Social Media Is Not A Sales Force: It Is A Relationship Builder

Social media is not a sales channel

Social media should not be used for selling

Social media is inundated with messages advertising products and services for sale. While this may generate some paying customers, it is actually a very inefficient method of generating revenue.

Online research has demonstrated social media contributes to less than 1% of all online sales. Other forms of online marketing; like email and paid search contribute significantly more (18% and 20% respectively).

Search Engine Optimisation

One of the best methods of online marketing is through organic searching which accounts for 24% of online sales. Therefore search engine optimisation should be one of the key marketing concerns of your business.

Many businesses are confused or misled as to what can help support their search engine rank. It is further complicated with the constant changes Google and other search engines apply to their algorithms. However, there are a few key things you can be sure of:

1. The right number of keywords – too few and your site won’t be picked up. Too many and the search engine spider will block your site from the results. It is a tricky balance to manage.

2. The right URLs inserted in the right way – every link into and out of your sight is analysed by the search engine spiders. Therefore you need to ensure they are optimised so that the spider sees them as high quality and valuable to readers.

3. The right placement of keywords – The frequency of keywords is not the only problem; it is also the right placement of them.

4. Images – High quality images are essential for SEO. Your image should include description, caption and alternative text containing your key word. If possible you should aim to avoid stock images, however this isn’t always an option.

5. Page speed – depending how long your website loads will affect your page rank. Use Google development tools to discover how your site’s speed is and how you can improve it.

6. Social Media – Social media does play a part in your SEO results. The amount of times your page is shared through social media and the number of inbound links through networks does count towards your rank. Considering Google still accounts for 67% of all searches conducted online, a business should consider its Google+ profile as really important.

How Can Social Media Be Used?

Another high performing area of online marketing is direct searches and visits (23%). This shows that there is a significant draw for customers to be loyal to their brands. Therefore you must encourage your target audience to directly search for you or go directly to your website.

This is where social media can be good. Gaining the trust of your audience is one of the most important activities on social media. This takes time and you are unlikely to see any significant results immediately. There are three essential activities to complete for this:

  • Post high value and informative content.
  • Socially interact with your customers.
  • Thank users for shares and mentions.

Using these three methods you can increase your SEO and the number of direct customers who land on your website and make a purchase. This in turn will increase your lead generation and revenue. Coupled with a good SEO strategy you will see your business flourish and succeed in the tough online marketplace.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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