Facebook. Twitter. MySpace. LinkedIn.
Pick your favorite social media portal. Part of the Internet world is fixated on these digital meeting places, while some folks are still on the fence; others have sworn them off as a pointless waste of time.
No matter which category you fall into — true believer, naysayer, or somewhere in between — when it comes to marketing your business online, you need to pay attention to social media.
Here’s why. First, watch this brief video.
Now, whether or not you buy into all that hype — yes, some of it is hype — the fact is that social media are here to stay. And if you’re interested in search engine optimization (and let’s face it: if you weren’t, why are you reading this?), the data are compelling:
- Companies that integrate social media with SEO achieve a 59% increase in organic search conversion rates, compared to companies that don’t.
- Social media generates an increased number of listings that a participating brand receives on search results pages.
- More positions in the SERPs, plus a higher clickthrough rate, means more leads, more sales and more revenue for your business.
Do I have your attention? Good. A smart business owner is now asking, not “Why bother with social media?” but instead “How do I capitalize on social media to increase online visibility and sales?”
So glad you asked!
I could write a book (and someone probably already has) on how to integrate your social media campaigns with your SEO, PPC, affiliate and other online marketing campaigns, but basically you need to know just a few things:
- Think cohesively. You wouldn’t have your radio ad saying something completely different than your TV ad, and another thing entirely on your roadside billboard. Similarly, your top SEO keywords had better show up on your company’s Facebook page and Twitter profile, as well as your website. Keep your branding consistent.
- Make your website a ‘hub’ — the social media sites are the spokes. There are as many flavors of social websites as there are personality types. Top Twitterers are not necessarily Facebook fans. Make sure all of these various media, including social news and bookmarketing sites like Digg and StumbleUpon, point users back to your site.
- Make social interaction a component of your site. If visitors are already on your website, make sure they know they can “follow” you on any of the various networks they already belong to. Make it easy to share your content by prominently highlighting the social-enabled aspects of your site, including your staff members’ profiles and networks.