To harness the full power of social networks and leverage the exponential reach available through social networking, here are 5 best practices.Social media is a powerful tool for generating brand awareness and building trust. An effective social media strategy integrates seamlessly with your web design so that your online presence represents your company with professionalism and your SEO is boosted. If you do social media the right way you can build relationships with fans and followers that will build long-term relationships by creating content that engages and brings value your audience. Your web development strategy should always include a social element so your social networks are easily visible and your content is easily shared by those interested in your brand and content.
1. Use your social networks to listen, not just talk.The social interaction between people is what brings the “social” element to social media. People interested in your brand will fan you on Facebook, follow you on twitter and subscribe to you on YouTube to interact with the person behind the company. They aren't always finding you on social channels to hear a one-way message that talks at them. Rather, thanks to social media, marketing and advertising is now a conversation and consumers will demand that you talk with them in a conversation. This is an exciting evolution that allows you to develop genuine connections with your audience that were not available before.
2. Your content should create value for your audience.Only if you entertain, inform, or in some way provide value, with your social posts and updates will your fans and followers like your posts, share your blog content and videos and retweet your tweets. How can those interested in your brand join the conversation if you are not initiating one? No one wants to be sold to all the time, not in person and not on the net. If you consistently provide content that is of educational, social, or useful value you will build a following that is loyal, engaged and enthusiastic about your brand.
3. Social is not about selling, it’s about building relationships.You get out of social what you put in. If you use it as a platform to always be selling, making it all about you, visitors will be less motivated to come back to your sites. But the good news is that building relationships is actually more powerful than sales! If you’re a dentist you’re not trying to use your blog to sell one pair of braces. If you blog on interesting subjects related to your business, such as how to ask for a second opinion or, for those that are terrified of the dentist, a 5 minute mediation to put you at ease before you enter the dentist chair, you will begin to build trust with your audience. This trust is the first step to building a lasting relationship. You will become a trusted resource that can develop into a client bond that will outlast a one-time procedure and continue for 5, 10, or 20 years or longer.
4. Use social networks to build relationships with industry leaders, colleagues and mentors.Social is not only about reaching out to potential consumers, it's also about participating in the conversation among your peers and industry thought leaders. Follow those agencies and individuals that are driving innovation in your field or who have influence with many people. These people have much to teach and they give away valuable information and insights through social media. Are you listening or are you missing out? LinkedIn is optimal for engaging with industry giants and experts. You can join LinkedIn groups representing your field to keep up on the latest news, updates and industry trends. Be a part of the conversation so you too can establish yourself as a leading voice in your market.
5. Track your metrics to develop and fine tune your strategy.In order to know what you are doing right, and which strategies are not benefiting you, you need to track your performance. There are many tools, both paid and free, that will generate reports which let you know when your content resonates with your audience and when it falls flat and fails to generate interest and engagement. By playing to your strengths and understanding your weaknesses, you can develop a winning social media plan that will increase your presence, raise your SEO ranking and establish your business as a leader in your market.
We have been in the Las Vegas web design and web development industry for years and we have experienced the power of social media to make connections and create partnerships and clients in our community. It’s not rocket science, all it takes is knowledge, a passion for engaging with your audience, and a consistent dedication to the effort and consistency required to create value and build genuine long-term connections.