Social Media

No matter what social networks you spend your time at, social media is an important platform for marketing, branding, and communicating your products and services. Social media presence can boost your SEO (search engine optimization), helping you perform better in retrieved search results. Over time, this leads to more eyes on your page, more click-through, increased web traffic, and hopefully more converted customers.

Social Media and Website Traffic

How can social media drive traffic to your website? There are a number of ways, including:

From your profile. Every site has some type of profile option; link yours to your domain.
Through content you post on networks like Twitter or Facebook that links back to your blog, website, product page, or other site page. For example, announce a special sale on Twitter and link to the landing page, or hook readers with a newsy blog post on Facebook, then link back to the full post.
By incorporating your keywords in your social media profile so that users searching for your product can find yoursocial media presence and your website, thereby offering both methods of communication to users.

Social Media and SEO

Social media is a highly effective search engine marketing (SEM) strategy that can help your website rise in SERPs (search engine results pages). Posts to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other social networks are all indexed by search engines. When people get talking about your product or website on a social sharing platform, the search engines take note and bump up the website. A powerful Twitter campaign or brand-specific hashtag can directly affect your SERP, gaining you crucial visibility. For example, ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins held a 31-cent scoop night promotion to benefit a charity partner. This online marketing campaign netted them over 300 real-time search engine results, from fans tweeting about the promotion. It doesn't take a special event or promotion to get SEM benefits from social media. Regular users talking about your product on social mediaplatforms will steadily boost your website performance.

Social Media Benefits

Social networks offer opportunities for product branding and marketing. Across different social networks, use the same profile name or username to give your customers a seamless web experience. If you go by OutoftheBoxMedia on Twitter and Facebook and by Out of the Box on LinkedIn, your customers will wonder if you're the same company. Avoid this confusion by being consistent. You may need to be an early adopter of new social streams to secure your company name. Whatever platforms you join, social media offers you the chance to show the face of your products, your employees, your customers, and more. This adds up to a positive, real-life brand experience. Getting real through social media can help your users feel that sense of connection through online marketing that they feel when they shop local farmers' markets or small boutiques. It helps bridge the distance of the web to create community.

These platforms also offer you a new, and slightly more casual, way to connect to existing customers and potential customers alike. Share news articles, blog posts, surveys, and sneak peeks of new products by posting video or image content, writing reviews, and posting these to different social media sites. Spread the love by posting far and wide. For example, upload product videos to your YouTube or Viejo channel, then link from Google+ or Twitter to the video content to hit two social networks--and two different audiences--with one effort.

There are other platform-specific ways to connect. For example, LinkedIn allows you to solicit recommendations from clients, past customers, and coworkers, which can be an invaluable tool for small businesses or independent contractors. From your website, you can link directly to your LinkedIn profile where potential customers can read these reviews.

Leveraging existing customers and fans can help you gain new ones. When people post on your wall or mention you in a tweet, the activity is shown on their page for their friends and fans to see. Users can click through to your profile and become aware of your services. They may even convert to fans or purchase a product, through no effort on your part.

By contributing regularly to social networks and getting your users to post about you, as Baskin-Robbins did, you help build company authority. Most social media posts, including Facebook page posts, are in the public domain, which means that they are index able by search engines.

If you're active on social networks, your website will place higher in search engine results. Your presence on social sites will also show up, as will other sites that talk about your social media presence, link to it, or mention you directly. This gives new users confidence in your brand, and helps you dominate Google SERPs by placing above the competition

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