If you have read my previous post titled: “SEO and Social Media Optimization: A Powerful Combination for Winning the Online Marketing Battle,” you will understand that I’ve recently developed interest in the subject of social media optimization! This is not for no reason!
If you have been following what is happening in the search engines lately you will notice that within a few months Google announced three major updates. First was the Caffeine update which was actually an infrastructural movement in preparation for the recent happenings.
The second was the much talked about Panda update. This was a major algorithm change. The Panda update was a total overhaul of Google’s search engine algorithm affecting mostly blogs/websites that were nothing but content farms. The official announcement of the Panda update pointed out that the update affected about 12% of search results!
Now, the third update, announced a couple of weeks ago, is the Google Freshness update. This, like the Panda update, is an algorithm change. With this update Google is now officially using social media as a major parameter in ranking webpages. Now the interesting thing is that while the panda update affected only 12% the Google Freshness update is covering about 35%! If you were aware of the effect of the Panda update which was only 12% then you should understand what this 35% is about!
Doesn’t that ring a bell for you? If you still have not gotten it, then let me put it very clear to you. If Google’s Freshness update covers as much as 35% it is something you should take note of!
Do you now understand why I’m passionate about this? You got it, because I’m always passionate about search engine optimization (seo) and it is definite that seo is moving on a new direction!
Now, as I mentioned in the previous post, it is important that you have a social media optimization strategy if you’re going to make any good of this. In my studies and from my personal experience I have come to realize that there are some essentials if you truly want to have a workable and effective social media optimization strategy. And this will be my focus in this post.
5 Essential Elements for a Successful Social Media Optimization Strategy
1. Decide On What You Want To Achieve
I’m putting this as #1 because from my personal experience, except you know what you really want to achieve with your social media optimization your efforts will only be in vain. There should be an aim to everything you do on the social networking sites. As many have confessed, social media could be addictive. This is why you should have a purpose. Without a purpose and plan you could be sucked into a whole lot of activities and at the end of the day you’ll end up achieving nothing.
Here are some reasons you may want to optimize your social media marketing
(i) Build your business online
(ii) Connect with potential customers
(iii) Connect with existing customers
(iv) Build links back to your business website/blog
(v) Generate traffic to your website or blog
(vi) Build relationships with similar businesses
You should therefore from the beginning decide on your social media optimization purpose as this will guide you on every other thing you do.
2. Decide On Your Audience
One fact you must get into your mind from the onset is that you don’t have to reach everyone out there. Of course, this is not possible! So, the ideal thing is to decide on who your audience will be and then focus on them. It is definite that if you have been able to decide on your purpose from #1 above, deciding on your target audience will be much easier.
3. What Content Should You Share?
When it comes to marketing online, content is definitely king. This is more so when it comes to social media marketing. The content you share determines your brand and so it is important that you should be selective. It is indeed true that the social media sites are first and foremost about social interactions but if you’re there for business promotions, then every content you put out there should be that which will help your brand. For example, twitter’s simple question is, “what are you doing?” Now, if your twitter account was set up to promote your business you should be careful the way you answer that question. In fact, it is important that instead of answering that question you should turn it around to read, what is of interest to you right now? Or, what is of interest to your audience?
In this way you would be able to put out content that will build your brand and enhance your business success. It is glad to know that most of the social media sites now recognize the importance of tailoring your content to your audience and they have introduced features to help with this. For example, twitter and Facebook now have lists and Google+ have what it calls “circles”. You can use these to segregate your audience so that you can tailor your content to each group with more effectiveness.
4. What Time Is Available To You?
This is crucial. If you are a one man (please if you’re a woman read woman!) business, you definitely don’t want to spend all of your time on the social networking sites. This is where you again need to be careful of the addictive nature of the social media sites. One way to take care of this is to determine how many hours a day or how many days a week you would devote to social media interactions. This will help you to be focused every day. The big fortunes companies can afford to hire freelance or career social media workers to help them manage their social media updates. But since you know this is beyond you, at least for now, managing your time is necessary. Again, it is clear that there are various tools in the market today that help you to automate most of your social media activities but you should be careful about using them. Social media is not about machines. It demands the human touch. So having a workable plan based on the time available to you and sticking to it will be of great help.
5. What Social Media Platform Should You Use?
At the moment there are a plethora of social media sites online. But the truth is that you don’t have to be on every one of them. There are some dedicated to specific niches but except these ones are directly focused on your target niche, the best option is to stay with the big ones. These are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Creating an account with these ones is not enough. It is important that you study these different platforms to understand the target audience of each. While there may be some overlapping in the way they operate, you will have more success if you know what each is all about and use it that way. The good thing is that there so much information about these social sites and how to use them for marketing online. A simple Google search will to do the trick. Learn as much as you can and you will definitely succeed with your social media optimization.
Social media is here to stay and the astronomical growth of the social media sites in recent times is a testimony to its effectiveness in promoting businesses online. As a business entrepreneur you can’t afford to ignore social media optimization. Use these tips to plan out your social media optimization strategy and you’ll have a workable and effective system in place.
Is This Asking Too Much?
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