Social media plays a very large role in how search engines assess a website’s popularity and trustworthiness. Unfortunately it can be difficult figuring out where to start when you aren’t familiar with the social media landscape. When there are so many social sites, how do you begin using them as a tool?
First of all, not all social sites are right for every brand or company. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sites and their roles in social media marketing.
Facebook is the largest social media site and you would be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t familiar with it. It is a site geared towards individual personal profiles and that means it focuses on friends and family. However it is used by businesses as well. The best way to market your company or brand on Facebook is by starting a company page. It’s the only way you can take advantage of benefits like targeted campaigns and promoted posts.
Facebook is very strict about not allowing businesses to use personal profiles. If you are caught trying to ‘friend’ people for your business you will automatically be kicked off of the site.
Twitter is also a very popular site but you are limited by its format. ‘Tweets’ cannot exceed 140 characters, which can be a little challenging to get used to. However, it is a very useful tool for getting out small bits of information quickly. A company Twitter account allows you to stay in your consumer’s mind on a very consistent basis.
LinkedIn is a low-maintenance part of your social media strategy. It is primarily for professional business contacts. Once you have it set up, it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, like the other sites do. When you set up your company profile, you want to fill it with the best keywords for your goods and services.
You also want to join the right groups, according to Stephanie Lichtenstein, President and Founder of MicroMediaMarketing.com. “If you are affiliated with business groups offline than you want to join them online also,” she advises.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site. Its largest user base is women. Users post bulletin boards that are like collages- each with its own category. They pin up images, recipes, articles, etc. onto the boards.
Pinterest currently has more traffic than LinkedIn, Google Plus, and YouTube combined. It’s not a good match for every business because its primary focus is:
- Home and Design
- Arts and Crafts
- Food-Related Topics
Businesses can’t post affiliate links but they can still drive traffic to their blogs.
Google Plus is a relatively new addition to social media but it is very important to at least set up a page for your business, even if you don’t spend a lot of time on it. Because it belongs to Google, they are not only integrating them into their search results, they are pushing Google Plus content higher in their search results, according to Lichtenstein.
“If you have more than one website or business you can set up Google Plus pages under the same administrator,” says Lichtenstein. Facebook used to offer this benefit which makes handling accounts much easier. You can also sync your Google Plus account with your Gmail account.
Keeping Track of Your Activity on Social Media Sites
There are so many sites to keep track of that you can definitely benefit from an organizational tool like HootSuite, which provides a personal social media dashboard. You can keep track of up to 5 accounts at no charge, even if you have multiple accounts at one site- for example 2 LinkedIn pages, 3 Twitter accounts, etc.
Having everything in one place makes it easier to not only see all of your social media accounts at once, it also helps with scheduling. You can easily plan out your week’s posts for each site to keep things streamlined across the board.
Of course your social media strategy is centered around getting traffic to your blog or website so you need to have a good place to drive traffic to. If you don’t know how to build a WordPress site, it is very easy to figure out. You can have a basic site set up in an hour with some great plugins to make things look very professional.
Mike Kelley has been building websites for 10 years. He immediately saw the benefits of WordPress sites because they can be developed quickly and edited easily. That’s the main reason he started his business www.shopwpthemes.com. He and his wife Beth live in Townsend, Washington.