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Engage. Interact. Be Transparent.
Social media is often seen simply as an internet establishment rather than a means for furthering business and boosting ROI as it should be. Many business owners are content with the existence of their social media accounts but take no true investment in the real potential. If you aren’t using your facebook/twitter to engage and interact with your customer base then you are shortchanging a valuable asset for consumer integration. Every company’s business model should include a defined plan regarding customer service; one which strives to make the most of any interactive platform.
Active social media strategies not only allow you to interact with current customers, they also give a business the chance to expand customer base, establish authority in the space, drive website traffic, genrate highly targeted leads, and build trust through transparency. These are all ways to grow your business and reach a greater return on investment. Think about teaming up with a Charleston SEO firm to better maximize these efforts and gain a competitive edge.
Ways To Use Social Media To Interact With Customer Base
- Simply answering questions, concerns, and inquiries. Your facebook page and your twitter account give the customer a chance to seamlessly make themselves heard. As a company it is your job to respond in a timely manner with unmatched customer service. Believe me, such an effort will not go unnoticed. This will not only help you retain customers, but also through word of mouth, recieve new accounts through positive refferal as well.
- Run contests and promotions. This is a great way to engage. Give something away for free or even a discount. If you make sure that the contest is well designed, it should give customers enough incentive to get involved and interact with you through social media. This can create a solid foundation for future social media interaction. From personal experience, I have seen that contests and promotions lay a perfect foundation for that first bit of communication. Those who were intially engaged through these contests usually proved to be more valuable in the long run as well, consistenly giving feedback and consumer opinions.
- Be transparent. Keep the site updated and customers in the loop with business news. Talk about what’s going on in the office. Post pictures of company events or functions. Make the customer feel like they are a part of things. By simply maintaining a healthy level of transparency you can generate a personal connection with customer base.
- Develop yourself as an industry authority. Create a voice worth listening to. An account worth following. Blog. Blog intelligently. Blog relative to your industry or service expertise. Post relative news and weigh in with your opinion. Ask others their opinion and create healthy discussion. You might learn something, but regardless, you will create an authority for yourself and your company. Raising good points, valid arguments, creating healthy conversation, and sharing good content will all lead to a more respected view and consumer opinion of your company. If you can generate a reputable buzz then more people will follow you, recommend you, and probably do business with you.
Conversion-Driven Social Media Marketing Techniques
“Converting followers and fans into loyal new and repeat customers”. How a Charleston SEO firm can help implement your marketing strategy:
- Grade-A social media strategy development
- Social media account setup and profile management
- Custom designed profile pages
- Website and social media integration
- Expertise with optimized social media content
- Performance monitoring. Analytic interpretation. Result driven implementations.
Google+ Will Inevitably Grow
I became particularly interested with this when I recognized some inconsistency, or unusual activity in my Google searches. I searched “Charleston seo” to surprisingly find that my web startup (CharlestonSEOLab.com) ranked third for the keyword. I knew that there was no way this was possible as we had launched just a week before.
So what was the deal? Well, as a result of being logged into my google account, I was feeling the effects of a new search engine update that Google rolled out this month. “Search Plus Your World“, now drives logged-in users to receive socially shared content relative to their Google plus accounts rather than a normal, natural list of results. Yeaaa. Turns out my new site was still ranking on page 7. So much for that brief excitement.
Initial responses to this new program seem to be those of mixed emotion. Although some may not agree or like the idea of using market power to force users onto a platform, whether they want to or not, others (and those in touch with reality) must embrace the change as part of an evolving SEO tactical understanding. Digital marketers who choose to ignore this piece of the puzzle are only missing out on integral strategic necessity.
What Exactly Is Changing
Logged-in Vs. Logged-out
When you are logged-in to your Google account, the search engine will provide both personal results as well as full web results. The option to manually turn off personal results is available at the top right of the Google search page. It looks little something like this->
If you are not logged in to your account, don’t expect to see this. What exactly does this mean though? Well, it means a few things. First, the information you receive in searches will personally relate to people, photos, and other shares relating to your Google + account. Here is an example of a search that I did for a close friend and the results that followed (when I was logged-in):
Notice how his Google+ profile was the first result? This instead of his optimized personal website, facebook, twitter, etc.
When you are logged-out, or do not have a Google+ account, you will still see the effects of this new update. On the top right side a People and Pages of Google+ will appear. It will look like this example which I am stealing from an SEOmoz post by Rand Fishkin because he makes a great point in the image:
This is where I believe the SPYW update will find the most value relating to SEO strategy. Time will tell how valuable those spots on the top right truly are but if I were a betting man I’d say they see quite a bit of clicks and traffic. Companies will begin to compete for the space just like they currently do with search rankings. This will be a direct reflection of an active Google+ strategy which clearly bodes importance to digital marketing.
I am going to continue educating myself of the small consistencies and logistics of this new program from Google and will bring you another post on some gritty details here in the near future.
Related Must Reads:
Optimizing a website for local search uses different techniques than general keyword inquiries on Google. Depending on the market, there are many different factors that can be used to rank for a variety of local search terms. This blog post will help you optimize for the Charleston, SC market.
Local Keyword Search Terms
If you are a yoga studio, you should optimize for keywords like “Yoga Charleston” “Charleston Yoga” or even longer term keywords such as “Charleston Hot Yoga” or “Affordable Yoga Charleston.” A simple keyword research strategy will allow you to develop and determine what keywords would be most beneficial for your business. We always recommend starting with longer string keywords first and then as you begin to gain authority in Google’s eyes, targeting the more competitive keywords.
Optimize Social Profiles
All local businesses need to have their presence on sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Google Places and YellowPages. These are other aggregators of information that people use to search for things that they are looking for. Having a large presence here with backlinks to your main website, can help improve your page rank.
Did you know that Google sends web spiders to crawl your website looking for pieces of information that users would find relevant? This can include the address of the business, phone number or contact information. With contact information clearly displayed these items can appear on the first page of the search prompting an instant phone call from the consumer.
Yes, you read the title correctly. Your website serves your business or brand as a way to generate even more money! A lot of people have this misconception that you’re just supposed to have a website so that people can find you and learn more if they want, but they are actually conversion engines.
If you’re not collecting emails for your newsletter, inviting people to join your fan page, or handing out exclusive discounts, and getting sales from your website… well what are you doing? Websites are meant to do so much more than just sit online waiting for people to find it, your website is another way to advertise to people.
What has your website converted for you lately?
There are so many opportunities for your website to generate more sales, leads, or customers no matter what sort of industry you are in. If you’re reading this article, you’re in luck because the staff at Charleston SEO Lab are experts at all sorts of e-commerce. Let’s talk about an example of using a fictitious company called Larry’s Plumbing.
Part of the CSLab method is having a keen understanding of not only the market niche, but the consumer mindset when they’re visiting the website. So our thought process going into a plumbers business is what information can we provide the user when they visit the site?
Creating a Conversion Funnel for Larry’s Plumbing.
- Testimonials: What are people saying about Larry’s Plumbing, can I trust them?
- Story: Why is Larry’s Plumbing different? What is the history of the business and why should I used them?
- Availability: Multiple methods of contact including email, phone, store hours, and an emergency line in case a customer really needs assistance
- Reward: Provide the user a reward for finding the site through the web after all of their searching. This can include a coupon or other special discount.
These are just a few methods of how we transform websites into CONVERSION MACHINES. Contact Charleston SEO today.
Content Is King
The most basic principle of the web is information. Every page on the internet is an example of some kind of information with a specific purpose for potential users. Search engines crawl and index these pages which are unique and prove to provide value to visitors. For this reason, it is important to keep this in mind when one is creating content: Quality content answers a question or solves a problem past the extent of visitor needs, and provides this information in a clear and concise manner.
Search engines like active sites when it comes to crawling and indexing. Active sites are more attractive and provides a stronger platform to engage users within the market. For this reason, A local Charleston SEO firm provides the best chance to create valuable, market specific content in order to engage target customer bases.
What Is Considered “Content”?
Content is an umbrella term that includes text, images, audio, video, and other forms. While textual content may be considered the most important and valuable, other forms like images, should not be taken for granted and can drive substantial traffic.
Some examples of engaging content:
- Textual content via blog, article databases, and other web pages
- Instructional videos
- Marketing initiatives/contests
- Unique images
Your businesses needs are important and choosing a search engine optimization company can be a major decision on how you spend your marketing budget. If you decide to invest in a search engine optimization plan for your business, it’s important that you decide to work with a local firm or agency rather than an online one.
Face to Face Interaction
With any web or online transaction, you can’t undermine the importance of having that face to face interaction. If there’s ever a question regarding your SEO plan or how the digital marketing strategy is being implemented, you’re able to go to the Charleston SEO office and ask them the questions. No 1-800 numbers or customer service emails, but real face to face interaction. A lot of companies online promise the world, but fail to deliver (while keeping your money). Avoid scams and work local.
Local SEO companies have an awareness of the market that you’re looking to gain rank in. When you understand who the competitors are and what businesses are involved, it’s easier to make decisions on keyword analysis and overall strategy development. This saves time and money when consulting and creating a plan.
Cost Effective Options
With a Local SEO Agency like Charleston SEO Lab, they have many different cost effective options that will help your business meet whatever goals they might have. Unlike an online company that you’ve never met before, the relationship directly with your agent will promote growth using the tools you select. There are multiple options and plans available for you to choose from, so you can start with one option and upgrade from there.