October 15, 2013
There was a time when online marketing professionals would claim that social media campaigns were a waste of effort and certainly had no SEO benefits. Even today the concept of hiring a social media manager seems odd — why fork out thousands to pay for their salary when you spend most of your time trying to keep your employees off of Facebook anyway? While it’s true that social media has had little SEO benefit in the past (any links are usually encoded with the ‘nofollow’ attribute), we are now seeing that, with the Google Panda update, more and more weight is being given to links on social media sites. But SEO advantages aside, having a social media presence is vital to delivering an effective and holistic online marketing campaign and should not be overlooked. Here are three of the main reasons to get social:
A strong promotional social media campaign can be one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to your website and it should, therefore, be used in tandem with SEO tactics to create a more holistic marketing strategy and to allow you to target as wide a market as possible. Facebook alone has more than one billion users and provides a platform through which to speak directly to these users — something that search engines do not offer. This personal approach is a great way to talk to people and to get them to visit your website.
With its search function allowing users to browse the entire network of public tweets for keywords and hashtags, Twitter has the elements of a search engine in itself. Start tweeting and your posts will be potentially visible to more than 140 million users. If your tweets contain links to your website, then you will soon be driving traffic. Think of social media links as road signs at the junction exits of a busy highway and get diverting your traffic.
Getting your company involved in social media is like putting your name on a big billboard, only it doesn’t just have the potential to be seen by passers-by — it has the potential to be seen by Internet users all over the world. Facebook recently introduced the paid option for business accounts to promote posts not only to their own followers, but also to their followers’ Facebook friends.
According to Quora, the average Facebook user has 234 friends (as of December 2011), a number which is surely increasing. Even if your business only has 30 followers, promote it to your followers’ friends and you’re already reaching a maximum audience of more than 7,000 people. This is a rate of visibility expansion that can be matched by few other mediums. Given that many Facebook users have a significant number of friends living in different countries, this provides the opportunity for instant access to an international market. Getting your name out there will only increase the number of people searching for your website, which will in turn demonstrate its reliability to search engines.
Social networking sites. The clue is in the name. As the social media industry grows it is increasingly becoming the 21st century hub of networking events, and utilizing social media to its full potential is no different from attending a traditional networking event. As any good business professional knows, the key to maintaining a strong business profile lies in the constant interaction with your customers, clients and business partners. Would you decline an invitation to a prestigious industry event? Would you attend the event and then not make the effort to speak to anyone? The same principle applies to social media.
It’s important that you do not just wait for your audience to come to you, but that you proactively engage in hot topics of discussion, making your presence known while establishing connections with other key players in your industry. Put in a little effort and you’ll soon find that you’re making valuable contacts.
COMBINING SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA
SEO is an important part of digital marketing and, when implemented correctly, an effective way to bring traffic to your website. However, it should not be seen as the divine solution to all of your marketing problems. An effective digital marketing campaign should make use of both SEO and social media tactics, because a combination of the two will have a much more holistic impact, increasing your appeal to a wider market. If your social media campaign is particularly successful then you might find that you need to employ a community management agency to help you manage your international community.
Ryan Neal is a copywriter with MO Group International. At MO Group International our professionals are experienced in community management, international SEO and social media, working in more than 40 different languages and possessing the tools and experience to design a campaign to boost your online presence and allow you to get the most out of digital resources. Get noticed with MO Group International.