In our first installment of social media marketing for businesses, we discussed the importance of determining your business goals and target audience before jumping head first into social media. Business social media accounts require a commitment to content creation, meaningful updates, and monitoring. Each platform offers a different way to reach and interact with customers.
We have already covered the basic atmosphere and components of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which are by far the most popular and populated social media networks today. But popularity doesn’t always mean success. Some businesses thrive on smaller social media networks such as Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, which allow businesses to reach their audiences through more creative means.
Google+ fosters a community environment where businesses can interact with potential and current customers. Offering similar features to Facebook but with a much smaller network following, Google+ pages include updates, photo sharing, chats and messaging.
But don’t be fooled into thinking Google+ is just a Facebook copycat. Google+ boasts some unique features not found on Facebook. Features that provide distinct search engine result benefits to businesses that use it properly. Most notable is the Google+ Authorship feature, which allows you to display your name and image next to your blogs that show up in Google’s search engine results. This authorship feature makes your content stand among the other results and has been proven to increase click-through rates.
Google+ also boasts a +1 button feature allowing people to rank the content on your website and on your Google+ account. More +1s, shares and comments can lead to higher rankings in Google’s search engine results.
The Hangouts feature is also unique to Google+, which allows you to set up group video chats with up to nine people at a time. Hangouts also provide a text chat feature and the ability to watch YouTube videos as a group. All of these features can be used to leverage your social media goals and interact with customers.
Google+ should be consistently monitored for mentions of your business, and updates should be posted consistently to get the most out the search ranking features.
YouTube is the largest video sharing website online with over 4 billion hours of video watched every month. If you have the right content and customers are watching videos related to your industry online, then you should have a YouTube account. Video marketing is an effective way to share information about your brand and is a less competitive way to rank in search engine results.
Your content should inform, instruct or entertain. People don’t go to YouTube or search for video’s to hear a sales pitch. It’s also important to properly optimize your account and videos with tags, keywords, titles and thumbnails in order to have a chance to rank for them and grab people’s attention.
YouTube videos can be integrated into other social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+, and can be used on your websites and blogs. People can comment on your videos, create video responses, and thumbs up or thumbs down your videos.
Pinterest’s virtual pin board is a fantastic way to showcase your business with images of your products and what you do. Although Pinterest users are primarily female, it’s a great platform for all things visual.
Pinterest boards allow you to dedicate areas to specific products or topics. People can search, like, pin and comment each photo that you pin to your boards. Whenever someone re-pins your content, all of their followers see it also. Viewers can also click though your pins to be taken directly to the corresponding page on your website for more information. It’s a great way to gain exposure for your company and brand.
Like most social media platforms, Pinterest’s community vibe requires more than just a flow of your own company’s content. You should interact with the pins of other users. Share and comment on their content. As a business you can create a community board and invite your followers to share pins related to your brand or products. It is also it is important to monitor what people are saying about your products and the photos you pin. Use the feedback you receive to improve your strategy.
Still Not Sure Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Business?
Choosing a social media network for your business doesn’t have to be a headache. If you are still questioning which direction your business should go in, or how to effectively create and share content on your social media accounts, contact one of our social media experts today to find out how our Internet Marketing team can help your business.