First I would like to start by defining the term social media because for the longest time I myself as a marketer had a skewed definition. I will start high and come back down.
Social media is anything that encourages the sharing of information.
This more specifically means social media is a status update on Facebook, a tweet on Twitter, or most importantly your professionally curated business blog.
Social media encompasses anything and everything that involves the exchanging or sharing of information.
So what is a social media strategy?
A social media strategy is how you relate and communicate with your customer’s digitally. The stronger this relationship is the more loyal audience and community your business will form around it. The absence of a social media strategy means the absence of communication with you and the people you wish to serve.
Lets say for example you are a business owner and you are currently without a website. The first steps you would need to take in effort to bridge that communication gap between you and your customers is to perform the following tasks outlined in this article.
Set Up Your Business Website
This is an important step because by setting up a website for your business you accomplish the following items:
1. Searching by industry, geographical location, and name
People can now search for your business, industry and your company name to find you.
Potential and current customers have the ability to not only thank you for your services, but also find you so they may hire you to perform your service. Your website allows people to find you geographically and by industry.
Lets use landscaping in Denver, CO as an example.
Think about if you required a service to be done, and you have no contacts in your network to turn to for guidance. What is the first thing you would do?
My first thought would be to head to Google (or your search engine of choice) and ask the question, “Where can I find a landscaping company in Denver, CO?” Or even more specifically “Landscaping Denver, CO.” The results that pop up on the front page in Google Search are company’s who have climbed to the top of the ladder in traffic to their website.
This answers the question of “how do I get traffic to my website?” This means its important to not only be intentional about your potential customer’s ability to find you through your service/industry and geographical location, but most importantly that you are receiving more traffic to your website than any other industry-specific company in your geographical area, even the world is your company is global.
2. People have the ability to contact you via email if they have a question or concern.
This is important because if your company wants to improve its methodology and grow they need to be listening to their customers. By making it easy for customers to find and contact you through your website you are being intentional about being able to communicate with your customers, and therefore filling that communication gap. If you want to be intentional about the customers you serve you must be intentional about communicating with them.
Curating Content For Your Business Blog
How can this be accomplished? The main objective is through a term we call inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a fancy term for people who find your business by way of asking questions in search engines, finding your website, and eventually becoming a customer for you. So in our example about landscaping lets say we weren’t actually looking to hire a any company and we wanted to do the job ourselves. Who better to ask than someone who is already performing that service? If any landscaping company is as good as they say they are they ought to be catering to us by way of teaching us how they do what they do in via their blog. This results in providing even more proof that the company is as good as they claim to be and very much worth your investment and trust in them and the service they offer.
A level of extreme comfort is established with your customer when your company’s business blog is providing helpful insight into exactly how you do what you. The level of comfort and trust cannot be measured. Often times customers will read your articles and attempt performing a job themselves only to find out how much work what you do really comes down to. When this happens who do you think they will turn to for completion of said job? Thats right, they’ll turn back to the people who helped them get their start to understanding how important and vital your business is to them. They’ll turn back to your company’s business blog and contact you through that avenue and request a quote for your services.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Great, so you know how to curate the right content, now how do we get people to find you? Curating lots of content absolutely is not everything. If you don’t have a proper blog post title or headline, your articles aren’t going to get any clicks when people search Google to find answers.
Think, if you were your own customer and had a commonly asked question about your business or industry, what would you ask and how would you search for your answer via an online search engine? Another helpful hint would be to think, “if I were performing the job myself without the service of a company, what would I ask or want to know?”
By creating headline titles that answer people’s questions you are not only pushing your company’s exposure, but you’re helping people to live an easier life by sharing your experiences with your service. You are also helping them to better understand all the logistics that go in to the work you do.
Often times the barrier between the service you perform (if you perform a service) and selling it is that people don’t want to feel like they’re getting ripped off in a deal where they don’t really know the level of expertise the performers of the service had to endure to complete the job. In essence, people don’t want to pay for something they could do themselves. They don’t want to pay too much for a service they could pay someone else do for less, and this is most often because they don’t know the quality level work you do.
If you want to prove to people how great of a company you are, show people by helping them do what you do through your business blog. This way whenever someone asks about the job you perform you can show them more than simply pictures of completed jobs. You now have to ability to show people exactly how you completed said jobs, and as a result the customer’s feel more inclined to do business with you because of the transparency you created within the transaction–by way of your business blog.
The importance of a social media strategy in your business is essential for growth in the new digital age. Without it your company is falling behind. If you aren’t doing it, rest assured your competitors are. Luckily if you aren’t online yet you are in luck. The vast, vast majority of marketing companies who “perform SEO” for businesses do not know or follow the methodology I’ve explained in this article. Everyone is a self-proclaimed SEO expert. That means this information-sharing way of promoting your business and helping people is new-age technology. Not everyone has caught on yet. The smartest organizations are figuring it out, and subsequently they are mostly large and expanding because they figured it out.
Do you have a social media strategy? What is the culture around it? Respond by commenting below.