The next traffic path is social media. There are a ton of these sites on the Internet and everyone looks at Facebook and Twitter as the two biggest players online. And for good reason, Facebook has over 1 Billion users and Twitter has over 300 Million active tweeters.
These platforms provide channels for getting information in front of tons of people. You can identify them and target them locally based on the geographic information; on both of those systems, people tell you what they do, what they like and where they live (most of the time).
Facebook is more social. You can advertise and put a wider variety of information there. Twitter is about marketing to the masses and small little bursts called tweets. With Twitter, you can only post a message that’s 140 characters in length. With 140 characters, you don’t have a lot of room to go into a detailed description. You can target your audience with tools like twellow.com to identify people who are in the city that you’re dealing with.
Facebook provides a lot more demographic information on its users, which allows you to target your audience based on location, age, gender, relationship status, education, profession, and interests. Armed with this information you can develop ad campaigns and have them presented only to your ideal client.
For instance, if you were doing a golf ad, you would definitely want to cut the demographics down to where you want it. Let’s say, you wanted to target female golfers in Atlanta, Georgia. You would probably select, obviously, females. You would select a range of probably 25 to 55. You might select college educated. And you would probably select married. This should all be based on solid research on your markets demographics.
Another aspect of social media is YouTube, and I’ll talk about that a little bit more when I get into the video section, but YouTube actually is a social media platform because you can have subscribers, send messages, and leave comments. So it really does become a social media platform.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. The owner of the business needs to have a LinkedIn profile, and the business needs to have a company profile. There are some social aspects to LinkedIn, but it really is about business. It’s about people who are in business, business owners, salespeople, and business professionals.
The main goal of all these sites is to direct people to your website, so make sure you’re always leading them there.
On most social sites you can optimize profiles for local business. With Facebook you can set up a Facebook fan page, create a customized time line and create content for people to interact with. For a restaurant you could post pictures of the menu items; if it’s a doctor’s office, you might display before and after pictures of services. You always want your posts to leave customers saying, “Wow, this is business that I feel like I know, like and trust.” You want them to be a fan of the page and ultimately become a customer of the business, product or service.”
You can customize the background on Twitter, customize the feed, and customize the information you provide to your followers. The information that the business owner provides should be useful to the person who’s viewing it whether they choose to do business with them or not. I’ll reiterate this point a few times because it really is the key factor when it comes to creating a credible presence online.
Dr. Marjukka Miinala, DBA
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