Do you remember the saying “If you build it, they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams? Well that might have worked for a “baseball field in Iowa”, but it doesn’t work for the internet. In fact, you can have the most amazing, beautiful, informative website and yet get no traffic at all. It’s like printing business cards and then never passing them out.
Search engine optimization is a must, but the competition is brutal. It take more than just building a site, throwing in some keywords and sitting back waiting for business to roll in. Social media is the fast, easy and inexpensive way to get customers. Savvy business owners have to know and use a variety of social media networks in order to “shake hands with the public” and to stay informed about the latest interests and needs of consumers.
People shop and search for information at all hours of the day. Social media allows you to market while you sleep. You have a website, but it is not enough. 85% of customers expect businesses to be active in social media and 36% of people trust companies more when they have a social presence.
This means if your competitors are active in social media and you are not, you are going to lose a significant share of your market.
Social Media Modules for your Website
The Floating Social “Sharing” Bar
Unlike social media icons, which lead visitors to your social profiles, social media sharing buttons will lead them to promote content from your website onto their personal profiles. It’s free advertising! (You do not have to have accounts with all of these social platforms; only the person sharing your information must have those accounts.)
Social Links to “Visit” or “Follow”
Are you leveraging the power of social media on your site? Together, social media channels and your website should work seamlessly to promote your online brand. These buttons serve to promote your business’ presence on various social networks and help you generate fans/followers for those particular accounts.
The “Social Media” Page
This is just the coolest social page I’ve ever created! Your posts from ALL of your social media come together in one place on this page! Visitors can then simply click on any post to see if full size. At the top of the page, visitors can click on any social media platform to see only posts from that platform.
The 7 Most Important Social Networks
Facebook is definitely the largest and most popular networking site on the web right now with over a billion users. A Facebook business page is used to advertise products and services, inform your “friend” or “like” base of special deals, new products, events at your business, etc. You can also upload photos and videos to entertain or educate your customers.
Like Facebook, Twitter has become a top source for real-time news sharing. It is the simplest of all social media platforms, with messages limited to 140 characters, and the added ability to share photos and links. Use Twitter to give a “shout out” to your friends and customers about a current special – “30% off to the next 5 people who come to my store”, “Just got a new shipment of Beanie Babies!”, “Tonight is Taco Tuesday!”
Google+ is the second largest social networking site, which has personal profiles for posting status updates, photos and videos, as well as “Circles” and “Communities” for sharing information with different groups of people. Google combined the best of Facebook and Twitter into one site. You can add new content, highlight topics with hashtags, and even separate contacts into circles.
Anyone who needs to make professional connections should be on LinkedIn. Known as the social network for your career, you can promote yourselves and your businesses, outline your education and work experience and make connections with other professionals. Meeting customers, get in touch with vendors, recruit new employees, write articles, and keep up with the latest in industry news.
Where does everyone go to watch or share video content online? It’s obviously YouTube. YouTube is now owned by Google and is tied right into your Google+ account. Create your own “Channel” and post videos about your business and the products or services you offer.
Instagram is like a visual Twitter. It’s the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go. If you have new products, a party at your store, a busy night at your restaurant? Snap a photo or shoot a video and post it on Instagram. Let your potential customers know that your place is the place to be.
Pinterest is a giant, inspirational, virtual bulletin board. To use this for your business, collect inspirational photos that relate to your products or services. Are you a public speaker? Post inspirational saying on posters. Own a coin store, a bakery, a massage business? Post photos that inspire people to seek your business out and connect with you.
If you are still having a hard time understanding what each of the Social Media platforms do for you, check out this clever illustration comparing the new way of conducting business with the past.