Your Blog – The Heart of It All
Let’s talk about blogging. I get mixed answers from business owners and just about anyone. When you ask them what social media encompasses, some of them will include blogging as part of that and some of them think of their blog as part of their website, not necessarily social media.
The heart of any social media campaign is going to be content, and blogging is one of the best ways to initiate content. Blogging on your websites and contributing to your community online will not only drive traffic to your website but it will give you good content to share on social media. Guess what? If it’s really good content, people are going to like it, they’re going to interact to it. You can blog with videos, pictures, written content. It’s a great platform upon which to initially publish content and something that is free once you get it setup and you can blog once a week or once a month or four times a week. It’s a great way to start getting content that you can easily share on different social media platforms.
LinkedIn – Getting Started
When it comes to LinkedIn, yeah, I had someone ask me 6 months ago who’s starting an internet based business and one of their ways to go to market was to go to tradeshows and introduce themselves to companies and introduce their business to companies. He said, “Why the heck should I be on LinkedIn?” I said, “Well …” it’s the way to reach other business at this moment and I wrote an article on it as well as a blog post on it.
The point is, at the very least on LinkedIn, you want to have a presence because more and more, when people hear about your company, they will look for you on LinkedIn. When we hear about you, we’ll look for you on LinkedIn and if you don’t have your company page set up on LinkedIn, you just may lose some credibility. At the very least, you want to have a LinkedIn presence and start reaching out to people that it makes sense for you to reach out to.
There’s also on LinkedIn some tools where you can start groups, participate in groups that are very specific. You could be in a ski group or a snowboarding group or a small business group, any types of groups that you find on there that might be relevant to your business.
Again, this is very business centric. You’re not going to engage a whole lot with consumers, but as you know, other business owners are also potential consumers and it’s not necessarily bad way to distribute information.
Again, different ways to engage on LinkedIn, different applications, groups, people, you can do direct ads in there and there’s now, as you know, if you have a mobile phone and you’re connected with LinkedIn, you can get alerts and information popping up on LinkedIn.
One of the most important ways in which people engage on social media in general, not just LinkedIn, but Facebook, Twitter, as well as Pinterest is through their smartphone. They’re doing this while they’re waiting in line at the bank or they’re waiting in line at the doctor’s office or they got some down time.
We look for, as consumers, as people who utilize these social media platforms, ways to pass the time someway and if you have a good article that you published on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or elsewhere, during this downtime people will engage on these social media platforms and answer questions or read articles and share stuff.
Components of a Facebook Campaign
Let’s talk about the components of a Facebook campaign and this will give you an idea of what you need to do if you’re going to do Facebook. First of all, you’re going to optimize your Facebook page. You’re going to get good content on there, make sure it targets your buyer persona, and gets you accompanied messaging across the way you want.
One of the initial things you do with Facebook is you try to increase visibility or likes. We’ve had companies come to us and say, “Can we get 500 likes?” “Can we get 5,000 likes?” We could get you 500 or 5,000 likes within a matter of days, minutes, with minimal investment but that’s not going to do much to help your business.
When we talk about getting likes, it’s engaging personally and proactively on Facebook and developing legitimate likes to your Facebook page. There are ways of doing that that tend to be high touch, but when you do it the right way you’re going to see results.
We aren’t talking about going out and just buying a 500 likes for $25 from some company oversees.
Smink: I was going to say, Facebook, like everything else in digital marketing where there’s usually a way that somebody will take their money and offer to you cheaply and quickly, and it’s usually something that will come back to bite you.
When you see those places that say 5,000 Facebook likes in two days or whatever, be leery of those kinds of offers.
You want to develop a strategy. How often do we start embarking in digital media and it becomes shoot, you shoot the gun before you aim it, you fire them before you aim it. The important thing is to have targeted strategy, you’re going to have to develop good content and messaging. We talked about unique uploaded pictures.
As much as you can contribute unique photos and not just copying other types of photos you find online, you’re getting better results, better response, bit.ly shortened URLs. You’re going to engage in a community with a balance and consistent approach.
Let me take a second here to explain what I mean. If all you do is post on Facebook, “Hey, we’re a great company. Click here for a free estimate.” or “Click here to buy.” or that kind of thing. That’s going to get annoying and you’re going to be “unliked”.
You have to a balanced approach. You look at ways of contributing to your community, you might even be sharing content from not necessarily a competitor but someone else in your industry who’s maybe published or is known as being an authority in your industry and you share their information, and maybe it’s information you’ve posted on your website.
Information post that engage and educates, social posts and sometimes I refer to these as similar to diversional and fun post where it’s something funny, entertaining that engages people and interacts with people socially. The more you can do that with Facebook the better results you’re going to get.
Calls: When we say calls, what we mean to say here is calls to action. If you’re doing informational posts and being social on Facebook and diversional fun posts that are maybe jokes or pictures or videos or that kind of thing, you want to, at some point, start to engage with calls to action. How do we get people to take action? Visit our site, to buy a product, to enroll in or signup for a webinar or an e-mail marketing, e-mail newsletter, that kind of thing. You want to balance it so that you’re not just sending out calls to action and you’re just trying to sell all the time in social media.
The balance we see working with our clients is about 1 out of 3. 1 out of 3 post that you do, that’s some kind of call to action, with visit our site for more information, download this informational downloadable asset that’s going to help you do something with your business. You have to do this. We can [weak 00:13:01] out engaging with the community balanced and consistently. If you just do it next week and never do it again, or do it for two weeks and never do it again, you’re not going to get consistent results.
Tracking: One thing that is talked about social media is tracking. It doesn’t always need through in direct purchase or direct sale, it sometimes bit intangible, but you can track e-mails, in other communication, you can even engage with our Google analytics to see what kind of activities are happening when people go from Facebook to your website.
Smink: This is an important advancement in analytics in the last year or so, that you can do a much better job if you’re able to incorporate the other social media platforms into the analytics account. You can see what percent of time people spend when an individual user engages with you, how much are they spending on your Facebook, how much they’re spending on other social media platforms as well as your website, so that you can at least get some idea of what … You can also track that back to goals that you might have, like a conversion for a lead or a conversion for a sale if you’re able to sell on your website. You can get a sense of what portion of that lead is attributable to different social media platforms as well as your website.
Of course, landing pages. The more you can drive traffic to a landing page, it’s relevant to the call to action, the better conversions you’re going to get and the more likely people are going to get action in the way you want them to take action.
When you’re building your audience, you want to make sure your Facebook page, a [searchable 00:14:49] information. You want to invite existing contacts to like your Facebook page and you want to incorporate Facebook in your online and offline channels. Signs around your business and print media, that kind of thing. It all comes down to creating valuable content. Content is still the king and that the better job you do in creating good content for the web, for your industry, the more valuable is going to be and the more success you’re going to have when you share it in social media including your blog, Pinterest, LinkedIn, all those types of things.
Facebook advertising which is a way to pay to boost posts and, also, they have a pay per click campaign in there where you can write ads and people can click on them and you get charged per click or charged for impression. We’ve seen some mixed results with this, but what we would always say is that if you’re going to engage in that type of activity, make sure you have ways to track results. You don’t want to spend money on things just because they seem really cool. As much as possible, track results, drive advertisements to landing pages where you can track the actions taken.