Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and more
Social Media Marketing is word of mouth marketing for your business. Shares, likes, repins and retweets can be used for your business benefit. A couple of huge benefits of social media marketing are that you can get direct customer feedback, and it is unbiased and genuine.
Before You Start
- Understand your customers, clients or patients purchasing and/or decision making process.
- Set quantifiable goals for your social media program.
- Decide which social media to use.
- Build and execute a plan.
- Measure your results
Choosing Which Social Media to Use
The leading social media sites are Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Pinterest and Google+. OK, you caught us. Google+ may not be a social media site if you strictly by the number of users. But, using Google+ can really help optimize your content on the search engine results pages. Select the social media sites that are best suited to help you accomplish your goals.
Connecting to potential customers can be done with a Facebook Fan page. A Facebook Fan Pages' audience consists of "Fans." These are the Facebook users who have elected to ‘Become a Fan' of your business in order to receive updates about your business. The updates show up on that Facebook user's "wall" (a wall is a Facebook user's profile page) as they are added to the Fan Page. Determining exactly how you might want to use Facebook for your business is the first step to take. Consider the following before you set up your Facebook profile:
Upkeep: Setting up a Facebook account "just to be on it" is not useful. Social media is a continuous process that requires regular attention. You will not attract new visitors or keep your current Fans coming back if you don't keep your Facebook Fan Page updated on a regular basis.
Time: Once you decide to use Facebook, another consideration is how much time you should spend leveraging the technology. Generating fresh content and keeping the page updated can be time consuming.
Fresh Content: Keeping your page updated with fresh, original content will keep your current Fans coming back and can also attract new Fans: Your updates will be visible to their friends and family on your Fan's wall and may entice them to visit your site and also become a Fan.
Monitoring the Discussion: You will also need to be able to monitor your wall and discussion boards to address and feedback the content your Fans are posting to your Facebook Page. Unaddressed or unnoticed issues can create more of a headache and is something you will need monitor consistently and be able to respond quickly.
Fans do not equal new customers. Be aware that a Fan doesn't equal an active customer. Many people who become Fans of a page are simply saying, "I like this." Facebook Fans don't necessarily interact with the company more or increase their level of spend.
Setting Up Facebook
There are a few ways you can engage with Facebook via a Fan Page.
Business only: Business accounts are easily set up by creating a page without setting up a personal profile first. This can be preferable to some people who don't want to provide a lot of personal information to get started. To create this type of account, just click on the link "Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business." This will give you access to your Fan pages. From here you may also administer an ad campaign. However, this type of account will provide only limited access to your Fans' profiles and other features on the site.
Your business combined with a personal profile: If you already have a personal account, you just need to create a Fan Page for your business. Facebook is set up to be tied closely to your personal profile and your business page. We recommend that you update the privacy settings on your personal profile to ensure you don't have any potentially embarrassing photos visible to business contacts. You can use Facebook Profile Privacy Settings to make updates.
Your business with a personal profile and Fan Page: If you haven't signed up for a personal profile yet, you can start one. Keep your business in mind. In other words, don't include personal pictures or personal information that's not relevant to your business contacts. You can use this page as a professional networking source and add a Fan Page to create greater awareness of your business.
Fan Page Setup
1. Fan Page Name - When naming your Fan page, keep branding efforts in mind. If you have been promoting your company with a particular name, you should use that as your Fan Page name as well. Also, use spaces and full words while entering your business name. Your business will be easier to find when people do a search for your company on Facebook or in search engine such as GoogleÂ®, both of which may be helpful as you manage your online reputation.
2. Link to Twitter - If you have a Twitter account already, you can link your Fan Page to your Twitter account. This will add your updates, links, photos, notes and events to Twitter and allow your Twitter Followers to view all your Facebook information. Keep in mind that the content on your Fan Page should be unique so your Fans will keep coming back and not just become a Fan and forget about you. The same applies to your Twitter account. Having unique content on both Facebook and Twitter can keep your Fans and Followers engaged.
3. Photo - You want people to know it's your page with they arrive. Adding your logo as a photo to your Fan Page helps brand your Facebook Fan Page and can bring more awareness to your brand.
4. About - The next step is editing your page and providing useful information to let your people know who you are and what your mission is. You can list other ways people can connect with you: through your main website, blog, and social profiles you maintain.
5. Adding Content - Utilize the other Facebook tabs to add more content to your Fan Page. Changing these settings is only a matter of checking or un-checking a box on the Edit Page section of your Facebook Fan Page.
Wall - This tab is for viewing your recent activities and what your Fans are posting. If you are worried about what people will say when they add comments, you can limit what your Fans can post in the Fan Permissions area of the Wall Settings. However, not allowing comments might make them feel less connected with your Page and your business.
Discussion Boards - Allows users to engage with each other on your Page.
Events - You can let your Fans know about upcoming promotions, sales and other events.
Links - Make it easy for user to see your business's main domain name, newsletters or other value-added information.
Images - Visuals are at the top of the online accessibility pyramid: show products, events, etc.
Reviews - Fans can leave reviews about your business. This can be a good tool to interact with your customers and hear honest feedback. However, you should monitor this closely and respond immediately to any negative feedback.
Video - Appealing videos can really help keep your content fresh and interesting so Fans will come back to your page.
6. Other content:
Content you create: Post details about business events in the Facebook events tab or display exclusive discounts to your Facebook Fans. Provide helpful information about topics that are on the mind of your ideal customer. Don't try to sell or your Fans will feel "marketed to" and leave.
Auto Generated Content: You can include RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your Blog(s) and TwitterÂ® account. This will automatically insert the content from your blog posts and tweets into your Facebook page. This can help you to keep your content updated and help show activity on your site.
Content your Fans create: Giving your visitors the ability to voice their questions and opinions on your Fan Page can keep them engaged and connected to your business. It may also give you more insight into your consumer's wants and needs.
Use the tips below to increase your fans:
- Link to your company's Facebook Fan Page on your home page of your company website.
- Link to your company's Facebook Fan Page in all email.
- Become a Fan of your own Fan Page and suggest it to your Friends list.
- Use Twitter to announce your new Fan Page and offer deals to new Fans.
- Link to you Facebook Fan page on your Blog and other social profile sites.
- Use Facebook content in email newsletters.
- Post links from newsletter articles on Facebook.
- Use Facebook to write about the latest news, worthwhile forum posts, controversial case studies, inspiring blog entries, etc.
LinkedIn Company Pages
If your customers are professionals, consider using Linkedin as one of your social networks. There are three basic steps to set up a Company Page:
STEP 1: Create Your Company Profile.
- To set up a Company Page, log into LinkedIn, click "Interests" in the navigation bar, and click "Companies." You will be redirected to a page showing companies you follow, the ability search for companies, and the ability to add your company.
- Click the "Add a Company" link in the upper right-hand corner of the Companies page.
- Enter your company name and email address. LinkedIn requires that Company Pages be associated only with current members of the company. Insert your company name and email address. Click the check box to verify that you are an official representative of the company and that you have the right to act on its behalf. LinkedIn will send a confirmation email to the address provided if it has not already been verified. Follow the instructions in the email to finalize the initial setup.
- Complete the Company Page overview information, which includes type, size, website URL, industry, operating status, and year founded. You can also designate other employees to administer the page, but you must be connected to the people you want to add. Include a one or two paragraph description of your company emphasizing your unique value proposition. You can also include products and services in the description, and link your page to any groups you participate in or that you administer. The group listing will appear in the sidebar of your page. Descriptions are search engine friendly; so include high-value keywords in the content.
- Â Add your company logo and image, as this is what people will see first when they visit your page. When you complete these steps, click "Publish" to save the changes. The page will then go live on LinkedIn.
STEP 2: Add a "Products and Services" Tab.
Complete your page. People interested in your company may want to know more about your products or services. To add products and services to your Company Page, click the "Products & Services" tab, and then follow the steps below.
- Choose a product or service.
- Select a category from the drop-down list provided that best fits your product or service.
- Name your product or service.
- Add an image of your product or service. Images will be re-sized to 100X80 pixels.
- Describe the product or service.
- List key features and benefits.
- Add a website URL. This provides visitors with the option to view the product on your site.
- Add a contact from your company. This gives LinkedIn members a way to contact you if he or she wishes to learn more about the product or service.
- Add a promotion if one is associated with the product or service. Include the promotion title, URL, and a brief description.
- Add a YouTube video if one is available. This will appear in the sidebar of the product page.
- Click "Publish" to complete the setup process.
LinkedIn provides additional customization options for the Products & Service tab, including the following:
- Add an overview of your product or service portfolio.
- Add up to three banner images to reinforce your message. Images are 640 x 220 pixels.
- Organize products and services in the order in which you wish them to appear. You can also create custom views so products appear only to targeted audience segments. Members who do not correspond to one of the defined segments will see your default content. Up to 30 distinct audience segments can be created based on industry, job function, seniority, geography, and company size
STEP 3: Request Customer Recommendations
The final step in the setup process is to request recommendations for your products and services from existing customers with whom you are connected in LinkedIn.
Recommendations provide third-party validation of your products and services. The more people that recommend your products and services, the more likely it is that word about your company will spread.
You can invite people to recommend your products and services directly from the Products & Services Tab on your Company Page by using the "Request Recommendations" button. When your product or services receive a recommendation, it will appear on both the product page and the recommender's profile page. You can delete or respond to recommendations, if desired.
Twitter for Business: 3 Easy Steps
A company account can increase your brand recognition and traffic online. You can connect with other companies in your industry, network with high profile people, drive traffic and leads, and interact with your customers.
- Go to the twitter.com home page.
- Click “sign up for Twitter. You will need a valid email address and access to the account in order to validate the new account. Enter your business name in the “Full Name” field. Choose a user name that reflects what your business does, or just use your business name.
- Continue the setup process by clicking “Create my account.”
- The next few pages will prompt you to choose people to follow. Consider which competitors, industry leaders, customers, companies, and people that you would like to follow.
- Once you have finished, you will see a screen that shows the news feeds of the people you have chosen to follow. From this screen, you can upload a company biography and a profile picture. Use your company logo for the profile picture.
- You will only get 160 characters for your company bio. Write a brief description that includes a few high volume keywords that you think people might be using on the major search engines to find businesses or organizations like yours, and definitely include a link to your company website.
- Go to the “Account Settings” link and customize your profile as best fits your company needs. Account setting include:
- General account settings.
- Mobile settings
- Email notices that let you manage Twitter notifications
- Your profile picture, header, name, and location
- Your website, bio, and Facebook link
- Design settings to customize your background photo and colors. Don't use a default sample for your background photo. Customize your background so it is consistent with your brand. The image will cover the entire screen of your profile page. However, the side columns will be visible.
- Use the widget tab to customize your tweet format.
- The “Home” tab is where you will see the tweets from your followers, personal stats, “Who to Follow” suggestions, and trending hash tags.
- The “Connect” tab shows the interactions like who follows you, mentions and replies to you using your @username, and favorites or retweets.
- The “Discover” tab shows tweets that may be of interest to you based on your habits.
- The “Activity” tab shows the interactions your followers have with their followers, and other activity.
- The “Who to Follow” tab suggests accounts that you may want to follow.
- The “Find Friends” tab lets you find people using email accounts, and other methods.
- The “Browse” tab also lets you search for new people to follow.
- The “Me” tab shows you what others see when they view your page.
Writing a Tweet
- Click on “Compose a New Tweet.”
- You have a maximum of 140 characters for your tweet.
- Click the “Tweet” button
- You can post a picture by clicking the camera button, browsing for a photo, and uploading it.
Your Google+ page is your home page on Google. Get started by:
- Going to www.google.com/+/business/
- Click on “create a Google+ page”
- Next, you will see the Google+ sign in page.
- If you have a gmail account enter your username and password.
- If you do not have a gmail account click “Create an Account” located at the top right on the page. Fill out the form and click “Next Step.” The next page will show you how you will appear on Google+. Click “Next Step” to continue
- You will be presented with the “Welcome” page. Click “Continue to Google+”
- Pick a category for your business. Pick the right category that perfectly describes your business or organization. You can choose from local business or place; product or brand; company, institution or organization; arts, entertainment or sports and other if the specific choices mentioned do not apply to your business.rom the next page. Add your company name and images to customize your page. Next, tell visitors more about your brand in the “About” section. Including a website and detailed description can help customers find you across Google.
- Depending on the main category you select, you will be presented with subcategories that go into greater detail describing what you do. For example, if you selected “local business or place” you would first be asked to provide the country where your business is located and then a primary telephone number. If you selected product or brand, subcategories will include “antiques and collectibles,” “apparel and accessories,” “appliances” etc. Select your subcategory and click next.
Add Basic Information
- If you have successfully selected the best category for your business, you can then add basic information for your brand, product or business page at the add info page. Begin by choosing a name for your page and a link to an external website, if you have one. It's not a requirement to enter a link to your website but a website with detailed information about what you do can significantly improve the image of your business or product.
- Then select the kind of Google Plus user your content is appropriate for. For example, your content may be appropriate for “any Google Plus user,” “users 18 and older,” “users 21 and older” or content that is “alcohol related.”
- Begin customizing your Google Plus by adding a cover and profile photo. Click on the icon in the default profile picture and add a profile picture. Select a profile picture from your computer or photos you have already uploaded on your personal profile. Google allows you to select from images on Picasa if you already have a Picasa account and your preferred image is hosted on the photo sharing service.
- Use the same procedure to change the cover picture. Cover pictures are larger than profile pictures. If you have an image of your product, company or brand that can promote and enhance your business, the cover photo works best for that purpose.
- Under story, add the ten words that best describe your business. Choose carefully. This will be your business's tagline, at least for Google Plus users. Your tagline must be consistent with other taglines you have used for branding purposes on other sites. Finally fill in your contact information including phone, mobile, email, fax, pager, chat and address. Hit “finish” to complete the customization of your page.
- Â When you complete the basic information, you can begin using your administration dashboard to manage your new Google Plus page. You can use the “About” section of the dashboard to fill in any additional information about your page and begin building your network.
- Under People, you will be able to determine how Google Plus users see your business page. For example, you can group your page fans (once you have them) under customers, following, team members, VIPs. You can also see who has added your new business page to their circles and then follow them back to their pages and follow them in return.
- Edit your Story to add an introduction to your page. You should complete the introduction with a description of your business and what you do. Keep in mind important keywords related to your business. You can still make changes to your contact information if you like. You can also add links to other pages that interest you or that are related to your business. Finally, you can add links to your other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Start Sharing Content
- Once your Google Plus business page is ready, you can start posting to your page by sharing links, photos and videos just like you do on your personal Google Plus profile or Facebook page. Make your posts interactive and engaging by adding photos, videos or links. And you can share your posts with people in different circles.
- To make it easy for your fans to interact and engage on your page, Google has provided navigation tabs just below your Google Plus business page name: About, Posts, Photos, Videos and Reviews. All the tabs are shown to visitors so be sure to upload content to give visitors information and updates when they visit your Google Plus page.
- If you want to find out who has added your page to their Circles, on the left sidebar click “Circles” under “More.” On the display screen, you can drag your fans into one or more of the four default circles and you can also create your own circle.
- Use your Google Plus page to add data to your Google Local Plus page.
Integrating Your Social Media
Add Hootesuite's (www.hootesuite.com) free social integration platform to your social media engagement and you can update all of your social media profiles from one place. Contact URWA Consulting at (303) 217-3993, or email@example.com to get help with your social media, SEO, and digital marketing.