Social media, Why you need it & Staying involved in the process
Today has been truly a great day of talking with potential clients about search engine optimization (SEO), social media and how both together can benefit them. We routinely are asked about SEO as that is prevalent on everyone’s minds to drive business to their website. Every business knows they need a website in today’s business world as this is where you have complete control over what information about your brand is out on the Internet, will match all of your marketing materials and present a professional image of your business. Additionally, by having your own website you will have an email address that is branded to you and not to a @yahoo, @Gmail, @comcast, etc. Your email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org which presents a more professional appeal.
In the last meeting that we had the main question that was asked struck us as a red flag as we knew they were already doing social media and had contacted us to see if they could do more. The question was “What exactly is social media?” This potential client truly didn’t understand what being social was. Their understanding was if they had a Twitter account they were being social. They have spent the last two years being social and didn’t understand how it could benefit their business. They only knew they had to do something; which they were. In fact, they were paying a company, which we are bidding against, over $500 a month to handle their social media marketing strategy. They did have a Twitter and Pinterest account under their company name and both were setup perfectly with the branding matching their company website. They didn't have a Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Google+. Even though their website had a link for Facebook it only went to the Facebook homepage. The Pinterest had two images showing their old and new company logos. Twitter had monthly posts encouraging people to visit their website to learn about their latest product and services.
They are presently paying between $800-1,000 a month for Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising. The keywords for Google were last updated two years ago and many of the keyword phrases were not matching their current business processes. The Facebook advertisement did link to their website and was setup with good information that matched their current business model. They were not able to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns to see if they are receiving a good return on investment (ROI).
Social media questions you should know the answer to
While talking we asked some of the basic questions we always ask. Many can have similar answers related to social media. Some of the questions we asked are below.
- Which social media networks do I want my business on? (Hint: Many businesses do not need to be on all of them – just the ones that will compliment your business).
- What are my companies marketing objectives related to social media?
- What is my main purpose for my company being on social media?
- How much time should I invest in social media?
- Who is my target audience that I want to address?
- How will I gauge the success, or failure, of my social media marketing?
- What will I be providing to the people in my social media strategy that is valuable?
- Will I outsource all, part or none of my social media strategy? (Hint: If you say all you could run into a situation like our potential customer here where you blindly pay a bill and not get any results. This should be an active business relationship where you communicate, provide information for the company, and understand the reports that you receive.
Social Media Benefits
- Social media is the #1 activity on the internet above all other activities
- Social media provides a mechanism for companies to connect with their customers one-on-one
- Social media is an extension of your business and your business website
- Social media is trusted among consumer opinions more than tradition marketing and advertisements
- People use social networks than email to communicate with friends and family
- Generate buzz about your product or service
- Building word of mouth
- Encouraging and inspiring conversations
- Being involved in social media will show your customers that you care and are more than just a business wanting their money
- Creating brand advocates and evangelists
- Can make people LOVE your product or service
- Building positive brand equity
- Those who are active online have amplified voices within the social media space.
- Reach audiences that may not be current customers
- Your reach and information will reach more than one person
- People want to feel listened to and help them become more involved with your brand
Social Media Don't Do's
- SPAM messages degrade the experience for everyone.
- Ignore negative comments on your social media site. Address them quickly on the social media site as well as an email, if required.
- Ignore postive comments on your social media site. Thank them and let the person know you appreciate who they are.
The first item to know about social media is that if you can point and click with your internet browser you have the capability of doing all of the social media work yourself. This may seem counterproductive coming from a company that services a large portion of our clients, including those whose websites we didn't create, for its revenue. To JM2 Webdesigners though education is also part of who we are and what we do. If we can help the public become more knowledgeable then we feel we are doing our part to make the world a better place.
We don't know yet if we got the sale with them but do know we feel confident in knowing that they will be doing a much better job with their social media now that they know more about it. We know for a fact that they are a committed company that will fix the problems now that they are aware. Whether they choose to go with us, hire a full time employee to handle their marketing or another company they are more knowledgeable today than they were before our meeting.
If your business would like to learn more about SEO, social media, website redesign or a custom application for your business feel free to contact us and we can see how we can work together and solve your problem.