As my fellow writers and I have recommended time and time ago, it’s a good practice for companies to use social media to supplement their other organic SEO activity. Due to the ever-increasing number of users found on networks such as Facebook and Twitter, many start-up or entrepreneur company owners are sharing their own original content effortlessly with the masses. Businesses that remain active with social media sites consistently see better traffic to their online properties than those companies that don’t retweet or post status updates. It’s an exciting time for small and medium-sized businesses to be sure, but many companies are finding that their success is somewhat limited and they don’t know why.
Although everyone touts the potential of a fully-engaged social media audience, there is also a general acknowledgement that knowing when to post a link can greatly determine the reach of one’s content. Obviously status updates about trending topics are most successful when people are not away from social media while celebrating a holiday or major event. In addition to paying attention to major events, getting a gauge on when social network users are likely online during the course of a given day is an important skill for any business owner or campaign manager to have. While developing a sense for user activity levels can be tricky, a new report released by Bit.ly can help give budding social media companies some help.
Traditional Social Media Posts Hit their Stride Early
Recent statistics from the popular link-abridging website show that popular social networks Facebook and Twitter actually see the most link activity during the earlier parts of the day. According to the site’s latest blog post, the two social media sites see their link click-through rates peak in activity starting in the morning and topping off sometime before 4 PM EST. In particular, Twitter link activity is at its highest levels between noon and 3 PM EST on weekdays, while Facebook does well during a similar timespan. Both networks see greatly diminished CTRs starting Friday and going through the weekend.
Image-Based Social Networks do well in the Evening
The Bit.ly report also states that image-centric social media site Tumblr sees the most users during the evening. From the end of the work day to around 10 PM EST, the CTRs for those links generated by Bit.ly often see their highest levels. According to the blog, Monday and Tuesday nights actually see strong activity. Friday nights are also great nights for posting on Tumblr, with heightened activity a result of the oncoming weekend.
Using these Reports Wisely
The statistics reported by Bit.ly provide more guidelines that anything else. SMB owners and social media campaign managers should always remember that the industry they work in and major events should be the prime indicators of when links should be distributed on social sites. On the average day though, the aforementioned timetables for posting should give those users who are unsure when to post their links a little extra direction.
For additional information about efficient link-sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter, I invite readers to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to reply to any inquiries they may have.
In social media, reach is of the utmost importance. With the various social media sites available, each site is competing with the next, aiming to gain the top spot on the popularity chart. Each site provides different features to captivate users and influence them to join that site. The latest social media site, Pinterest, has made great strides of its own.
The virtual pin board, which allows users to pin pictures of their hobbies and interests for users to view, is making an impression on other social media sites. Studies have found that users spend more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. Pinterest has also gained such strong interest by users that the click-through revenue for the site outperforms Facebook and Twitter.
Also, an infographic from Tamba found that those who come across an item on Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy it as compared to finding it on another social media site. In addition, over 20% of Facebook users are on Pinterest daily and last month the site received 2.3 billion page views. And, while women still dominate Pinterest, there has been an 8% increase in men joining the site between January and March.
Social media has demonstrated itself a successful medium for businesses to showcase their products or services. And Pinterest has joined the list of sites businesses are utilizing to reach their market.
If you’re interested in understanding how the virtual pin board functions and how it can help you reach your market, here’s how:
How it works
Users create virtual boards pertaining to topics they are interested in, pin pictures on the board and provide a description of the picture. Users can create as many boards as they’d like to and aren’t limited to the number of pictures they can pin to a board.
Use of keywords
Users are given a search option on the screen to search for pictures. Users simply type in a keyword to find what they’re looking for and can search according to pins, boards and people. For example, if you want to search music, you can search music-related pictures that were pinned, music boards with various music-related pictures and people associated with the word “music.”
It’s important that the boards are properly labeled and each pin contains a brief description for users to find you. Also, follow the common SEO practice of selecting words that people will search for so that they find your board. You can keep your terms short and simple or create long tail versions.
Share what’s pinned
When users create a profile, they can add their Twitter account, Facebook account and add their website. When users pin a new photo, like or share a photo, the post will automatically post on these social media platforms for fans and followers to see. Also, users have the option of sharing their Pinterest profile with search engines, making it easy for users to find your Pinterest.
Engage with other users
The purpose of Pinterest isn’t to just pin pictures, but to engage with others. Liking and repining pictures helps you engage with other users and gain followers. The more followers you have, the more your pictures of your products or services are shared. Also, don’t wait for someone to share your pin. The more open you are to sharing others, then the more shares you will receive.
Get started on pinning on your business board and share your business with others.
Are you a real estate professional looking to gain more customers? If so, then you better get started on joining social media sites.
With real estate professionals on a constant search to find the best method of reaching potential home buyers or sellers, social networking has become the new outlet for reaching audiences with 84% of real estate agents utilizing social media. The real estate industry is actually taking the lead in the category of small businesses that use social media.
When asked which social media site they are using, 79% responded with Facebook. It’s no wonder, though, since this social media site is favored among all and provides various features for businesses to take advantage of. Twitter stood as the second most used social media site with 48% of real estate professionals using it. LinkedIn came in third with 29% of real estate professionals using the professional network. Other social media sites included WordPress (15%), YouTube (12%), Blogger (5%) and Flickr (4%).
If you’re not of the 12% with a YouTube account to provide customers with a video, now is the time to create one since 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with a realtor who providers a video. Results also showed that after viewing a home online, 45% of online audiences walked through a home, 29% located a local agent and 21% drove by or viewed the home.
For those who stay current with the latest in mobile phones and apps, the Realtor.com app, which allows those looking to buy to view home listings, has users spending an estimated 16 minutes on the app and over 20,000 property listings are viewed each hour.
While some professionals may find using social media to be far from what they are used to when reaching audiences, 55% of real estate professionals said they feel comfortable, 26% said somewhat comfortable, and only 10% said uncomfortable.
Now is the time for real estate professionals to get involved in social media and reach their audience.
Companies that conduct the majority of their business on the internet are always fighting an uphill battle to gain loyal fans and regular website visitors. With many industries experiencing an overcrowded marketplace and unprecedented levels of brand saturation, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are trying to gain that most desired of customer values: trust. Aside from the strength of their online presence, many large corporations have an easier time attracting internet shoppers due to simple brand recognition which lends itself to trustworthiness. When faced with an unknown mom-and-pop retailer and a company that has twenty years of advertising power behind it, there’s no doubt that the average person will choose to conduct business with the more well-known store.
So then, how does a SMB owner manage to gain the trust and patronage of online customers? Well, as many SEO and social media companies tell their clients, the first step towards gaining a strong online customer base is to work towards building up one’s brand. Simply put, the more well-recognized business will always have a considerable edge over those companies that hold far less clout. In order to create a business that people will flock to, SMB owners need to make their company name not only trusted, but also a prevalent entity on the World Wide Web.
Become a Certified Online Business
One mistake that many start-up businesses make when getting started is forgoing extensive certification. Although it’s a sad truth of the digital world, there are countless spammers and fraudulent companies around today that masquerade as legitimate businesses. Fortunately, online shoppers have become significantly more savvy and careful regarding their online habits. Every potential customer a SMB will see will undoubtedly be looking for signs that a website can be trusted before committing to a purchase. If an online business lacks a certain amount of certification, then wary shoppers will go elsewhere.
Aside from the requisite official channels for certification, small business owners will want to become as thoroughly guaranteed to be ethical and legit for site visitors. One excellent avenue for certification is through the Google Trusted Stores program. By submitting one’s company through this Google program, the business will receive a report card that will help ease shoppers’ minds and gain their trust. As an added bonus, Google is gradually implementing Trusted Store badges onto its AdWords results. This means that your company’s future PPC campaigns will appear on Google’s SERPs with a stamp of approval for everyone to see.
Popularity is a Sign of Trust
When someone who is unfamiliar with a business recognizes that company as a dominant force in social media, it speaks highly of their online presence. While earning a follower base numbering in the thousands can be a true challenge to any SMB owner, getting to that level of exposure can be made much easier through the right social media behaviors. Those companies looking to expand their social network influence should look into the following techniques:
- Work together with other established businesses to get a leg-up. If a company is just getting started on Facebook or Google+, it should be turning to preexisting follower bases for potential “likes” or subscriptions. Company owners should never hesitate to seek out partnerships or mutual deals with other companies on social media sites. This will grow a following much faster than otherwise.
- Once it’s begun to garner a respectably-sized follower base, a company should always be engaging users on a regular basis. By posting interesting or timely content, any business can keep its followers paying attention to its feed. An important note: posters should remember to pace themselves. Diluting a user’s stream with never-ending updates is a surefire way to lose their following.
- Always remain active in your social network proliferation. As any social media company will tell you, ignoring other networks in favor of big names such as Facebook leads to stagnation. Should follower growth begin to decline, consider switching some of your focus elsewhere. Twitter in particular is an excellent place to accrue new loyal customers.
As a business’ online following grows, so too will the ease of which users come to trust that company and recognize it as a respectable place to shop. With trust comes frequent and loyal customers, and it’s those people that will lead to consistent and steady sales. Should any SMB owner have any further questions about how to improve their brand recognition and trustworthiness, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Attention, health care providers. If you’re looking to attract an online audience, then it’s essential that you start providing information about health care and your practice through social media.
While social media has become the primary news source for many, it has especially become a main news source for online audiences to obtain health care related information.
Results from a PwC Health Research Institute survey found that 33% of U.S. consumers use social media to obtain and share health care information. Social media outlets used to find medical information included YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The survey also found that 90% of the respondents, ages 18 to 24, said they would trust medical information shared by others on social media networks.
And social media isn’t just a source for web audiences to learn and share information as results found that roughly 41% of respondents use social media help determine which doctor or hospital to use. In addition, 34% said that the information provided on social media sites impacts their decision as to whether or not to take a certain medication.
Also, while respondents stated that they use social media sites to share their own health story including symptoms, treatments and doctors, the survey found that an individual’s health status played a role in sharing information. Those in better health were more likely to share information on social media sites.
If you’re a health care provider looking to engage more with customers, social media networks are the perfect outlet for you to find out what customers are eager to know and provide them with the latest information regarding health statuses, symptoms, treatments and medications.
Also, social media sites are a great promotional tool as you can provide information about your own practice and your experience working in health care, and share the latest news regarding the particular health care field you work in. Social media sites are free, easy to use, and highly popular. Also, information on social media sites spreads quickly allowing you to reach an audience fast.
Here we are at last, loyal readers: the final installment in my three-part coverage of the best social networks for social media marketing. Some of you may have been following my blog posts for the past couple days, but more than a few of you may be jumping in only now. In my previous discussions, I went over the importance of location-focused social websites as well as those with the best potential for growth. Now it’s time that we take a look at the overall best social networks for business owners in 2012.
While my top picks for social media campaigns aren’t particularly surprising, it’s important that we take the time to look at the two candidates closely. Most social media optimization methods are quite effective when employed on these sites, what I consider to be, the best social networks around today. At the same time, a small business owner should always play to his or her company’s strengths. Remember that not all SEO techniques are applicable to every business and that building a strong follower base should precede all other goals. With those thoughts in mind, let’s take a look at our lucky winners.
Facebook: The King of the Castle
Of course, we all knew Facebook would be in my final picks. The site’s continuing popularity and massive market share make it an excellent choice for pretty much every business around today. Although its 845 million-strong user base is a goldmine for potential customers and business-focused social media activity, getting ahold of those followers can be a bit of a challenge. Unless your company has enough brand recognition or renown to grab users’ attention at a glance, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle for any noticeable follower base.
As a result, it’s necessary that many companies take a more personal approach to their Facebook campaigning. Yes, those 800 million users may eventually subscribe to your business’ news feed, but not without the proper motivation or the right level of engagement. For small and medium-sized businesses, this means constant interaction with current followers as well as ongoing advertisements or contests to draw in new ones.
Recent surveys have shown that the average Facebook user has around 250 friends and interacts with countless companies, organizations and interest groups. In order to remain relevant, business owners need to remain engaged with users. A few techniques for Facebook interaction include:
- Post links to trending and relevant news story. Actively involve your staff with the comments that may result from said link.
- Contests for iPads and other desired consumer goods are an excellent way to gain followers. At the same time, you’ll want to reward interested users with excellent content and engagement otherwise they’re likely to un-follow you once the contest ends.
- Become involved with other businesses or interest groups. Getting other high profile accounts to share your content helps gather those users who may have overlooked you.
Twitter: Content Delivery at 140 Characters a Second
If there is one thing Twitter is, it’s prolific. A social network that has always had positive growth trends and a user base addicted to trending topics, Twitter is on the pulse of social media sharing. Although the site lacks the visual panache of a Facebook or Google+ interface, the sheer potential a company has to generate traffic for itself cannot be overstated. With great content and the right hashtags, any business can establish a respectable following.
While there’s no perfect approach to operating on Twitter that guarantees absolute success, there are several practices that can help build up an account’s following. Social media campaigners may want to try the following:
- Use websites such as bitly to shrink down links so they can be included in tweets.
- Pay attention to trending keywords when creating tweets. If a popular term is relevant to a link or your business, attach that to your message.
- Retweet popular profiles and people in your industry. Should they reply to you, it will show up in their newsfeed and that will lead more users directly to you.
For additional recommendations on business operations for any of the social networks I’ve covered in the last few days, please feel free to contact me directly. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org