Sales? Customers? Market share?
Whatever it is that you’re looking to accomplish with your company, knowing what “it” is provides the answer to the primary question of “Where should I start with social media?”.
There are so many options in regards to social media marketing. If you just plow out there and get your Facebook fan page, your Twitter feed, your YoutTube channel and others, you will likely be a bit let down by your marginal success. How do your channels work to help answer your overall question? The answer of “We just need a Facebook fan page because everyone has one now” is just wrong. Don’t think that way. That same thinking propelled an onslaught of horrific websites onto the scene in the early 2000’s only to never be touched again.
It’s about people. It’s about connecting to people who are looking for what you have to offer. When they go to look for you, what do they find? Are you there at all? Do you have a website that hasn’t been touched in years? Do you have a fan page with minimal activity?
There are 3 things you can start today that will absolutely explode your presence online in 2010:
- Build Value Into Your Website. Your website should be so much more than an online brochure. What do they learn about you? What tools do you offer to keep them engaged? One simple way to generate traffic and interest is to start producing a company blog. Before you run for the hills with your already over-whelmed schedule in mind, try to re-frame the way you think about blogging. You don’t have to be a published author to post a blog. You need good content, a Word processor and spell-check and you’re good to go! Give your customers some information. For free. That’s right, just give it away. Why? Because then they’ll come back for more. Then they’ll tell their friends about you. Then they’ll tweet you to infamy.
- Create Engagement Points. It’s not enough to just have a website anymore. Your website should be one point of engagement along a thread of multiple channels. Work to integrate an RSS feed (build on an open-source platform like WordPress or Joomla to accomplish this quite cheaply/easily) and then track those feeds using a tool like feedburner. Allow people to subscribe to your Twitter feed. Have your Twitter feed integrate into your Facebook fan page where others who aren’t on Twitter yet can engage with you. Allow people to comment (I’m a big fan of disqus) and even ASK for the comments. Have a lot of information to get out? Start a podcast or even better yet, a VIDEO podcast. At the least, engage. Go beyond just having a website and start to have a web presence. Your competition will hate you.
- Get Found. Your design is bangin’, your content is top notch, your Twitter feed is active, now what? Just wait? Well, yes, that is one thing that you do. But, couple your other efforts with a strategic Search Engine Optimization plan and you’re golden. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simply the science behind how your site gets found. With it’s ever-changing algorithms, keeping a watchful eye on your effort is crucial. First of all, figure out how you want to get found. What words will someone type in to find you? What words do you WANT them to type in to find you? Now you’re on the road to SEO success. Don’t have a ton of money to spend at it? Start with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign. You can decide to spend $300/month or $10,000/month. When the budget has been met, you won’t be charged a penny more. This is a good minimal start point as at least you can start to really focus in on what keywords are bringing the most success. One note of caution: if someone says they can get you on the front page of Google for $99/month, run. Run fast.
This year has not been the best for many people, but 2010 can be different. The 3 things mentioned above are minimal changes in regards to cost that will yield greater sales, market share, company growth and more. There are roughly 6 weeks left in the year. You can begin your journey right now and emerge in January of 2010 as a dominant player in your industry.
Why are you waiting?
I know. No money right?
Consider this thought on ROI (return on investment). If you spend 1 hour a day engaging, blogging, commenting, tweeting, etc. and as a result land 1 new job a month for the next 12 months, consider this scenario as an ROI model (obviously, adjust based on your business model):
Average Sale: $3000
Hourly Cost: $65
Hours/week Engaging: 5
I’ll take a 57% profit margin any day.
Go get more _____ today!
Photo credit allansiew