
A Few Social Media Tips:
- Do not pay for followers or fans, it will only hurt you in the long run. Try as best as you can to create a real fan base to your page, as they will not only enjoy your posts but naturally help spread your brand name.
- Be likeable and unbiased. Although “funny” has many different aspects, you want to keep your posts balanced in their humor and vulgarity. Funny posts always do the best when it comes to virality and sharing, but over-the-line humor will not necessarily do well on a large scale.
- Do not over-promote your brand. Speaking from a regular social media user’s perspective, the last thing I want to see on my newsfeed is spammy promotion of some random product. Obviously, the point of social media optimization is to ultimately promote your brand, but only when the time is right. Constantly forcing your companies name in to people’s feeds will lose you followers/fans, so choose the right time for a brand-related post and make sure it is not too straight forward.
- Build good relationships with your followers. Try as best as you can to please the people following your page, because ultimately they can control the reputation of it. Stay on top of the page and make sure you maintain a clean and humorous environment for your followers.