Monday, October 27, 2014

Are You Doing it Right? SocialSEO for Businesses

I have always been a strong believer in the power of social media; to me, it is the equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising on steroids. I realize not everyone shares this view, and until recently it was hard to prove that social media was so effective. Indeed, social media professionals were often looked down upon by SEO gurus who thought that only their work was the secret to online riches. In many years doing marketing work online, I've come to realize that the only thing that is constant is change-- and now those same SEO people are singing the praises of social media! The fact of the matter is, you can no longer separate the two, they go together like peas and carrots. (In my best Forrest Gump voice.)

New reports show that combining social media with organic (non-paid) search engine optimization results in higher search engine rankings 58% of the time.(I'm going to go out on a limb and say those that don't see results aren't doing it right!) In a nutshell, SocialSEO works. Further, the same report, which was done by Social Media Examiner, pointed out that smart marketers focused on providing unique content and value to their readers; meaning that the original content we are populating websites with both keeps web properties fresh and draws more traffic! Win-win for everyone, right?

Not so fast! Doing this right is important; and it's crucial to realize that social media is "social" to the very core. Make somebody happy, and news will spread fast; make somebody mad and it will spread like wildfire! That means always being kind, paying it forward when you can, and NO HARD SELL! Social media marketing is very different from regular advertising; people do not appreciate in-your-face, do it now types of marketing on social media. If you are doing it that way, I guarantee that people are blocking your posts and not even seeing them. You cannot demand people like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, or accept your invitation on LinkedIn. 

What you can do is provide them with valuable content that will keep them coming back to your website and sociale media pages. This can be content that you have written, and you can also share links to great content written by others in your niche. Doesn't seem so hard...either write or find epic posts that provide tons of great, topical tips, and share freely. However, I have seen marketing people get this wrong as well, by turning posts into "look at me and how great I am," or criticizing someone else's writing or thinking. what business or area you work in. 

Therein lies one major difference between advertising (one-way marketing) and social media marketing (two-way marketing.) People love businesses that are easily accessible and that answer their questions about products and services they provide. Sharing freely of your time and expertise builds the trust I mentioned, and allows your readers to see how much you know about your topics and your industry. No hard sell-- no stroking your own ego, which can be a total turnoff. One thing I learned many years ago is that the ability to build trust and confidence is one of the most important business skills anyone can possess.

Okay, that is all I have to say about that! ( I know, I sound like Forrest Gump.) 

Here are some more great articles about SocialSEO that you should read: