Social Media is a powerful digital marketing tool that can help you connect with your consumers.  You can utilize it to establish brand credibility, create an online community, increase sales or brand awareness. Just like any other marketing campaign, it is important that you set a goal.   Social media is not just about clicks, likes and followers, it is about engaging with your customers, communicating on a more personal level and soliciting a plan of action based on your marketing objectives.

Most of us are familiar with social media.  Some of the popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Blogs.  Australian companies are starting to integrate social media into their business, but many are not optimizing their social media campaigns.

Here are top 3 tips to optimize your social media campaigns:

1.  Make it easy for your customers to connect to you. 

Some companies may have as many as 5 social media sites but no direct link in their primary website. Your main website is the face of your business. Most consumers would go there first to get information about your company, products and services. Thus, it only makes sense that you should have links of the different social media channels of your company within your primary website.  Make your social media links visible. Don’t make it too hard for your customers to locate your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Forums, Community Pages and other social media applications.  Encourage them to a plan of action, a few examples are to subscribe to your newsletters, join your online community or follow your updates via Facebook, Twitter and RSS, participate on your ongoing promotions or share your post about your latest products.  Be clear about your plan of action. 

2. Content is King

Social Media experts know that content is king.   I’ve been building websites since 2006 and from experience I  know that content is the primary driver of traffic, sales and clicks. If you were to check your website’s analytics and statistics, you will discover that your visitors can go through different indexed web content in search engines to access your website.

Consider content as different entry doors to your website.   People may not always search for your brand name, but if they are looking for a product and service that you have, make sure that there is enough content within your website for that product or service that the search engines can index.

Traditionally, most companies have a passive website or sometimes referred to as a traditional brochure website.  Content is static, limited and the only engagement with the consumers is the Contact Us page.

However, the ones that are gaining most from their websites are those with active pages.   There is fresh content for their customers to re-visit, share or recommend.  Thus, one visitor can easily multiply to several visitors or create an online community. Content  plays a major role in your company’s SEO. Search engines can index more pages of your company and increase its search engine ranking for different keywords. Potential customers can access your website through a blog post indexed by the search engines about your products and services, your product image indexed by Google or Flickr or a  corporate presentation video found in YouTube.

Content opens a lot of avenues for your customers and potential customers to access you online and even offline. So make sure that your website and social media campaigns are active with fresh content and up-to-date with consumer trends.

3. Hire a social media expert or learn to be one

Some companies are still in denial with their online reputation.   A friend of mine who works for a well-known brand advised me that their company is actually paying a certain company to delete negative comments on an online forum.  It can be more of a disadvantage than an advantage for the company.  Deleting the negative comment can only add more insult to injury because it doesn’t solve the problem.  In fact, if the company does not resolve the issue fast, that negative comment can simply spread to other forums, other social media websites and online communities or even encourage a “haters” website against the company.

Social media is all about engagement, in the corporate world it is a great tool for the company to communicate directly to its consumers.   Thus, if you are not a social media expert hire one who understands social media.  You can’t really avoid social media or protect your online reputation by deleting negative comments.  In one way or another, your company’s engagement in social media is inevitable.  People can freely talk about their experiences with your company. Instead of pretending not to hear what your customers have to say, might as well join the social media bandwagon.   Engage, communicate and establish your brand credibility via social media.  You can’t really avoid negative comments but through active engagement you can win back a customer, encourage more positive feedback and learn more about how to improve your products and services by communicating to your consumers on a more personal level.

Social media can present to be a scary territory for some companies, however a social media expert can optimize social media to drive website traffic, generate sales, enhance online reputation and increase brand credibility…in short when used right it can be an excellent marketing tool for your business!









Photo: Flickr: webtreats