Social Media is Swell, But Don’t Forget the Basics

Oct 06, 2009 12:34 AM  By

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. There’s no doubt that social media marketing is all the rage – and everyone is either talking about doing it or already engaged in these social channels.

People want to know how to make social media work for their business, how to use it to generate leads and obtain more sales. And social media can help you do this, allowing the proper research and strategies are in place. But it can’t do it alone.

Optimizing your entire digital presence
There’s no doubt that social media is the shiny new marketing strategy. And it does and can produce results. But it needs a little help from those tried-and-true tactics that have proven to work with measurable results.

Yes, I’m talking about search engine optimization, pay per click and online display advertising. And more important, I’m talking about the power of integration.

Before you say, “Oh no, not that buzz word,” consider that the average U.S. consumer is exposed to as many as 3,000 brand messages each day. And it’s said that they have to see your brand message more than 12 times on average before they can recall it – let alone make a purchase because of it.

Now consider that greater awareness of a Website created by a paid ad can lead to more natural search engine traffic. In similar fashion, people are logically more likely to click on a paid promotional ad of marketers they recognize, such as those they’ve encountered during a natural search or a company they recognize from a banner ad.

And the same holds true for social media. This means that while social media is rising in popularity, it’s important not to lose focus on your other online marketing strategies. And now may be just the right time for a bit of a check-up.

Time for a status check
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner: A study we conducted last year showed that the week of Halloween marked a dramatic increase in conversions over the previous five weeks – indicating that Halloween is the actual start of the holiday shopping season. And to take advantage of that early start, the time is now to have your plans in place.

Hopefully, those plans include not only social media, but SEO, PPC and online media placement as well. Take a look at the following:

SEO: It’s time to evaluate your current keyword rankings. Is your Website listed in Google’s top 10 for your targeted keywords – or in other words, the same word that shoppers are typing into Google to find the products you sell? Searchers spend the bulk of their time looking at the first 10 results in Google, some often never make it past the third page. It’s important to ensure you are ranking in the top results.

And with the holiday season in mind – it’s time to start adding holiday related keywords into the mix. For example, if you sell snowboards, you should start optimizing for terms like “gifts for snowboarders.”

PPC: Look beyond your ad creative and positioning to something just as important – your landing pages. Are you linking your ads about specific items to specific landing pages? In other words, are you linking your customer to exactly what they are looking for, and expecting to find when they click on one of your paid ads? If a potential customer clicks on an ad for children’s snowboards, you should take them to a page that talks specifically about children’s snowboards, and not your home page.

Online display advertising: Take a quick look at how your current banner ads are performing in terms of clicks, unique visitors and conversions. If you’re not happy with the results, it’s time to refine. Evaluate the message that you’re using, the call to action, even the graphics. And don’t forget to also take a look at the audience that you’re marketing to. Display advertising can be incredibly targeted, from geographic location and age right down to individual behaviors. Make sure you’re advertising to your exact target audience.

Social media: You’ve done your research, chosen the right social channels in line with your target audience, setup your profiles and are actively engaged in the online discussion. Now the thing to focus on is followers.

You need to be talking to someone, and the more followers and fans (i.e. brand advocates) you can engage with, the better. Are you fully integrating your social media? In other words, are you optimizing your tweets and posts? Have you interlinked your different social profiles, and included links to each on your email signature and in your website?

By making sure that each of your online marketing strategies are intact, up-to-date and performing well, you’ll see a positive impact on your overall bottom line. So go ahead, try out the new marketing strategies like social media. But don’t forget about the tried-and-true.

Use them to strengthen one another, producing real, measurable results. And when the sales start flowing in, you’ll be glad you did.

Lisa Wehr is founder/CEO of digital marketing agency Oneupweb.