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Social Media Marketing – Communication or Sales?

Aug 7th, 2013

Social Media

When it comes to marketing it’s “still about the numbers,” and with social media marketing there are new challenges that exist. For instance, does 2000 “likes” on a Facebook business page necessarily mean that those people will actually make purchases from that particular business?

It’s no secret that using social media is an important communication tool in today’s business world, but what’s the best way to view it? As a business owner, should you view this as more of a direct marketing sales avenue or a way to enhance your company’s reputation, understand a client’s needs and then develop and share relevant content?

The New Marketing Challenge

Consumers are more demanding today, and Social media has really “put them in the driver’s seat” so to speak. If they don’t like a product or have a bad experience, they will share it. And there are more choices for both consumers and marketers today – they can use sites for research, learn more about products, and then come up with decisions to buy.

Another problem? People are “blasted” with information on a daily basis. According to some latest statistics, each day Facebook users upload more than 350 million photos and they click that almighty “Like” button 2.7 billion times.

Best Ways to Navigate Social Media Options Today 

First remember that social media options continue to grow. From Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as Pinterest, and blogging another new option is Google +. It goes back to deciding what will work best for your business, and then becoming savvy with the mediums that will fit best for you and your business.

Think about Google+

Today Google+ is actually the second largest social network around, and the website content shared here comes up faster. Google+ tends to rank content a bit higher when it comes to the organic searches (not paid searches). Also, the first sentence you put in a post actually is the title that comes up in Google+ so it’s important that you think about the right keywords in that very first sentence.

How to start with Google+? Create a personal Google+ profile, and include every section. You can add your website under “Links” and also inside your profile introduction as well. And consider adding links to the different pages of your website.

Google+ has its own version of the Facebook “like” button. It’s called the 1+ button and works the same way, but has a few more benefits, because the more 1+ clicks you receive, the better chance your website will appear higher in the organic search results.

You can also set up a Google+ business page and share content there as well. Also encourage your clients and customers to recommend your business and the share reviews. The more authentic your business becomes the better you’ll get noticed.  And like Facebook, Google+ also has their own Google+ groups, and with these shared circles you can build your network of people.

EdgeRank & Facebook

EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm for determining what’s showing up in a news feed. Pages that have a higher EdgeRank score are more likely to have their updates added to news feed pages than Facebook pages that have a lower EdgeRank score. How does EdgeRank come up with a score? It’s determined by a number of engagement factors – they’ll look at the relationship you have with each fan and then assigns a score that’s based on how often that fan likes, shares, clicks or comments on your content. Another critical thing – interaction that takes a bit more effort (not just the simple “like”) like a specific comment, will receive higher marks for the score. And EdgeRank will also take a look at the age of the post – the older the post, the less relevance it will have.

Put yourself in “the shoes” of your Fans

When it comes to using social media, rather than trying to use it as a “hard sell” approach and blasting messages?  Put yourself in the “shoes” of your fans, so to speak. What are their needs and problems, the things that concern them that you can then address and help solve? In the long term this “it’s about them, not me” will be more productive.