How to Use Social Media in Online Marketing

Is social media part of your online marketing for your brand? There are many reasons it should be. Here is an an outline on how to use social media in online marketing.

Most Americans use one or more social channels, so it is a great way to connect with your audience.

Many small businesses struggle to achieve marketing success on social media. You need an intentional strategy that follows best practices.

Have a Social Media Marketing Plan

Define your goals and the platforms that are best suited to help you achieve them. Further, define exactly what you need to do on each channel you select.

Pick the Best Social Media Channels

You do not need to be everywhere on social media. I repeat, don’t sign up for every channel you hear about. Use only the channels that your target customer uses.

Look online at the data about who uses each platform. You can also ask customers and others who represent your target audience what they use.

Focus on Building the Right Social Communities

Don’t focus on amassing the most followers, focus on connecting with the right followers. You want to use social media to connect with your target audience. Know who your target is and focus on making those connections. Quality trumps quantity every time.

Pay Attention to the Competition

Watching what your competitors do on social media isn’t unethical. It’s smart. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t.

Listen as Much (or More) than You “Talk”

Social media should be, well, social! That means a two way interaction. Your posts are the equivalent to your part of the conversation. Engagement from your community in the forms of comments, posts, and reactions are their part.

Make sure you invite a balance! No one likes people (or brands) who only talk about themselves and don’t let others share. Engage in serious social media listening.

Measure Social Media Marketing Often

Take time to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Your great ideas may be getting you to your goal or they may be falling flat. You won’t know unless you take time to assess.

Pay attention to short term data, like the interactions on your most recent post, as well as longer term trends. Don’t be afraid to change your plan to make the most of what’s working!

Create Calls to Action that Work

It is a best practice for your content to include calls to action. A CTA tells the reader how they can act on the content they have just seen. That gets to the engagement we all seek with our online marketing efforts.

Some calls to action fall flat. How many times have you seen “click here” or “learn more”? These overused CTAs don’t get anyone excited.

Creating the right call to action requires some thought. Here are some ideas to help you get to the right one.

The Right Call to Action for Your Content

The right CTA gets people to take the action you want. The first step in crafting the right one is to know your goal for the content. What do you want people to do?

In general, keep your call to action short. Use 3-5 words to tell someone exactly what they should do next.

Make sure it stands out on the page. Use a button that stands out on the page and with a eye-catching color.

Define the action. The first word of your call to action should be action oriented! Use a word that will make people click. Here are some great words for CTAs:

  • Call
  • Join
  • Register
  • Save
  • Start
  • Watch
  • Try
  • Subscribe

Create a sense of urgency. No one wants to miss out on a great opportunity.

  • Act Now
  • Limited Time Offer
  • Available While Supplies Last

Solve a problem. What does your target audience need your help with? Your CTA should tell them that you have what they need.

  • Get your xx fixed
  • Start creating your xx
  • Step-by-step help for xx

Want to generate sales? Make a valuable offer using language that promotes value.

  • Get 30% Off Now
  • Get Your Discount
  • Online Special

Every Piece of Content Needs a CTA

Reach your goal for every piece of content with a thoughtful, enticing call to action. Make it focused and clear. One call to action per page is usually about right.

When you tell people what you want them to do next in a way that appeals to their needs and entices them to act, you increase the chances they will do exactly what you ask.





Web Page Quality Wins Over Quantity

The site with the most web pages doesn’t automatically get the win when it comes to search engine rankings. Search algorithms award for web page quality over quantity.

Quality pages:

  • Get visits
  • Generally earn time spent on the page
  • Lead to return visits

To accomplish these things, your page needs to be found by people who are looking for the content you offer. That’s where search engines and SEO comes in. You need your page to be visible when people use search.

SEO is not just about using the right keyword a few times. Search engines look at many factors to determine what people are actually looking for. The best matches rise to the top of the rankings.

Determine Web Page Quality

Search crawlers pay attention to traffic. So, a quality page has to get visited. Google Analytics can help you understand which pages visitors access as well as get a general sense of the most valued content at your site.

Google Analytics tells you which pages are being visited most and how long people tend to stay on each page. All of this helps you determine the quality of your individual pages.

Any page that you think should get more visits and time than shown in your analytics needs attention to improve the page quality. You can’t argue with the numbers.

As you look at low-performing pages, consider these common issues:

  • Is the page slow to load? People are impatient.
  • Is the content unique? When the exact content can be found on different pages, that negatively affects search rank.
  • Does the page make sense? Does the title of your page – in the navigation, on the page and in links from other places – accurately portray the content of the page or is it misleading?
  • Is the page easy to read online, with text and images that convey the main point?
  • Is the page outdated or no longer needed?

How to Improve Page Quality

Your goal is for every web page to be worth visiting. Each needs to share content and information that the web visitor will value. Make each page worthwhile, or consider deleting the content. If you delete the content, be sure to set up a redirect to the most relevant remaining page and remove any links to the removed page.

When you want to improve the quality of a web page, make sure you understand why someone would visit the page. Then, make sure your content delivers what they need or want.

Hallmarks of the right content include:

  • Uses the keywords that people are currently likely to use when looking for the content.
  • Has valuable information, sharing content not found elsewhere or pulling content together in a useful way.
  • Offers your unique, insightful, useful look at the topic of the page.
  • Written in a way that is easy to read online.

Establish Your Expertise

There is a lot of content out there. Frankly, a lot of it is not worth reading. It is important to rise above the clutter and show readers and search engines that you are an authority in your field. This doesn’t just help your pages show up in the search results, it also helps users reach the level of trust they need to do business with you online. Share thoughtful details about your business and your expertise.

Focus on Site Performance

The best content will still fall flat if it is slow to load or access. People won’t wait in hopes of getting to great content. They will move on.

The speed of your website is a factor that impacts your Google rank. Google and other search engines know that users don’t like slow websites.

User experience, also called UX, is all about how users experience a site or product. Search engines want to provide their users with the best result for their question or search query. The best result doesn’t only mean the best answer, it also means the best experience. So even if you’ve written an excellent answer in a post, but your site is slow or has complicated navigation, Google won’t consider your post the best answer.

Your site also needs to function well on small screens. Mobile searches are growing, and many sites get more traffic from mobile devices than desktop computers.