social media 3

So you have a website you promote vigorously through paid advertising. Do you also need social media for online money-making success?

Yes, you do.

Social media is definitely good for business promotion. How often do you click on paid ads compared to considering offers shared on social media? Paid advertising value is not denied. However, when you provide social media content that’s shared your offer taps into a buyer’s psyche differently.

People just react differently to paid ads than they do when something is shared. Shared social media is more benign and friendly. Think of it as a friend speaking directly to you. A friend has a different tone than a commercial on TV or radio.

Consider TV ads with actors people like and speaking in a conversational tone. My unscientific research tells me target demographics listen more to an ad with a likable person talking to the viewer directly.

I don’t know how communications are taught these days, but when I was in school we were instructed to speak to one person when on camera or behind a microphone. Have a mental picture of that one person and speak directly to him/her.

If you’ve developed a profile of your ideal customer it includes a mental image. Some actually write a page or two describing their ideal customer. That person’s likes, dislikes, lifestyle, ambition, goals, social situation and so on. Many include physical descriptions, as well.

Your spoken and written voice must speak to that ideal customer. It’s true people do business with people they like. Your fans like you and the information you provide. Keep that in mind when you create content. Focus on your ideal customer.

Organic and Paid Traffic

The master key to making money online is traffic. Examine Google and other search engines. Paid ads appear above SEO ranked responses. Most of us claw our way onto first page Google search responses. If we advertise our top-of-search position is assured.

The second ranked search engine is YouTube. Solid, interesting videos get good ranking on YouTube. YouTube’s where content trumps ads. I use video to market products much, much more than I buy ads. Sure, I use paid advertising. But I use tactics that get more eyes on my videos than paid ads drive traffic to my web sites.

I no longer advertise on Facebook. It’s just too much of a hassle with limited return. I, however, set up niche product Facebook fan pages. And I post content often to these pages. Many of those posts are videos that get shares.

I’m active on virtually all popular social media sites, including many not on your radar. Each has its unique user types with some overlap. Users favor one social media over others. They may be active on several. But they favor one and spend more time with it.

I post most often to the most popular. This allows me to repurpose content. No reason to post only original content for each site. Simple headline changes are a must. Reworking some text is important.

These simple things give me better standing with Google and ranking. Google wants fresh, unique content. Taking a moment or two – and that’s all it takes – gets the job done. Google’s web crawling spiders like change to content, no matter how small.

I like social media’s immediacy. Something comes to mind and I post. I use Buffer. It allows me to schedule posts to several social sites at one time. I set social media posts for a week at a time.

There’s a strong return from social media. That’s especially true when followers share posts. The reach is exponential. I shared an item on Google+ that astounded me with the response.

Granted Google+ is not a priority. Many expect it to go away any hour. But one graphic with a product link got nearly 20,000 clicks! I learned this only when checking my stats for that product and traced a jump to Google+.

Social media delivers positive responses for virtually any business in any sector. Post something and someone will respond – negatively or positively. So, if you sell insurance, have an online business, or a neighborhood service social media deserves a close look to boost your bottom line.

Oh, did I say social media is free? Sure you can spend money advertising on social media. But for now we’re talking about just using it as a no-cost communication tool.

Let’s examine Facebook

  • Facebook is more accessible and to many people more user-friendly than a traditional website, and
  • It gives a sense of friendliness to business that puts prospects at ease, and
  • Facebook lends a sense of credibility to businesses with no website to speak of.

Here’s a closer look.

A Facebook page allows a business to be more interactive with present and potential customers. It gets their feedback for everything from product reviews to testimonials.

Some think this is scary because the feedback can be positive or negative. However, businesses should not be afraid because they can easily moderate their Facebook fan page.

If you have a mind to you can retain the best feedback and hide the rest. This way, most potential customers will be able to read the positive testimonials of previous customers. Yet, I’ve found that loyal customers often strike back on your behalf when someone posts an unfair comment.

It’s interesting that such feedback adds a touch of authenticity to your business, and can entice the potential customer reading it. If you are fair with your customers and deliver what you promise negative comments are not a big concern.

Another aspect of Facebook is customers may be tired of traditional online marketing such as email, newsletters and online ads. They look to the Facebook page to have their questions answered.

Having a Facebook page will give your business access to over 500 million users. You don’t need email addresses. Toss aside traditional marketing rules.

Facebook provides incredible marketing assistance. Remember that Facebook wants business to advertise. And advertising on Facebook offers valuable returns. However, excellent training takes Facebook power much further.

Customer interaction isn’t limited to Facebook updates and wall posts.

You can also use Apps to provide photos, notes and videos. I recommend using a fan page. Then you can change the posting ability of fans which allow them to post photos, videos and links to the page.

This way, potential customers will be able to see how other customers use the product or service. Customers have an opportunity to join with others becoming an informal tribe of followers sharing a digital kinship.

A goal is to engage the customer community to be more interactive. A great example is Pampers’ Facebook fan page. Other companies like Ben & Jerry’s go as far as polling customers. This gives customers a sense of power with regards to their products, which in turn will give them a sense of ownership and acceptance.

Facebook is also a great tool to provide your audience promos, special prices and discounts as in the case of the company Vistaprint, who use their page to feature their products for sale.

The site easily leads back to their official website as well as their toll-free number. Some even use Facebook to give exclusive deals to their customers.

This is a good way to gauge the effectiveness of your page. Give incentives exclusively to your Facebook followers. Facebook followers may not follow you through e-mail, Twitter or your official website. Also, Facebook incentives are a lead magnet to get more followers and build your list.

Other companies such as Baskin Robbins develop and use a custom Facebook application. This makes their Facebook page more interactive and enticing to customers. Through their account, they’re giving out a very enticing deal, a Buy One – Get One promo that most enthusiasts will not pass up.

Facebook is an easy tool to master and can add just the right sense of fun, differentiating you and your business from the rest in the market.

Facebook provides much support to businesses. But the best method to get the most from Facebook is learning from a professional.

I recommend Facebook Influence, a comprehensive program that teaches in easy-to-understand steps how your business can get the most from Facebook.

 

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