Many businesses, especially SMEs, view search marketing and social media marketing from different angles. This is why some of them have separate strategies for both and others choose to go with one or the other. This approach is not optimal. Using your marketing strategy to combine search and social marketing is far preferred- so why are so many choosing not to?
It is common knowledge that apart from the search engines (basically Google), social media platforms are where most consumers spend their decision-making time. The interplay between search and social, therefore, cannot be ignored. You simply cannot afford to go with one or the other. The best strategies view search and social holistically to yield better results. Relying on one side of the divide increases the chances of missing out on an aspect of a customer’s buying journey. Consumers’ varying preferences for information consumption also highlights the fact that a combination of the two phases of marketing will yield better results than a singular focus.
Here are two statistics to get you thinking: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. 76% of people who conduct local search visit a physical business within 24 hours. Combine these statistics and you can see why you should start paying more attention to both social and search marketing.
How can you increase your social marketing results? Here are some top tips to follow:
Use brand names for your social media accounts
“If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, make sure the names you use ultimately rhyme with your brand or domain name” says Brendan Wilde at www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/. “If you are starting out newly, take this into consideration as you do your branding and register a domain name. Uniformity gives off the feeling of professionalism and rules out the possibility of losing your customers across the different platforms”.
Diversify presence within reason
This means using as many social media platforms as possible depending on your target audience. If you are target young adults, the social networks you should maintain presence on include Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. This is in addition to your YouTube channel. Although Snapchat is catching on, most users seem to agree with its founder, Evan Spiegel, that it is not meant for brand interactions. If you are seeking to attract female customers on the other hand, you must have a presence on Pinterest because 80% of users are female. LinkedIn comes in handy when targeting professional clients or recruiting new staff.
Post at the right intervals
If you are inattentive about posting times, you are likely not reaching the largest audience possible. There is no one-size fits all approach to this as users are most active at different times and different social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter posts for instance see the most engagement in the evenings and towards the weekend. LinkedIn posts on the other hand get more traffic in the mornings and midweek. Use the post scheduling approach allowed by most platforms to your advantage.
Stay in Tune with the Trends
Content that goes viral on social media is the dream of many businesses. However, there is no way to know which content will go viral and which one would be a dud. A good bet is to keep in tune with the trends on social media. Political issues are a no-go most of the time so only watch out for worthy trends or stunts that provide an opportunity for brand promotion. The Ice Bucket Challenge and the Mannequin Challenge are two examples, with the former providing an opportunity for you to support a worthy cause while also promoting your brand.
Get Professional Help
Just as with search marketing, social media marketing requires time and expertise. This is even more so when you have presence on two or more platforms. Understanding each platform takes time and creating posts peculiar to the platform can be challenging.
It is therefore not enough to have in-house staff managing your social media page as it could lead to inconsistency in quality. You need to include social media marketing in the overall marketing budget as it is the only way to maintain consistency, grow your follower base, and get results.