The number of social media users is expected to hit 2.95 billion in 2020. Eighty-one percent of the U.S. population is already on social media.
People use it. Simple.
Social media influences us in numerous ways. Politics. Cultures. Careers. And lots of other ways. Social media affects web users’ behaviors toward other people and brands.
That is why it’s vital your business is active on social media.
Social Media and Search Engines
In 2010, Google and Bing admitted to using data from social sites to rank pages. Four years later, Google changed this stance after Twitter temporally blocked Google’s access to their social network.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam team at the time, came out with a video explaining why Google can’t rely on social signals to rank pages in their search results.
Since then, Google continues to deny it uses any data or signals from social sites to evaluate and rank sites in its search engine result pages.
Google and Bing have made a lot of changes to their search algorithms since 2014. Today, pages from social sites now rank for lots of phrases in search engines.
According to the below chart by Hootsuite, a lot of pages from Facebook and Twitter now appear in the Google search engine than 2012.
Do social media usage increase rankings in search engines?
The answer is “yes.” Social media has an indirect impact on SEO.
When a piece of content performs well on social media, it’s more likely to earn backlinks, which, in turn, will boost the rankings of that page in search engines.
If you can get lots of shares and likes on social media, it’ll help you gain more backlinks, which are necessary to rank higher in search engines.
But that doesn’t mean you should spam people’s feeds to get them to share your content. If you do that, you’ll annoy your followers. And they might unfollow you or ignore your content.
YouTube is a social media platform
YouTube is a combination of a social media platform and a search engine.
YouTube is a video sharing platform. Anyone could share videos with their followers. The platform is also the second largest search engine in the world.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, YouTube is America’s most popular social media platform.
Therefore, YouTube is regarded as a social media site, not just a place to share, discover and watch videos.
Brands, content creators, and users all benefit from using the platform.
Brands can advertise their products and services without interrupting the user experience too much as they do on other platforms.
Users have the option to skip any ads they don’t like after 5 seconds.
Content creators are highly rewarded for sharing videos on YouTube than any other social platform.
One of the excuses business owners give for not creating videos is that it is expensive. The truth is, it’s not.
With less than $5,000, you can get the high-quality equipment you need to start churning out videos.
You don’t have to learn film-making to create videos. Casey Neistat never went to a film school or college, yet he’s able to grow his YouTube following to more than 9 million fans.
Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users. Lots of your customers are on Facebook.
For example, Nicholas A. Parr is a Maryland lawyer who specializes in personal injury, DUI, traffic tickets and criminal defense. He uses Facebook to market his firm. As you can see in the below screenshot, he has received some reviews on the platform.
You’ll have the opportunity to connect with prospects and customers several times during the day marketing on Facebook. That sounds easy, but marketing on Facebook is tough and challenging.
You have to compete with direct and indirect competitors. A lot of businesses want attention on the biggest social media platform in the world.
Instead of thinking of selling on Facebook, connect with people and build trust. Prove what you say is true. Use social proof to prove that your business is delivering promises and satisfying customers.
Ask your current customers to share their experiences with your business. Turn it into an article, a video, or review and share it on Facebook.
Sand Creek Post and Beam is a leading manufacturer of custom designed wood barns and barn home kits located in Wayne, Nebraska. Below is the screenshot of a customer testimonial video from a customer of Sand Creek Post and Beam posted on Facebook.
Another way to build trust with people is to organize events where your followers get to meet and interact with each other.
They know your business is real. They’ll see your brand as an engaged community rather than a business trying to sell its products.
If you’re a local business, create events around the city or state your company operates.
This may be a little tricky if you’re running an international business that serves various countries of the world. But that’s also not an excuse.
Hootsuite grew from zero by organizing local events around the world. The below picture was taken at an Hootup (what Hootsuite call their event) in Seville, Italy.
Leverage the power of Facebook to connect with volunteers around the world who are willing to organize events and use the name of your brand as its sponsor.
An event where 200 – 500 individuals attend is great. Those 500 are now aware that your business exists. They can start talking about it with their friends. And that’s how a brand spread online.
Any business can acquire customers on Facebook. Restaurants, salons, marketing agencies, insurance brokers – you name it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a local or international business, you can reach prospects on Facebook.
For example, Drip IV Lounge, an IV clinic or wellness spa in San Antonio, Texas has an active Facebook page. Facebook is the business your business should be.
The below chart shows that brands with 1 million – 10 million fans post nearly 25 Tweets per day to keep their brand alive on Twitter.
Twitter is the home for discussion on the web. It’s the platform where people stay informed on the latest events around the world.
If you don’t want to miss any major events a few seconds or minutes it happened, Twitter is the best place for that. No wonder, writers of major news sites and newspapers use Twitter to stay informed.
If you happen to run a WordPress site, which the majority of the people do these days, you can use a plugin like Ray Social Feeds For Twitter to display tweets from any user, hashtags, or search strings on your website. It can definitely help increase engagement and dwell time, thus helping with higher conversions.
Find trending topics by clicking on the hashtags on your Twitter account to see what people are talking about.
Pick any hashtag that is, in any way related to your business or a topic you believe your audience will like to read about. Create a Tweet about it.
Post a Twitter Thread if you have a lot to say more than a single Tweet can contain. A Thread is a series of connected Tweets from one person.
Here’s how a Thread looks like on the Timeline:
Once you publish a Thread, you’re allowed to add new Tweets to it.
There are major events across various fields. sports, music, culture, festivals, fashion, movies promos and so on. Some of these events happen each year.
Tweet relevant content on the day of those events. Prepare well ahead in advance.
These events attract lots of attention on Twitter. If your Tweet goes viral during an event, it could attract hundreds of thousands of people to your business.
Instagram is by far the most engaged social media platform with 2 – 7% average interaction per post.
Over 25 million businesses now use Instagram to promote their products and services.
Top Yacht Charters uses Instagram to promote special offers and discounts to potential clients.
Before you start using Instagram for marketing, ensure you open a business account. Business accounts are different from personal accounts.
Here are some of the things you can do with business accounts:
- Access to Instagram analytics tool called Insights
- Create, edit and publish Instagram ads
- Display your site address
Instagram gives you the ability to advertise and reach anyone on its platform by creating sponsored ads. More businesses advertised on Instagram than Twitter in 2017.
Instagram is owned by Facebook. Since both are connected, you can manage your Instagram ads inside Facebook Ads manager.
There are lots of influencers on Instagram. Many of these influencers have spent years building their followings. Partner with them to build your following and acquire customers on Instagram.
Contact influencers and partner up with them. Of course, you’ll have to pay them to share content about your brand, product or service with their followers.
When an influencer shares something about your brand, his/her followers will trust you and follow your brand too. Influencer marketing is a quick way to expand your reach on Instagram.
Ensure that you have a good username, profile photo and share amazing content on a consistent basis if you want to capture attention on Instagram. Continue increasing Instagram likes and keep promoting your profile.
LinkedIn is the best social media platform for generating B2B leads. Over 80% of B2B leads generated through social media come from LinkedIn.
If you sell products or services to businesses or corporate individuals, LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform you should be.
For example, Modern helped an Australian software company generates more than $2 million in three weeks, using LinkedIn.
Six months later, they’d made a total $6 million using LinkedIn.
Karen Brody is a relationship coach for men. She uses LinkedIn to promote her service. She has received recommendations from top business people on LinkedIn. Karen uses LinkedIn to reach corporate men who may need her coaching service.
Linkedin has 500 million users. All these users are from different countries from around the world. If you sell B2B products or services to different countries, this makes LinkedIn an ideal place for you.
LinkedIn is a highly professional platform where people treat others with utmost respect. Don’t share deep personal stuff on the site. No photos of cats and dogs. It’s not a place for memes.
Create different kinds of content and share it with your LinkedIn connections.
Write an article. Create a video and upload it on LinkedIn. Share an image that teaches people what they don’t know before. That’s how you create value on the platform.
Create content about topics you know. Don’t create content on things you know nothing about.
Learn to build curiosity in your content because LinkedIn users are extremely busy people. They don’t have time to read long introductions that tell them nothing.
Get straight to the point and build curiosity with your first sentence.
If you can catch their attention with your first sentence, LinkedIn users are more likely to read the next sentence. And if that’s interesting too, they are likely to read the next and the next until the end.
If people are reading your content on LinkedIn and liking it, your content will spread on the platform.
The farther your content spread on the platform, the more people become aware of your business on LinkedIn.
Social media can be used to build awareness and brand authority. Very few people talk about brand authority.
Brand authority means people can trust your business. It means they know that you’re who you say you are.
Web users visit social media sites to see how a business is interacting with its prospects and customers. Moreover, the recent social media statistics shows how effective it has become for business worldwide. That is why you need to invest in social media marketing.
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