Social media is so much more than a diversion. Any business that ignores social is missing a tool that’s still largely free, is very easy to use and that your customers love.
In the United States last year, a Nielsen survey recorded a 37 per cent increase in the amount of time spent on social sites. In just one month, Americans spent 230,000 years logged onto Facebook and its peers.
In the UK, Barclays have just released research on the hospitality industry’s social media use. Almost a third of their respondents said they were getting a quarter of their sales this way, with 13% putting half of their deals down to social. Google now uses social media to rank sites.
However, just because they’re free and fun, you shouldn’t relax around social media. Link everything back to your site, making it a social media hub, and keep a consistent image and brand message even in casual conversations.
American marketing man, Rich Brooks, has posted a list of social tips that are almost effortless but which should pay dividends.
Ask Toolkit about their social media services, which will help you get started on these exciting platforms and manage your accounts across multiple sites.
First up for Brooks are sharing buttons for your site and links to all your social pages. You might be sending a prospect away from your site, but they’re still interacting with you and you can always set the links to open in a new window.
His next point concerns blogs. At the very least, you should have a weekly-updated blog. Link it to your website, which should promote the blog even if it’s hosted elsewhere. Toolkit can set you up with a Blogger – Google’s platform – account and have their own content management systems that trump the web freebies on security and design.
Thirdly, get your camera out and tell your story. Video is easy to consume, compelling content, and it’s increasingly easy to make. Would you rather read how to, say, change your headlight bulbs or watch an expert walk you through it?
Next, take your offline marketing online. If your sales efforts include public speaking, upload your slides to your site; do it free through Slideshare and get double value from your efforts.
His fifth tip is to use the social bookmarking sites. StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious have millions of busy users and every time you add something new make sure they know about it. Outside bookmarks count for more, so arrange a swap deal with friends, you’ll all benefit.
Tip six is a ‘Like’ box. It brings Facebook to your site and makes liking you that little bit easier, something that will be broadcast straight to your new fan’s friend list.
Seventh is something that’s very much at the heart of what we do at Toolkit: keep updating. That means your site as well as your social pages. If you add automatic feeds from social channels though, try to separate out your personal profiles – your customers probably don’t care how disgusted you are that Nigel Adkins was sacked as Saints boss.
Finally, Brooks sings the praises of QR codes, those little black and white, crossword-puzzle boxes that smart phones can scan. Use them wherever you can, offline and on. And, consider where users will land: design a special page for them, and remember they’ll be on mobile devices so ask Toolkit about adapting your site for this booming area of browsing.
Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, website designer Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.