[Note from Lee: I am happy to introduce readers of Online Marketing Blog to our newest contributor, AshleyZ. A human dynamo for getting things done, Ashley has literally hit the ground running and works for TopRank as a Marketing Manager. She’ll be sharing her smarts here and helping to elevate TopRank’s Marketing to more impressive levels of awesome.]
The social web has opened the door to many opportunities for individuals to share their opinions on everything from the weather to politics to the really cute thing their dog just did. Business social media users however, must take a much more structured approach to sharing information and interacting with their prospects and clients.
A haphazard approach to social media for business rarely works. Why? In order to remain competitive in the online marketplace it’s important to provide potential buyers with valuable information that they will not only absorb, but share with others. What are some practical approaches that can be taken to improve content quality and increase both search and social media visibility? I’ll give you a hint: social media and search engine optimization. Here are a few tips on Social SEO that I hope you find useful:
Twitter: Get the most out of your tweets!
- Listen to the comments about your company, brand, and products as well as the things your prospective clients are sharing and following.
- Ask engaging questions that will allow prospects to share honestly and will show that you are listening.
- Respond to requests, comments (negative & positive), compliments in real time.
Facebook: Improve social network engagement with these simple tips.
- Be unique. Social media users are constantly bombarded with dull advertisements and mediocre content. Make sure that you present a visually enticing page that will catch their eye and follow that up with relevant and engaging content to keep them reading and interacting.
- Be a gracious host. People are not obligated to like your page. By fanning you they are letting the rest of their network know that this is a company/product/cause/service that they support. A small thank you can go a long way.
- Be Persistent. After you have put all of this effort into building up your page, gaining followers, and creating relevant content the worst thing that you can do is ignore your page. Fans will be looking for fresh content regularly. Engaging with your community on Facebook will pay huge dividends!
Photo Sharing: Get noticed by optimizing your images.
- Use compelling images. The image you include in your article can vary the reaction of your audience. Research has shown that while text is still the first thing that people see on the page, the image is what will sell the story.
- Match image and content. By matching your image with the keywords contained in your url, tags, and anchor text, it will be easier for search engines to confirm that you are not spamming and that the images provided are relevant and of high quality.
- Too much of a good thing. A knee-jerk reaction can be to cram as many keywords as possible into your image alt text. You must always remember these simple guidelines: text, captions, and file names should be short and descriptive for the most optimized results!
Grow Your Business Network on LinkedIn.
- Build the foundation. Search your professional network for people you have a strong business relationship with and connect with them on LinkedIn. Be sure to ask for recommendations and include co-workers in your LinkedIn network.
- Optimize your profile. This is your landing page for Linked in, so make the most of it. This includes links to your website and blog, utilizing proper keywords in your title and descriptions, and including a professional image that properly reflects who you are.
- Update frequently. Think of your LinkedIn profile the same way you would a blog, Facebook, or twitter page. If you don’t want to commit to providing frequent content for another profile, link your existing feeds to your LinkedIn profile to keep your professional network in the loop.
We want to hear from you!
Why do you follow and interact with the companies and individuals that you do? Are you intentional about your business social media activity? We’re curious what it is that you think makes a company worth interacting with. As a business user, what do you do on the social web to better engage with prospects and customers?