Guest Post by Carl Glasmyre
Streamline your Social Media Schedule
The big social media sites are great for both socializing and marketing. Marketers are often driven by instinct, with the urge to reach as many people as possible. Thus, setting up as many profiles as possible is tempting. You can spend all day creating profiles for your business, but this takes up time unless you plan and streamline your marketing schedule. Choosing from some social sites over others may be necessary.
The more profiles you set up, the more time it takes to manage them. Sooner or later you’ll find that an enormous amount of time is taken up just by social media. Study the top sites to see which ones are most appropriate for your business. By scanning user profiles, you can see if similar companies are marketing similar products and services. You can also look for an SEO company that offers social marketing services.
Top Social Sites
The big players are the ones you’ve most likely heard of. Facebook and Twitter have the most diversity when it comes to users and potential audiences. Marketing on all social sites may not be necessary, but these two are a good start — both are the most popular in the United States.
A professional profile on LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly useful tool. Business owners and employees can benefit by including their resumes and other professional qualifications. In addition, the site is a base for networking and sharing content, some of the most powerful tools in the online marketing world.
With content being so pivotal, Pinterest is a place to post business information. Blog posts, images, and information on products and services, in addition to news and trends, can be added to show authority in your field. Google+ is another social option that supports business pages like Facebook — don’t forget SEO best practices, especially since the search engine is most influential in terms of page rankings.
The Common Thread
If you are going to get set up on multiple social websites, there are several tips that can make your networking more effective. First, the name of your business and brand should be the same on all your accounts. Many people read and post on more than one site, so being consistent aids business growth, reputation, and loyalty. Your username and URL should be consistent as well.
Beyond consistency, the length of your handle should be considered, which is usually better when kept short. Keep it simple by leaving out numbers and additional letters; abbreviations can make things confusing too. In planning your social media marketing strategy, determining if a chosen name is available on multiple social sites can help. The website namechk.com offers a tool for checking the major sites.
Establishing your identity means being consistent, even with images and logos. A professional image is best, but you also have to consider each network’s guidelines for size and shape. Your social profiles are all part of the bigger picture; you can link to them on your homepage, share links to each one, promote them on print advertising, and reach out by offering benefits, like discounts, to customers who join or link to your page.
Let ‘Em Know Where You Are
Social media allows you to reveal everything about your business, including its location. Reveal the home city or state in your profile name, keywords, and possibly the URL on each site. A helpful tip is to also include full address details and abbreviations on all profiles, matching the information on your company website.
You can also emphasize your location by using Facebook’s check-in feature. Customers and patrons can easily click on the button, and each time they do so serves as an advertisement for your business. Other social media sites like Foursquare and Scvngr also allow location check-ins, so you can consider these if the function is appealing. On Google+ and Yelp, people can also leave reviews, which are powerful forces in the marketing world as they often make or break consumer decisions.
Yelp has long been known for being a business-specific review site. Like many others in the genre, it is subject to changes that promise to enhance marketing. In late 2012, plans to integrate iOS 6 and Apple Maps into the site will go into effect, while Google, Bing, and Yahoo plan to add Yelp listings at the top of business name searches. Yelp is also being modified for the mobile market, so encouraging customers to submit reviews can be a good marketing strategy.
Think Big and Small
An effective social media strategy is marketing on big sites while thinking locally. Be specific about where you are, no matter which social sites you select in the end. Integral marketing tools (location-based ones in particular) should also be factored into your decision. Most of all, plan ahead so you can reach the biggest audience and choose the best social websites for your business.
About the Author: Carl Glasmyre is an aspiring writer who currently works for an SEO company. He loves everything about the Internet and enjoys blogging about anything and everything related to marketing, social media, and technology. He’s constantly striving to strengthen his writing skills and is continuously grateful that the Internet allows him to share his thoughts with the world. His email address is email@example.com.