Social Media Marketing
Social media is the newest form of online marketing - and for many small business owners, the most intimidating.
Really, though, social media is just an amped-up form of word-of-mouth marketing, with some of the benefits of other forms of online marketing thrown in as a bonus.
Social media marketing offers businesses the opportunity to go to where consumers are already "hanging out" and speak directly to them in a low-key, low-pressure way that makes customers comfortable. When done properly, social media posts are a way to win the interest and trust of customers - and potential customers - by providing useful information and special offers in a relaxed environment. In this way, social media marketing is like word-of-mouth referrals from friends and neighbors. But unlike word-of-mouth referrals, where potential customers often hear about you in a situation where they are unable to pick up the phone and call you immediately, social media marketing offers consumers a direct, immediate link right to you.
Social media posts are also a terrific way to let your community know that you care - you can use your posts to share information about your community activities and local charity work.
In addition, social media marketing is vital to highly-successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines give a significant advantage to websites that update their social media pages regularly.
The best part? Social media is 100% free.
To leverage the power of social media for your business, you simply start participating in the conversations on social media sites. To do this effectively, you need to increase the number of your social media friends, fans, and followers. You can use many of the same marketing techniques you use to collect email addresses for your eNewsletter - encouraging online social media signups and asking satisfied customers to "opt-in" to your messages.
Remember, too, social media doesn't only mean Facebook and Twitter. Your social media marketing strategy should also include online review sites such as Yelp, Google Local, and Angie's List. These online review sites are invaluable as a source of leads for contracting businesses.
Despite the many advantages of social media, the vast majority of small to mid-size businesses don't have a social media presence. They worry that they lack the knowledge, time, and resources to use this exciting new marketing channel effectively.
How can iMarket help you with social media?
- Our blog software automatically "pushes" your blog posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You'll get the advantage of social media, without having to think about it!
- If you don't have the time or interest to get involved with social media, you can outsource it to us! iMarket's social media experts will set up your social media accounts and post to them regularly on your behalf.
Here are some suggestions for how you can start putting social media to work for your business right now:
- Set up a Facebook Fan page.
- Have each of your employees set up a business Facebook page and link your site to their Facebook page.
- Ask satisfied, loyal customers to become friends, fans, and followers of your business.
- Set up a Twitter account and "tweet" at least once a week. Even the busiest person has time to write 140 characters once a week!
- Encourage your loyal customers to visit online review sites (Yelp, Google Local, Angie's List, etc.) and post positive reviews.
- If there are negative online reviews about your company, ask us how our Reputation Management Service can help you overcome them!
Here's what people say:
We have used several companies for online marketing and spent lots of money with mediocre results. With iMarket, our dollar is definitely going a lot further than it ever has before and our confidence to grow our company with them as a partner is incredibly strong.
John Dietz JD Plumbing Company
Here's what's going on:
Google is known for changing things up on a regular basis when it comes to their algorithms, but when it comes to the design of their search engine’s search result pages (SERPs), they tend to be a little more careful. When they do make changes, it’s typically done so within controlled test groups (i.e. only certain servers or countries will see the change). As a result, there is usually little talk regarding UX changes on Google.com in comparison to algorithm introductions, updates, refreshes and the like. But late last week, Google introduced a major redesign of their local map pack that is anything but subtle.