The two kinds of online consumers.
This week’s social media blog posts:
Monday: The two kinds of online consumers.
Tuesday: Creating a Community, Part 1.
Wednesday: Creating a Community, Part 2.
Thursday: Social Media you can own.
Friday: Giving up control.
(This is the eighth in our series of Social Media posts for the month of October. We look forward to your feedback on this series.)
In some cases, people use the Internet to look for specific information. They have specific problems for which they are looking for a specific solution. In such cases, they are using the Internet much like a directory. They know the company or product or category they are looking for, they just need an interface to connect them. In these cases, customers are searching specifically for you (or someone like you). Obviously, with more than 9 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) web pages indexed by Google alone, you want to make yourself easy to find when people are looking for you. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key in helping those who are looking for you find you online.
Think of SEO as advertising your site to search engines. For example, if someone is looking for a BMW dealer in Seattle to service his 540, he can enter “bmw repair seattle” into his search engine box and get a list of dealers in his service area. In the case of these dealers, the key consideration is to make sure their sites are optimized and indexed against a few key words.
SEO is an important element of your Social Media strategy, just as having your phone number listed in the Yellow Pages is key to helping would-be customers locate you. But for too many marketers SEO represents the entirety of their Social Media strategy. “If we’re easy to find when our customers are looking for us,” the thinking goes, “that represents success in Social Media.”
In truth, many of the most important elements of Social Media that can amplify success exist beyond SEO.
That’s because while some Internet users know exactly what they’re looking for, many others do not. Or rather, they have a general idea of what they are looking for, but are willing to consider a broader array of options. An example would be a hostess who has a dinner party coming up, and is looking for a creative menu to prepare. Or, a college student looking for the best deal on used course text books. They know generally what their solution “looks like,” but they’re open to do some exploring in order to find the most relevant solution. To attract this category of Internet users, using Social Media offers an abundance of opportunities well beyond SEO.
As we’ve noted throughout this series, we define Social Media as anything you do in the online space that allows others to converse, contribute, add to, give feedback to or distribute.
At its most elementary, Social Media gives you a lot more places to redirect the content you already have. You can post commercials and how-to videos on YouTube. Send P.R. releases to industry news sites. List bios of key personnel on LinkedIn or other professional sites. Index White Papers or industry research on your web site. Have executives start a blog, or contribute to highly-read industry blogs. And often when you contribute something to an existing social network, you’ll have the opportunity to include “meta tags,” which are cues used by search engines for indexing purposes to help find relevant content for online searches.
In other words, simply by participating in various Social Media platforms, you’ve vastly improved the likelihood that visitors will find you.
So while your web site is an important element to your Social Marketing program, and optimizing that site gives you a distinct advantage, utilizing other Social Marketing platforms gives you more portals through which to attract visitors and expose them to your brand.
Posted by Mickey
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