Optimizing social media channels involves more than just making people aware of your content – it involves attracting attention, evoking a desire in your audience to make a move toward your business, and it also has to create action, ultimately with the end goal of having target audience members purchase what you have to offer. It all starts with social media optimization, or SMO – the process by which you make your content easily accessible on the Internet, especially across those social networks.
Helping people see your content through the use of apps, widgets and social media entry points will do nothing but good things for your brand, so you’ll need to devise a strong, effective social marketing solution for your company.
Grasping the Importance of Social Marketing Tools
In this day and age, social networks drive more traffic to websites than ever before and in fact, some brands see more traffic from social networks than they do from Google. The degree to which your social lead generation works for your company will depend on how interesting your content is and how easy it is for people to share your content across different social platforms. Basically, if you can stir up interest in a person, that person is more likely to share your content with his or her friends, eventually reaching a wide audience. You ultimately want to reach a point where much of your advertising is done by your fans and loyal customers via word of mouth – you want to reach the coveted level of high customer advocacy, and social lead generation can open the door when done right.
This opens creative doors for, essentially, all businesses. Think about your local ice cream parlor and then compare it to Ben & Jerry’s. While our local ice cream joint doesn’t have the fame or brand recognition , it has an equal opportunity for promotion on social media. Sure, B&J can just post a funny tweet and it will go viral, but a small business always has the opportunity to create a piece of content with a message that strikes a chord with the general public. It happens all the time. Unfortunately, many businesses still don’t have blogs or an active social media presence. They either don’t have the time or don’t see the value. Those that do have blogs and do create fun, engaging, and relevant content are only setting themselves ahead of their competition. For example, CJ Pony Parts, a mustang parts dealer, consistently published infographics and videos that appeal to most people – not just car lovers. A good example would be their Beat the Dealer infographic which shows tips and info on how we can avoid getting swindled by dealers. This is the type of content people share, not just because it’s visual or informative, but because it’s helpful and practical – it helps aid a real-world situation that many people inevitably encounter.
Must-Haves for Social Lead Generation
1. Comments and Social Commenting on Your Site
It’s key to remember that social media isn’t limited to your company having a Facebook page or a Twitter account that accumulates “Likes” or “follows”. The social street works both ways – from social website to your website and then from your website to a social site. When a customer leaves a comment on your website, you want him or her to be able to share that comment via social channels; if pairs of jeans are purchased from your site and the customers are happy with those purchases, you want them to have the option to “tell their friends” about it by sharing their comment via social media. Providing a “Like” button that is linked to Facebook above a comment box does just that, and people can see how many others “Like” the jeans. It’s all about social connecting with Facebook social plugins, Twitter plugins and the like. This can be a huge traffic-driver for your site.
At the same token, this works great for news stories published online, articles, and blogs, too. Adding social media buttons and a “Share” button will let users share your content with their social groups quickly and easily, without having to jump through any hoops to do so. Using social marketing tools like these will also allow visitors to your site to share your content on multiple networks, without having to leave your site, either!
2. Enabling the Option of Social Sign-Ins
It’s great to have customers register as users on your website, but long-winded registration forms are all but conducive to good business practices. However, you want people to still register – registered visitors tend to engage more than those who are not, and with more registered users come more page views, lower bounce rates and longer times spent on your site. The social marketing solution for those necessary, but overly-long registration forms? Social Sign-In.
Making connections on websites via social sign-in, such as with Facebook, is fast becoming the preferred registration method to use on sites. Instead of filling out all the traditional information on contact forms, you want to give people the option to simply input their social profile information. Signing in with a social profile is faster and easier than filling out a contact form. Although not every visitor to websites will opt to sign in with his or her Facebook account, the point is that giving people the option to do so will improve your chances of success in registering users.
3. Get in the Game with Badges and Widgets
Badges and widgets offer people the opportunity to quickly and easily share your content on their blogs, profiles and accounts. Essentially, widgets and badges bring your content to them to see, instead of having to force audience members to come to your site to see content. A good example of this might be a weather widget on a tablet. The user installs your weather widget so they can access information right on the home screen of his or her device. Should that user wish to view a video on your website or read a blog, they only have to click the widget, instead of opening the web browser, inputting the proper URL, searching for videos or blogs, and then searching for the specific one they want. It all goes back to that “ease of sharing” characteristic of your content. Bring it to them so they don’t have to come to you because if they have to come to you, the chances that they’ll actually go through all the motions to do so are not as high as you’d like them to be.
What’s the Big Idea?
So what’s the big idea, diving into the wealth that referral traffic and social media bring? The big idea is, in a word, all about sharing. The easier you make it for people to share your content, whether it be a product listing on your site or a blog post, the more often it’s going to be shared. On the search engine side, many search engines are incorporating social actions into their search results, which means that having a strategy to optimize your social channels is increasingly more important than ever before.
This article was contributed by Darryl at JustUno, which offers an all-in-one social, email and sales conversion tool helping businesses convert traffic into social fans, email subscribers and sales with on-site promotions. Visit their website here www.justuno.com and start growing your business today!