Displaying items by tag: social marketing
So what is the User Journey.....and why should you be aware of it?
If you're running a small to medium sized business you need to have some knowledge of other aspects of business that are not directly related to the physical job that you do. After all, a business exists to make money......and the days where clients just turn up at your door ready to buy are long gone. Buyers are now much better informed! And you need to be as well.
The phrase User Journey is related to all the steps a user takes to reach their goal. In the case of buying something, the user journey is comprised of the steps they take before they make a buying decision. For example Internet searches, reading reviews, price comparisons, supplier comparisons etc. When you can map out the user journey you're then in a position to place content on all the points a user comes into contact with.
Really......this comes down to having some basic knowledge of marketing and how it can be applied within your business sector. This is the AIDA model which is now over a hundred years old, but it's still very valid today.
AIDA stands for:
Attention: Get your potential customer to notice you.
Interest: Find a way to hold that attention to build interest.
Desire: Persuade the customer to make them want your product or service.
Action: Get the customer to make that conversion.
And these days you could possibly add an R for Retention! Because you don’t just want to simply convert a sale, you also want to gain a customer for life!
The basis of all this is knowing your customers' requirements! You have the knowledge about your industry.......so you need to demonstrate that on your site and on Social Media channels!
Google rankings are obviously important, and if your site delivers information which is a useful resource to potential buyers then Google is likely to rank it higher. Ask yourself......how useful is your site in that respect? Forget about whether you like the nice pictures on there or whether it's a pretty colour. I'm talking about delivering value and information to users.....because that is what Google and Users are interested in. Of course the site must look professional and attractive, and be user-friendly. But the overriding criteria that you will be evaluated on is your content.
But don't solely focus on Google to the exclusion of everything else! These days it appears that their first pages are now full of Ads! Obviously that's where they make their money! So you now need to explore other ways of getting in front of users directly, thereby cutting them out of the equation. Fortunately the Social Media boom of the last 10 years has given everybody a direct path to potential clients. And again......this is where the quality content is important.
Look at the AIDA marketing model above and you can plan your posts in such a way as to hook people in at the start of the User Journey!
Great lead photo, interesting intro, then a link to the relevant page on the site. And driving organic traffic to your site is another positive signal to Google in terms of them evaluating your position in the search rankings. But be aware that it's a numbers game, so you need to accumulate followers on all the major channels, and whenever possible get them to share your posts.
To summarise.....know your industry, know your potential clients' requirements, get in front of them directly, and then take them on the User Journey. And the final destination on that journey is where they become your customer!
Facebook have announced that it has now completed indexing the 2 trillion posts that have been made to it's network!
In addition, it's made them searchable! So what does this mean to you as a business?
Well if you consider that billions of people spend 40 minutes of their time on FaceBook every day, and 20% of their time online is on this network......quite a lot. FaceBook's objective seems to be to position themselves as direct search rivals to Google. Their thinking seems to be if so many people are on their site, why make them navigate to Google and Bing for information? From now on, if they search for "Spain Property" on FaceBook they'll get a list of results related to this topic.....not just pages but also posts.
So if your FaceBook page has no recent activity and very few likes then that's not really going to inspire confidence in potential clients. The fact that your website looks great and has good Google positioning is irrelevant......because they may not even look at it.
I'm certainly getting more business related enquiries on FaceBook, so make sure you have mail notifications for these in place or you could miss potential client enquiries! Remember that social media activity happens in real time.....not Monday to Friday office hours! If you don't make contact promptly then somebody else will, and that's lost business.
This initiative by Facebook is without doubt a challenge to Google’s authority as the world’s most dominant search engine. So you can see how essential it is that you show up on these listings, because if people can find what they want on FaceBook, why would they go to Google or Bing?
It also gives potential clients the opportunity to see how you interact with enquiries posted publicly. Therefore, if your previous responses are unhelpful, or you don't even respond at all, then users are just going to go elsewhere. So in a sense, interested parties can now also evaluate you as well. It goes without saying that anything negative on there is now going to be searchable as well, so you need to ensure that nobody can post on your business page except you.
I know some of you will say that you don't like Social Media, but the fact remains that it's a very important marketing and promotional tool. And the bad news is that it's not going to go away. It's big now, and it's only going to get bigger with initiatives like this.....so don't get left behind!
So are you taking FaceBook seriously? If not, maybe it's time to reappraise the situation? Simply because FaceBook is now referring more traffic to websites than Google.
A new industry study shows that in July 2015 FaceBook pulled ahead by three percentage points in referral traffic to 38.2% compared with Google's 35.2%. Contrast that with 2012, when Google had 50% and FaceBook 10%......and you'll see that the balance of power has completely changed.
This is something that I've noticed for some time with this site, as we generally get a lot more hits from FaceBook than from Google's organic search. And that's despite the fact that we sit on the top of the search engine rankings. At first I thought this could be just an isolated occurrence, but it's now been confirmed by recent industry studies from www.parsely.com.
Want to improve your Social Media performance? Well in my experience, the best method to employ with all social media marketing is a little and often. Bear in mind that the average post on these networks has a "shelf life" of about 6 hours, so you need to be feeding information through on a regular basis. Just a few minutes a couple of times a day is all you need.
Be aware that you need to get a wide network of friends, followers etc in order to maximise your outreach. Because there's no mileage whatsoever in just talking to yourself. Try to engage with people by posting content that they'll want to share and interact with......but pick your times carefully. Early on in the morning and then again early evening is when you will reach the maximum audience. It goes without saying that a link to your site must be included, and the biggest attention grabber is a great image! The lead image is critical!
It's a numbers game! So the bigger the numbers the more you increase your odds of success. As an example, I have over 10K friends, likes, followers etc across all the networks. So in principle, this content could be seen by many thousands of those today. Nothing like this has ever been possible before, so use it to your best advantage. And best of all it costs you nothing.....other than a few minutes of your time!
The fact of the matter is that Google is now not the only show in town. So don't ignore the power of Social Media referrals or you could end up "outside looking in". It was possible to get away with that back in 2012, but those days are gone. And they're not coming back!
Everybody wants great search engine positioning, but the methods to achieve that goal have changed a lot in recent years. There are still technical elements within a site that are highly relevant, but the unscrupulous methods employed by some in the past no longer work. Essentially you cannot cheat your way to the top.....because you will get caught out and the penalties will be severe.
WebSpain have never employed any of these methods, we've always emphasised that quality content that delivers value to the reader must be paramount. So when Google changed it's algorithms in the past few years, none of our clients were penalised in any way.
Quality content is so important, and it must be content that engages with the user and delivers your business message in a clear and professional way. But having quality content that nobody reads is a total waste of time, and results in lost business opportunities and diminished brand awareness.
And this is where Social Media promotion comes in! Because this opens up a huge target market, and it costs you nothing except for a few minutes of your time every day.
How big is this market? In March 2014 Facebook reported it had 665 million active users each day which was up 26% from a year earlier. Even more surprising was that over 750 million people are using Facebook from a mobile device each month.....up 54% from 2013 figures. Which reinforces our message on the importance of mobile responsive websites being essential today.
So what can you do to get a piece of this action?
1. Ensure that you have FaceBook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, and Pinterest pages!
2. Share info from your site every day. Only a couple of items....a little and often is the best way.
3. Get more likes, friends, followers on these networks. If you don't, you're only talking to yourself!
4. Encourage user interaction and shares amongst your target audience.
5. Ensure your website is mobile responsive. Otherwise you'll lose out on that audience.
6. Be consistent.....this will only reap benefits long term.
People have said to me that they're not keen on Twitter, or Google Plus etc.....but the bad news is that they're still part of the game. Ignoring a major social media network because you don't like it is not in your best interests, so I'd strongly advise against it. And another very important factor is that search engines now include Social Media popularity as part of their algorithms. So besides getting you in front of more people you can boost your rankings as well.
Not convinced? OK....let me give you an example: In August 2013 I launched Motorcycle Sport purely as a leisure interest.....but I also used it as a new site to test the initiatives listed above. Since the time of launch I've focussed on Social Media promotion for it....nothing else. The site is a basic IP Board forum, no technical innovations, no paid Ads etc......just Social Media promotion.
At present, it has over 12,000 members with around 15,000 unique visitors per month, and the FaceBook page has over 3000 "likes".....which is rising every day. Please note that these are real "likes".....they're not paid "likes" which some people resort to using. There is no benefit in that whatsoever, you have not increased your real target market, and once again it's cheating!
All our "likes" are from motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide.....they want to see our content and have voluntarily decided to follow the page! And in many cases they share the content onto their Activity Streams, thereby putting us in front of more of our target market.
That's what has been done, and the image shows the results on Google for the term Motorcycle Sport Forum.
It's on page one at number one, ahead of major international media and publishing groups who have been established for many years, and probably have marketing budgets well into six figures. It cost me nothing except a few minutes of my time every day.
So you can make a difference, and you don't need to pay anybody to do it for you. It takes a bit of time and it does take commitment on a regular basis. But this example shows that no matter how small your company may be, you can take initiatives that can have a very positive longterm effect on your business!