Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still a key strategy to strengthen online visibility and improve reputation with major search engines (Google, Yahoo, & MSN). But, getting results with SEO strategies alone could be a drawn out process. Because of this, most businesses are adopting SEO in conjunction with one or more Social Media strategies, to improve online visibility in less time. Be sure to consult a professional or do your research, to evaluate whether these strategies are relevant for your business and then put a plan in place to execute these strategies.
Few years ago, social media was popular among individuals to interact with family and friends, and stay in touch. It was not the norm for businesses to have fan pages and build their network online. So, businesses allocated their marketing dollars towards paid-search marketing, such as Google AdWords and search engine optimization (SEO) to improve rankings in organic search. As we are aware of the fact that Search Engine Optimization is a long term strategy, for some businesses it took lot longer than others, to achieve rankings in search engines, even after aggressive link building and content marketing strategies. This is not the case anymore, since businesses now have the option of adopting social media strategies in their marketing plan, based on the proven results in the industry relevant to their business.
Now, businesses can allocate resources between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization(SMO)/Social Media Marketing, and achieve results in less time. By engaging in optimization, it is now easier to adopt marketing Strategies as well.
If you are the hands-off type of business and don’t have resources to manage profiles and engage in conversation with fans, SMO is the best option for you. Once you have SMO plan in place and you have resources to manage the profiles on a regular basis and to respond to fan base in a timely manner, you can engage in Marketing activities.
Tips on Optimizing Social Media
If you are the hands-off type of business and don’t have resources to manage profiles and engage in conversation with fans, SMO is the best option for you. Optimization takes work, initially. Once you have done it a few times, it becomes a habit. However, if you want to be really consistent with your tasks and be effective, you need to set Campaign Guidelines, to follow:
Optimize your social media profiles, with keywords in about content and ALT-tag for images in image gallery. Some of the popular platforms are LinkedIn, Face book, Twitter, YouTube & Blog.
Design a blue print/schedule for social media activities that need to be performed on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. This is the schedule that needs to be followed by resource Responsible for executing Social Media Plan. If you are going to use in-house resource, be sure to train them for doing the job effectively. You also have the choice of outsourcing the effort.
Syndicate content. Content can be in the form of Text, Video or Images. For example, if you are writing two blog posts a month, when you publish the blog posts, syndicate these posts to multiple platforms & bookmarking sites. There are tools/plug-ins available to automate this process. If you have scheduled one video per month, optimize the video with tags and SEO friendly descriptions in YouTube & syndicate the same video to multiple video parking sites. Content syndication generates many quality links, & contributes to SMO.
Be sure to measure the results of all the activities
Tips on Social Media Marketing
Once you have SMO plan in place and you have resources to manage the profiles on a regular basis and to respond to fan base in a timely manner, you can engage in Social Media Marketing activities.
Before starting your marketing campaign in one or more social media platforms for your business, find out where your target market is active.
Have a social media policy in place for employees who are allowed to participate in online conversation about your brand. This is critical to set a standard for responding to fans & to avoid any negative publicity. If you do get into such situation, be proactive to handle in a timely manner to avoid major damage to your brand.
If you are going to use in-house resource to manage social media profiles for your business, be sure to train them for doing the job effectively. You also have the choice of outsourcing the effort.
In addition to scheduled SMO activities for content syndication, you may also consider ad-hoc tasks to surprise the fan base and create excitement about buying your products and services.
Take advantage of Social media paid campaigns such as Face Book Ads to build brand awareness and build your network.
Be sure to measure the results of all the activities
By executing both SEO, SMO & Social Media Marketing effectively, you are leveraging the power of the internet to:
Improve online visibility
Strengthen brand awareness
Build Credibility Online
Build a strong following online
Generate leads by viral marketing
Be the source of information, when consumers are ready
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