Social Search Engine Optimisation or Social Media Optimisation is the concept of using social media channels to optimise awareness of a brand or service.
Unlike search engine optimisation, the goal is engagement and producing content that users will want to share, instead of working out how to use algorithms to rank higher.
Long text-based posts have their place in social media, but should be used sparingly. Studies of visual content on Facebook show that videos are shared 12 times more than long form blog posts and links, and photos are liked at double the rate of text updates.
Make it easy to share content
If you don’t make it easy for website users to share your content, chances are they probably won’t. Your website should feature social media sharing buttons embedded under each post. Choose the social media platforms you and your audience are most active on and allow your audience to pass on posts they like to their friends.
Comment and connect
The best way to get the most out of social media is to form a relationship with your followers and also other people in your industry. Respond to customers’ comments and interact with them, and network with fellow experts by commenting, liking and retweeting their content.
If you show an interest in other’s content they will likely return the favour.
Avoid excessive link dropping
Link dropping is something you should show restraint in. Excessive link dropping is considered rather distasteful and self-promoting, and could result in you being considered a spammer, removed from groups and unfollowed.
There’s a famous saying that says, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. So before you post links take the time to build relationships, and when you do share consider whether it be useful to the reader or whether you are sharing to serve your own agenda.
Useful social media tools
If you’ve already got all the basics covered as mentioned above then it might be time to invest a little bit of time, money and creativity into your social media strategy. Here are some paid and free tools which might be of use:
SocialCentiv – Twitter customer search
People often use Twitter to ask for advice and recommendations about products and services. SocialCentiv is a Twitter based web app that allows you to input highly targeted metrics such as location, keywords, products and services to let you comb Twitter for leads.
For example you could set up a flag for tweets mentioning ‘coffee’ or ‘caffeine’ in your local neighbourhood and then send those members tweets about your café. You can trial SocialCentiv for free for 7 days (currently US only).
Livecube – engagement for live events
Livecube provides a central hub to find event-related tweets and connections, and rewards users for contributing to the discussion by offering points and prizes.
Not only that but it is also an event management tool that lets you handle speaker scheduling and logistics management.
Hootsuite – social media analytics and campaign management
Hootsuite is an online dashboard that lets you manage all your social media accounts from one place. It lets you post content to multiple networks, schedule tweets and posts for posting during peak hours, and it analyses traffic and tracks conversions.
Hootsuite supports virtually all the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn. Paid business packages start at $8.99 per month, with a 30 day free trial.
Social media marketing increases your business’ profile but it does take work, however the results speak for themselves.
According to Social Media Today, businesses that use social media regularly experience 64 per cent increases in lead generation.
A Market Watch study also found that companies with well-developed social media strategies had customers who reported having higher overall satisfaction with the business than their competitors.
Most importantly social media gives you a platform to expose your target audience to your products and services on a regular basis, which is important, as on average consumers need to be exposed to a product 6-8 times before they are persuaded to buy. In other words, social media helps quicken up the time taken to purchase.