The first to benefit are two of internet’s most trusted sites: news and social media. While chances of being featured in the online edition of CNN or Huffingtonpost are slim, the SEO-value of social media is as easy, as fast, and as cost-effective as getting married in Las Vegas.
Anybody who doesn’t know the prime value of social media as a tool for internet marketing has no future online. So, let us assume that you don’t need convincing. What you need is a guide to optimizing the use of social media for your own specific goals as an online SME. Let us focus on three most important strategic actions for SMEs:
You need them to boost your SEO ranking without spending
Because social media have tipped the scale in its critical mass and because the new Google algorithm favors them, social media rank on the first page of search results, and boost the SEO ranking of your own website pages at the cost of practically nothing.
Your best action: Focus on Facebook and Twitter. Social media management can be a very tedious and distracting endeavor. You chance upon a Twitter trend and end up spending the half afternoon crying over a YOUTUBE video of a Korean reality show. Among the many social media sites, Facebook and Twitter are your best allies: they have the easiest functionality and the widest reach. Pinterest is interesting but only if your business is image-heavy.
You can use them for free, fast and furious content distribution.
By clicking on your Like or Follow buttons, your customer base gets updated about your business activities without visiting your site. Not only that, their own Facebook followers can read your updates if they choose your Share button.
Here is a tip that you can use discerningly. In Twitter, there are many bots that automatically retweet posts if they contain the name of big media organizations, regardless of the message. Just make sure that your Twit is meaningful and relevant to the news at hand.
Your best action: creative composition. It spells the difference between irrelevant and interesting twit.
- Irrelevant: curo.net offers EFT therapy for stress management @huffingtonpost
- Interesting: curo.net refutes @huffingtonpost report that EFT is fraud
You need them to establish rapport with your clients
Social media transform the b to c (business to customer) interaction to a deeply personal level where you can actually have access the feelings, moods, and events in the lives of the customers. Aside from access to information that can be used to create a client baseline data, you can nurture personal relationships that will bring in business results without stepping beyond the boundaries of decency.
Best action: Birthday greetings. It works without being offensive (sending condolences is too tacky). Aside from Facebook or Twitter greeting, direct them to a special greeting posted in your website, assuming of course that the nature of business benefits from social greeting. It is hardly helpful to post “Birthday Greetings to One of Our Most Valued Clients” when the website is about mental depression.
Finally, a practical consideration: what if you don’t have the time, the energy, or the aptitude to dwell in Facebook and Twitter and it is too late to change your personality. Well, hire a social media manager. You can check from any of the online freelance sites, or you can get the services of a company that offers search engine optimization using social media.