As a small business owner, there are many ways to promote your product or brand. One of these ways is free and can have a huge reach: social media. Unfortunately, a lot of the entrepreneurs I have spoken to recently feel that the effect isn’t worth the effort. We also see that in our reviews, by the way. It doesn’t matter if we review a photographer’s website or the site of an IT agency, most seem to invest little time in social media efforts or campaigns.
It’s hard to determine the ROI of a social media campaign. The tools that help in that determination are paid, most of the time. A small business owner that isn’t convinced about any ROI at all, won’t make that investment. Of course ROI is heavily depending on a number of factors. How do you convince the customer to buy in a tweet, for instance? Nigel’s comment on my previous post about social media got me thinking:
I also like social media but how do you target the “ready to buy” segment instead of people “Browsing”.
Nigel Abery, oaklaurel.com.au
You don’t buy a hammer to drive a nail in a piece of wood, but to build a bench. Growing an audience using social media, like I mentioned in my previous post, is a means to an end. The ultimate goal of all your social media efforts is of course to sell stuff and make money. It can even be the first step in a multistage (sic) process: get more newsletter subscriptions via Twitter to sell your ebook, for instance.
Now how will you be able to trigger that social audience to purchase your products or services? I did some digging on the interwebs. There is a lot to be found on the subject, but no user manual that works for everybody. Unfortunately, but not unexpected. It’s not an exact science, of course. But I’ve come up with some insights nevertheless
What do you Google? Movie times? Addresses and directions? Answers? Chances are you found what you wanted on the first page of your search results. When was the last time you actually went past the first page to find something? It’s a safe bet that your customers aren’t going past page one either.
Are your potential customers going to find you on page one when they’re shopping for your product or service? Historically climbing the Search results ladder was all about things like page rank, keywords and backlinks.
. When you tie Google+ and Authorship* to your blog or web page you can get more credibility with really excellent content, crowding out your competition.
Consistency in your data has become essential so that all your online presence is contributing to your climb. Connecting all your online dots builds your web presence and your position.
You can also
. When maximized, your Google+ profile will help you claim your Google Authorship* to build your credibility as an expert in your niche. More credibility equals better Search results.
Social Proof has also become a major factor in your search engine optimization strategy. The connections you build, the thought leaders within your niche that you interact with, and the engagement you provide through social, expand your reach, growing your following and your traffic. This is the kind of traffic that leads to sales because it comes from personal interaction. People want to do business with the People they Know, Like and Trust[PKLT]. This growth impacts Search and your placement in the SERPs.
Get on Page One Google Search you want to be found first! Right?
*NOTE: As of August 2014, Google+ Authorship no longer shows gravatars in the SERPs.