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Driving Revenue with Social Media
This article will help you to understand how to generate revenue using social media.
Let’s start with some statistics about social media:
- 43% of US marketers have found a customer through LinkedIn (source: A Sales Guy Consulting
- Facebook will account for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013 (source: L2)
- 50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter (source: Hubspot)
- 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response withing 1 hour (source: American Express OPEN Forum)
- 70% of brands have presences on Google+, up 4% from Q4 2012 (source: Simply Measured)
- 90% of US online specialty retailers use Pinterest, up from 81% in 2012 (source: L2)
With all that being true, there are STILL some business owners that think:
“No one is going to buy our product on Facebook! Our average order is WAY too expensive.”
If you’re going to pay a consultant, marketing company or team member to market to potential customers on those networks, wanting that marketing to translate into real dollars and cents is a reasonable expectation. Driving and measuring revenue with social media can be done by any business. Here’s how in 3 steps:
Step 1: Build a community of consumers
You might be thinking: “Okay, great. I’ve heard this a million times before.” The difference is, we’ll show you how to do it:
Don’t be Afraid to be Social
Many marketers claim that you should stay away from social networks until you have a marketing plan in place and execution strategy. I disagree. I do understand the concept and hesitation relating to this outdated claim, but claiming your social presences on the web is the first step to be taken, with or without a marketing strategy. Even if you don’t plan on being active on these social networks right away, you’ll still have them claimed and under your control when you’re. Source
Here’s a perfect example:
Donald Trump was too late to the party when claiming his Twitter profile. Anyone can make a Twitter profile with any name. The same goes for Facebook domains. For example, someone could have claimed the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/apple before Apple Inc. did. Luckily for Apple, they were the first to the party. However, not everyone is so lucky.
I suggest claiming your profiles and domains as soon as possible.
Keep the Means of Public Communication Open
“Consumers like to share their experiences and engage with brands. One of the biggest fears business owners have when deciding whether or not to “be social” is that they are giving their customers a chance to be vocal and even worse, share a negative experience for others to see.” Source
This is not a bad thing! First of all, your customers (audience) are sharing their experience with you on YOUR page (the one that you have control over). Secondly, this gives the business owner or designated controller an opportunity to discover and pinpoint common problems (complaints) so that the necessary changes towards resolving these issues can be taken, which will prevent further complaints around this issue. Lastly, keeping this public communication open gives you the opportunity to address these issues publicly. If there’s a problem or complaint and you’re willing to take efforts to fix it, customers will be happy. Previously, this was less effective because the only person who knew the efforts you were taking was the person making the complaint. Now, you can broadcast this conversation to your followers and potential customers. This is online reputation management 101. Source
Build a Community with a Combination of Great Content & Engagement
What makes the best kind of content? Whether it’s a commercial, a trade show or a Facebook post, the best kinds of content is the kind that people continue talking about after reading, watching or listening. Find out where your market is talking about your content and engage with them. Creating this content is easier said than done. It’s important to have creative minds generating content that is going to spark and fuel conversation and increase its shareability. Doing this will help populate a community, increase brand awareness and turn them into brand advocates.
Turn Your Community Into Brand Advocates
You’re only partway done. Once you’ve started to build a community, you need to get them talking. Here’s a concept from social media conference in Buffalo, NY:
“Give your customers so many positive experiences and engagements that they feel guilty leaving your company for someone else’s.” Source
Continuously generating great content, whether it’s a blog post, video tutorial, white paper, etc., will increase the likelihood of your audience sharing your content, referencing your content, recommending your brand and most importantly, coming back for more. Provide a product/service and content worth talking about and sharing, actively engage with your audience and I can almost guarantee they will think twice before leaving you for someone else. Source
Continue delivering great content to your audience, engaging with them and giving them reasons to talk about your brand. Recognize the importance of building a community and you will be well on your way to a successful social media marketing campaign. Source
Create search-optimized content for those consumers
I’m sure you’ve heard of SEO before, but just in case you haven’t here’s a quick description from Wikipedia:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine‘s “natural” or un-paid (“organic“) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Similarly to SEO, Facebook uses EdgeRank. The difference between SEO and EdgeRank is that EdgeRank sorts and organizes content that’s posted on Facebook, whereas SEO sorts and organizes content posted on the web.
You can pull much of the definition over to social media (search-optimized content). Instead of affecting the visibility of a website/webpage, you’re affecting the visibility of your content. Why does this matter? Because your Facebook page isn’t the only page that your customer likes! Look at the image below:
The average American Facebook user likes 70 pages. Those 70 pages are most likely posting content just like you are. Not to mention their friends that are also posting and commenting. You’re competing with other Facebook pages and their friends.
Here’s how to get started search optimizing your content:
Determine your most relevant keywords
Get started making a list of keywords that you want to target. http://www.entrepreneur.com suggests this method:
Use the free Google Adwords Keyword Research tool. Here’s how to use it:
- Log in to your Google Account.
- Deselect “Broad” on the left.
- Select “[exact]” on the left.
- Enter keywords that you think might be searched for. We like to do three to 10 searches to find those with the largest search volumes.
- Select Search.
- Check the keywords using the “Ad Group Ideas” tab and the “Keyword Ideas” tab. Both allow you to view different variations on the words you initially put in — by theme or group and via one full list. The keywords displayed in the list should be surrounded by brackets. If they aren’t, you likely skipped the second and third steps above. This process helps you discover additional keyword variations that you might otherwise not consider.
- Select one or two similar keywords. Few content pieces can be optimized well for many keywords, so you need to narrow it down. Keyword selections should take into consideration data points, such as search volume, relevance to the page and site content, and the likelihood that your page will be able to rank for the term (keyword competitiveness).
Say you’re selling women’s clothing. Just off the top of my head, here are some keywords you may want to think about using:
- Women’s clothing
- Women’s dresses
- Women’s shoes
- Women’s fashion
Know where to use your keywords
Now that you have your list of keywords, it’s time to start thinking about where they need to go in your content so that it will be optimized for high search rankings. Start with the article title. Keywords within article titles tell users (readers) and search engines what the piece is about. Entrepreneur Magazine says: “When people link to articles, they often use the title, which will increase the chances that your targeted keywords get in the hyperlink to your article.”
It’s also important to use your keywords in the body of the article about 3-5 times. In order to make the content sound natural, use variations of the keyword(s).
Create share-worthy content
You know how to create keywords and you know where to put them. Now it’s time to write that awesome content for the keywords that you want ranked. “This content should be distinctive, insightful or humorous so your audience will want to share it with other people in their networks.” ~Entrepreneur Magazine
The most common types of socialized content are:
- Useful. Consider a list of statistics, an in-depth resource or guide, or a how-to article. Also consider multiple types of media, such as text, graphics and videos.
- Funny. People often think of funny as videos or stories, but it can also mean a cartoon, which can be outsourced minimal cost. If you don’t feel especially humorous, get your friends together and brainstorm.
- Lists. Interesting lists of things can become viral. The challenge is creating a list that people will actually want to share. It needs to have shock value, laughs or the “I want that!” reaction.
- Infographics. Illustrating data or advice in a visual format has become a popular way to attract links. You can hire a graphic designer to help you present information in a visually appealing way. Also, there are many free and paid tools that help arrange and visualize data. If you don’t have the budget for a designer or the graphics skills to do it yourself, a free infographic tool is Infogr.am.
Start determining which type of content to share by looking at the social media profiles of those who influence your target market. There you can see what they’re tweeting/retweeting, what they like, what they’re sharing and blogging about.
“…do research on the internet and in social networks to find out what others have written on those topics. Your goal is to “one up” them all. This doesn’t mean just merging other people’s information. You need to provide added value.” ~Entrepreneur Magazine
Promote your content
You want to develop your online network so that your followers will retweet, like and blog about your content. Try to build genuine relationships with those who could influence your target audience. The more people share your article and link to it from their website or blog, the higher your search engine rankings will be. When all of your SEO and social marketing efforts come together, they can take your brand to the next level. ~Entrepreneur Magazine
- Keyword optimize your media
- Research social media communities
- Make it easy for readers to save/share content
- Create profiles and grow a network of friends
- Participate in the community
- Measure results
Drive search customers to your services using that content
There are lots of ways to use social media to drive traffic to your website, but we’re just going to list a few for you to get started:
Leverage Google+ Communities to drive traffic to your website
- Search Google+ for relevant communities and join them
- Read the community rules
- Don’t self-promote
- Post valuable content
Here’s 50 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website with Social Media – Originally posted by Sales Force
SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING
1. Monitor for buying indication terms and reply with helpful links
2. Listen for recommendation requests and share helpful links
3. Listen for discussions of your product or category and provide web links
4. Share relevant web content with prospects
5. Discover relevant blogs and ask for backlinks
6. Include a strong call to action in all content
7. Tie content together so an ebook links to a relevant blog post which links to a topical webinar
8. Divide a piece of content into multiple Slideshare presentations that link to your site
9. House the blog on your website
10. Ask readers to sign up for your RSS feed
SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
11. Link back to your landing page for conversion
12. Answer all questions
13. Share peer referrals
14. Optimize your site and blog for mobile viewers
15. Start a LinkedIn group
SOCIAL MEDIA ADS
16. Use a Facebook ad or promoted Tweet
17. Link back to dedicated landing pages for conversion
18. Create an ad on LinkedIn linking to a lead generation form on your site
19. Promote a web offer
20. Advertise on relevant forums
SOCIAL MEDIA MEASUREMENT
21. Track which social channels drive the most traffic to your site
22. Incorporate social share buttons and track links
23. Track the success of social campaigns
24. Try different calls to action on your blog and track effectiveness
25. Measure ebook downloads
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
26. Link content and similar keywords throughout your social channels
27. Use keywords on social media to provide a clear idea of the topic
28. Use the same keywords from your website on your social updates
29. Adjust blog headlines to include industry keywords that are commonly used
30. Interlink content and social media so that one promotes the other
31. Keep your web content relevant and send updates to your community
32. Create a forum or community section on your website
33. Feature community members on your site
34. Share customer stories
35. Create referral programs
36. Ask influencers to share your web links
37. Interview an influencer for web content
38. Have an influencer guest blog
39. Help an influencer write content about your brand
40. Share products with influencers for feedback and web content
41. Answer questions with a video FAQ
42. Embed YouTube videos onto your website
43. Create product videos with a website call to action
44. Share your videos on your social channels
45. Create customer story videos on your website
46. Speak at events and post your presentation to your site
47. Post your presentations on Slideshare and embed them on your site
48. Write for industry blogs and cross link
49. Post your bio on your website
50. Include your website in all your social channel bios
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This post was written by David Moceri