SEO and Social Media Optimisation in Torbay
Why do you need a social media account? Here’s why (the figures speak for themselves):
With this many active users on social media, you can't afford to miss out on the opportunities to connect your social media with your website and build a real community of loyal customers around your business.
Firstly, before doing anything else, you need to establish why you want a social media account for your business:
- Do you want to build brand awareness?
- Do you want to provide information to your customers about your products and services?
- Do you want to promote special events?
- Do you want to promote a shop, e.g with sales and events where people physically visit your store?
Social media can help your business with all of these things and more.
So how do you get started on social media?
Before setting up any social media account, you should be clear on what you want to gain from that particular platform. Not every social media platform may be beneficial to your business, and you are much better off doing a good job on one or two social media channels, than trying to keep up with five or six and doing a bad job of it.
Firstly, you need to work out who your target audience are. For example, if you are targeting products to a young, vibrant audience, then Snapchat and Instagram would be a good choice. However, if you are targeting B2B, then LinkedIn would be your best bet.
persona of who you want your target audience to be; research their interests, how old are they, what do they do for a living, where do they live? You can use the internet to find out what types of audience are on each social media platform and then choose which platforms are best for you. Look at your competitors on each platform and see how well they are doing; if they have a huge number of Twitter followers, but only a few Facebook likes, then you can analyse why.
The key here is research. How can you truly engage with your customers if you don’t actually know who you are selling to? Think about the sort of people you want to buy your product and look for that sort of person on social media e.g. via a friend or friend-of-a-friend. Alternatively, look at the profiles of the users who like your competitors pages; you'd be surprised at the amount of information users are
giving away because their profiles are set to public. Social media success is about building a loyal
tribe of people interested in your brand.
Here's some of the most commonly used social media platforms in 2018:
- Facebook - ideal for all businesses - 2.27 billion monthly active users2.
- Twitter - great for real time updates - 328 million monthly active users5.
- Instagram - ideal for products - 700 million monthly active users5.
- YouTube - ideal for videos - 1.5 billion monthly active users5.
- Pinterest - ideal for products - 250 million monthly active users6.
- LinkedIn - ideal for B2B - 967 million monthly active users7.
We can help with all the analytics you need to track your business and your competitors social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. Our Silver and Gold SEO Packages include a monthly social media analysis report, where you can find out which posts across your social accounts generated the most engagement, which hashtags are working well, the types of posts which are the most interesting to your users and much more.
Social Media Accounts
It’s best practice for businesses to have their own social media accounts, separate from your personal account. This is particularly the case with Facebook, where you can post on your business page as yourself or as your business. Make sure that you have a Facebook page or group, not a personal profile for your business, as this is against Facebook’s rules, and you may find your profile gets deleted if it is not converted into a page.
make sure that you have a Facebook page or group, not a personal profile for your business
How To Gain Followers / Likes
You gain followers and likes on social media by giving customers what they want to see - quality content which is relevant to them. This is the case on social media, branded advertising and also on your website. Relevancy is key here – you need to understand your business’ needs as well as what your customer wants. If you offer a good product or service and offer good customer service, users will want to follow you and tell people about your business. You also need to add value to give customers a reason to buy your product or service, so think about the products and services you are offering:
- Why should a potential customer buy your product?
- What makes your business or approach different from anyone else in Torbay?
- What benefits can customers expect when they buy from you?
- Are your prices realistic?
- What are your competitors doing in your local area?
- Why is your product or service better than your competitor?
Go the extra mile, respond to customers questions in a timely manner, offer something else that no one else does, win their trust, get them talking and ultimately, get them to visit your business in Torbay.
If you can get people talking about your business online, those posts will generally reach a lot of people, who may like and share that content. Customers will do your advertising for you!
Help your audience identify with your business and brand, post and share content which is relevant and useful to them, and also to their friends. This is where the persona I talked about earlier comes in. The more you are in tune with your audience, the higher your engagement levels will be, ultimately leading to sales and conversions. Make sure that your posts and/or products solve a problem for the user. We see extremely high engagement rates for products which solve everyday problems for people, which are unique or different from other similar products already on the market. Give users a reason to come back to your social media sites, give them value, post educational or entertaining (but not offensive or spammy) content relevant to your industry, have fun, and make your audience feel valued within your community or
loyal tribe around your business that you have created.
Encourage people to check in at your business on Facebook, it shows engagement and is also good for expanding reach and brand awareness. For more information about how to set up Google Maps and Google MyBusiness in order to get your business seen, see our earlier blog post on SEO for local businesses in Torbay.
What to Post on Social Media
If you show a genuine passion for your product or service, your audience will notice. Have fun, get creative and interact with your audience. Don’t be too formal with your language, however don’t add kisses at the end of your posts either; find a balance between friendliness and professionalism.
If you have more than one social media platform for your business, you can’t just go about posting the same content to each one. Posts need to be modified to suit each platform, for example, a post on Facebook cannot directly be copied to Twitter, as Twitter only allows 140 characters (not including characters used in photo URL’s, GIF URL’s, video URL’s or polls).
Instagram and Facebook stories are a good way of getting attention for your business in Torbay. As they are only available for a short time, it creates urgency, and is particularly good for advertising limited availability special offers.
Social Media Reviews
Even in 2018, the best form of advertising is word of mouth, and many people now look to the internet to voice both their praises and negative comments about businesses. You can use this to your advantage, by responding to customer reviews and providing excellent customer service online, which in turn will boost your online reputation and trust in your business.
92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising3
In terms of Facebook and other social media platforms, this opportunity is huge. If a friend visited a nail salon in Torquay and posted an image of her new nails onto Facebook, with a mention of your business, saying how much she loved her new nails, then her friends and family are more likely to also visit your business. Instagram and Pinterest produce similar results, with users sharing images of your products or talking about the service they have received.
With the Facebook feature, Recommendations, it’s never been easier for people to recommend your business to their friends and family. People post all the time asking for recommendations, for example
Can anyone recommend a plumber in Torquay?, and when answering, users can then tag businesses using the @ symbol to recommend them. If you treat them right, then happy customers are worth their weight in gold, as they will generally recommend you when asked. This is where social media posting comes in, as the more you post and remind people of your business, the more your happy customers are likely to remember the service they have received, and recommend you to others. Existing customers are worth up to 10 times more than the cost of their first purchase, as it costs on average 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Bear in mind that users want to see reviews about your business, as
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations1
You need to get good and not so good reviews of your business, but why would you want bad reviews?! Nowadays, a lot of people skip the good reviews and go straight to the negative ones, and the key to success is not about how you deal with the good reviews, it's about how you handle bad ones. Negative reviews prove that your business is human, and if a business has all 5* reviews, users are less likely to trust them.
Always answer your reviews, both good and bad, and show potential customers that you care about their feedback and experience with your company. You need to build trust, and getting reviews from customers is a great way of doing that and showing you are an authority figure in your industry. People now read between 4 to 6 reviews on average before they gain trust in your business1, so try to get a wide range of reviews from different customers. Lengthy reviews are better than short ones, so ask if your customers wouldn't mind writing a little bit about why they liked your service or products. Longer reviews are also likely to be indexed by search engines, so ask customers if they wouldn't mind mentioning your business name in their review.
So how do you get positive reviews from previous customers? Just ask!
68% of consumers left a local business review when asked - with 74% having been asked for their feedback1
Top Tip - Don’t ever bribe customers into giving you a positive review. This is an absolute no-no, as people can spot fake or incentivised reviews a mile off.
Remember - Social media can be a dangerous place for your brand’s reputation. Done well, you will see amazing results, but done incorrectly, you could ruin your business.
Which brings us to one of the potential issues you may see within your social media accounts - trolling. Pretty much every business experiences the wrath of a troll at some point. Social media is rife with them and unfortunately, with the growth of social media over recent years, things are getting worse.
If you do find yourself with a troll on your business’ social media, try to block them wherever possible. Don’t reply to their comments, as they will try to trip you up, make you look bad and can damage your business’ reputation. Whatever, you do, do not engage in a lengthy battle with them in public. This is what they want and what they thrive on.
Make sure you moderate comments from your users, to try and stop troll's posts from being published in the first place. Similarly, you want to try and avoid spammy posts, so add filters to prevent rude, offensive or inflammatory content as well.
Social Media Messaging
People generally want fast answers to their questions about a business or product, so answering your incoming social media messages in a timely manner is very important. No one wants to wait 2 days for an answer to their question about your product or service, and if they can't find the answer on your website either, they are likely to go elsewhere. It's a good idea to turn on an autoreply to let users know that you have received their message and will get back to them as soon as possible, or with a timeframe for answering their query. You can also set up ChatBots, which are artifically intelligent (AI) robots which can answer general users questions immediately. JustEat and many other companies are successfully using chatbots to interact with their customers.
59% of Americans believe that customer service through social media has made it easier to get their questions answered and issues resolved4
Analyse Your Social Media Results
Most importantly, with any social media campaign and all platforms, you need to regularly analyse your results. Work out which posts or types of content are doing well, learn what your users like to interact with, find out what they don't like and then improve your social media strategy based on these results. Look at your Facebook insights, find out which Instagram stories have done well, look at your YouTube views and learn from your Google Analytics data.
If you'd like some help analysing your social media efforts, here at Daffodil Solutions, we have the perfect solution. With our silver and gold fixed price SEO packages, we will provide you with a monthly report, analysing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. Find our which posts across your social accounts generated the most engagement, which hashtags are working well, the types of posts which are the most interesting to your users and much more. If you would like more information about how we can help you get the most out of your social media accounts, please contact us.