Social media can be a million different things depending on how you use it. For the individual, it’s a tool, a resource, a billboard, a form of self expression, a procrastinator’s soul mate.
For hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world, it’s…pretty much all those things, too. Whether you’re talking about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or (even) Google +, social media has transformed the way any given company can directly reach who it wants, when it wants.
Social media has firmly established itself as the easiest, most effective form of advertisement. It reaches people who’re riding on the subway, sitting in the backseat of a car, goofing off at work, exercising at the gym, or, most obviously, perusing the internet for a new pair of shoes.
Whether they’re on a phone, tablet, or laptop, all these people are potential customers—fruitful connections waiting to happen.
The fine folks at Google wholeheartedly agree.
SEO and Social Media
While inbound links are still crucial in driving traffic to a website, one of the best ways to increase visibility is with social signals. From the number of likes, posts, and followers you have to how many people are commenting or sharing content, all forms of social communication help dictate your site’s search engine ranking, which is very important.
It’s crucial, and it’s why every company needs to carve their own social media “voice.” A faceless corporation is somewhat less faceless when a consumer is directly interacting with an actual person on Twitter or commenting back and forth on a Facebook post. Legitimate dialogue can be had, and how you define yourself is vital. Do you want to be funny? Helpful? Serious? Warm? Engaging? Controversial? Honest?
Most companies align their voice on social media with how they see themselves and their desired brand. It lets followers know who/what they’re dealing with.
One suggestion for companies who either aren’t already wading through social media on a daily basis or are struggling to find an identity is to stay in line with your strengths. If you’re not funny, don’t try to be. If your company has strictly used social media as a self-promotional tool, try helping others instead. No matter how large the company, be personable and hold interesting discussions. Participate in Twitter chats, learn who else is in your arena and what other people are thinking about—competitors and customers alike.
There are so many ways social media can help your business grow. Use it often. Use it wisely.
Michael Pina is the lead writer at Highly Relevant. And in addition to bringing writing skills and sports knowledge to the table, he never fails to impress the team with his impeccable sense of style.