Deploying your marketing message through social media can help you attract customers, keep the ones you have and make more money. Social SEO — also called Social media optimization (SMO) — can help. Basically, SMO is the process of making changes to your business website in order to make it more visible in social media and in the growing number of searches that take place on social media sites. With social media usage skyrocketing, businesses that don’t join in risk being left behind. Here are four things you should know about social media optimization:
Tip #1: Make your business website your own social media and brand central. This requires thinking about your website and your overall online presence in different ways. Instead of merely conveying basics about your business products and services, turn your site into the internet hub for everything related to your business or brand. For example, make it easy for customers to connect to your site from Facebook. Open a Twitter account and add your Twitter stream to your site. If you have videos, post them on YouTube and connect to those as well.
Tip #2: Create content that’s shareable and make it easy for people to share. Good content means shareable content. The better, more useful or entertaining it is, the more people will want to share it with others. Unique content is a valuable currency that you can use to promote your business. The best shareable content includes tips, lists and how-to guides, as well as eye-grabbing photos. Tweet about your content. Blog about it too. Make PowerPoint slides about your content and post them on sites such as Scribd.com. Add buttons that allow visitors to “Like” your content on Facebook or share it on StumbleUpon.
Tip #3:Offer participation rewards. In the world of social media, “engagement” is the one thing that matters the most. Customers and prospects who visit your site, leave comments, “friend” you on Facebook, follow your Tweets and share your content are the new gold standard. Engagement is behavior you want to reward. You can do this by responding quickly to engaged customers and offering special deals, more information or perks.
Tip #4: Focus and magnify your efforts with a social media dashboard. Optimizing your website for social media includes participating in social media sites yourself, which means you need — at a minimum — a Facebook page, Twitter account and maybe a blog. To avoid social media overload and to make managing all this simple, try using a social media service, such as HootSuite, that lets you update multiple networks in one step, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress (a free blogging platform) and others. You can monitor what’s being said about your business with a reputation management tool, such as the one offered by Dex Media. You can also sign up for the free Google Analytics to track a blog’s traffic.