Beat Negative Reviews about Your Business with Effective Online Reputation Management

Online reviews can impact your reputation and eventually your whole business. That’s a fact. Want proof? According to research, a massive 80% of consumers can change their purchase decision after reading a negative review online. They do this even if the business in question was referred by a family or friend as a separate study by LMG showed that of those who searched online for referred businesses, 52% looked for reviews or ratings. Online reviews are that powerful.

But reviews aren’t always bad. In fact, they can spur new life into your business and even boost your bottom line. What impact they make – whether positive or negative – will depend on what actions you take today. See what we mean through a short video on online reputation management.

Negative Reviews Are Bad for Business

It doesn’t get any clearer than that. If bad reviews about you or your business are present online, then you need to do something about them. You can’t just sit there and hope prospect customers who find them will be fair in their judgment. They will base your reputation on what they see and read online. According to LMG, 87% of respondents search online for more information about a business that a friend or a family member referred. Also, 85% of consumers read online consumer reviews just to determine if a business is a “good business,” according to a BrightLocal survey.

Meanwhile, findings by Cone Research show that reading a negative review online can spur 80% of consumers to change their purchase decisions. That means if there’s one bad review about you out there online and people saw it, 8 out of 10 interested buyers would change their mind about your product or service. You don’t want to lose that much of your market to competitors, right?

Inevitable: People Read, Write Reviews

Here’s the sad truth: whether negative reviews about you online are true or not, consumers are bound to read and believe them. Various research and marketing firms have already conducted studies on this topic and their findings are similar. BrightLocal says 78% of Americans online use reviews to decide whether to purchase a product or not. Some 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Nielsen’s figure is a bit lower – with 70% trusting online reviews – but is still significant. Another respected research company, Forrester, says 71% of consumers trust online reviews.

People even use all types of devices to find more information about a business a friend or family referred. According to research by LMG, 41% use a laptop, 25% use a mobile phone, 25% use a desktop computer, and 8% use a tablet in their search. They will look for you and your reviews, whatever device they currently hold in their hands.

Not only do people seek out, read, and believe consumer reviews, they also write them! In fact, 50% of all Internet users aged 18 and above have left a review online. Needless to say, you cannot escape online ratings and reviews; you can only deal with them.

Be Positive: Seek Help from Happy Customers

While you cannot prevent customers from posting their opinions of your products or services online, you can encourage your happy customers to leave nice remarks about you on the Internet. You can also collect their positive statements and publish them online. You cannot use fake reviews.

The best way to dilute the effects of bad ratings is to have more positive ratings. A study by Dimensional Research found that 90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive reviews influenced their decision to buy. In the social media sphere, Chadwick Martin Bailey / iModerate Research Technologies found that 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of.

Beyond Reviews: Online Reputation Management

To give prospects the best possible perception of your business, you need to start beating bad reviews with better ones. But that’s just the start. Online reputation management is more than just publishing genuine consumer reviews; it means giving you and your business a positive visibility anywhere on the web, from your own website, to search engines, to reviews sites, to social networks. Here are a few tips based on our experience with online reputation management:

• Always ask for initial consultation with an online marketing agency or reputation manager before you do business with them. This gives you an opportunity to feel whether you like to work with them or not. This is also the time to evaluate the agency’s knowledge on ORM.

• Seek reports. An in-depth web reputation analysis is crucial to know where you currently stand against your competitors. A keyword research report shows what keywords you need to target for the ORM campaign. Use these keywords for your articles, blog posts, and other content.

• Publish genuine consumer reviews only in relevant websites. Always take into consideration your niche, target market, and location in choosing where to publish the reviews.

• Optimize your social media accounts, especially Facebook and Twitter, so your “official” accounts become more visible than fake accounts or negative reviews that are out to ruin your reputation online. Then, join groups and discussions using your official accounts.

• If your website doesn’t have a blog yet, have it set up today and start publishing content that can outrank negative reviews about your business. Make sure the content uses the right keywords, is relevant to your target market, and will establish you as a trustworthy business.

• Finally, track everything. Know how many positive comments you were able to post in a particular timeframe. Know how many articles, blog posts, and press releases you published so you can track your progress. It’s nice to see ranking reports, too.

How We Manage Reviews & Your Reputation

We’re not shy to say that we are experts at online reputation management. We apply the tips above and do more. We start everything with research and back it up with reports. In between, we implement ethical and effective measures to ensure your positive media outrank negative reviews on Google. We use blogs, social media, and reviews sites to give you have a widespread, solid reputation all over the Internet. And best of all, we provide free in-depth consultation so we can analyze your business and target market – allowing us to prepare an ORM plan tailored to your business.

Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on online reputation management.

Website Audit Report: Why Your Website is Not Ranking on Google & Driving Sales for Your Business

Through their website, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are able to compete with larger corporations that are equipped with bigger marketing budgets. It’s no surprise that SMB owners ranked “website” as their top digital marketing solution. They also think it’s more effective than email and social media. With owners putting this much value on their website, it’s normal to think that they are also investing heavily on site troubleshooting, maintenance, and optimization… or so we thought.

When was the last time your website underwent a thorough audit report? Six months ago? Last year? If you answered “never,” you’re part of the majority of SMB owners who may be in trouble. Because really, terrible Google rankings and poor user experience are just the tip of the iceberg. Discover how you can detect your website’s major issues today, before it’s too late.

Poor User Experience Blocks Sales, Referrals

If you have a website, that’s good news. You now have a tool you can optimize to give your business a solid online presence. However, simply getting a website is not enough. In fact, if you do not optimize it to give visitors a good user experience, your website could even do your business harm.

Research by Forrester and Akamai found that 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again. Some 64% of respondents said they would purchase from another online store if they are not satisfied with site performance. In a related study, Jupiter Research and Akamai found that 75% of respondents would no longer buy from a retail site if it freezes or crashes, loads or renders too slow, or involves a convoluted checkout process.

What makes poor website usability extra dangerous to your business is visitors’ tendency to share the bad experience. Some 27% will tell their friends and family about it. Poor website user experience therefore doesn’t just prevent you from getting sales; it also robs you of referrals.

49% SMB Websites Guilty of Usability Issues

While poor user experience leads to loss of sales and referrals, many SMB websites have usability issues. Forrester found that nearly half (49%) of all of websites do not comply with basic usability principles. The same research and consulting firm found that 50% of online sales are lost because visitors can’t find the content they need. If your website is full of usability issues, then you are turning away customers.

In most cases, these issues are too glaring. For instance, according to BIA Kelsey and other sources, an alarming…

• 60% of SMB websites are missing either a toll-free or local telephone number on the home page
• 65.7% had no form-fill option to allow consumers to request information
• 74.7% were missing an email contact link on the home page
• 91.2% of SMB websites don’t have a Facebook widget (e.g., “like” button)
• 94.6% lack a Twitter widget (e.g., “follow” button)

Low Google Rankings Cause Online Invisibility

All owners want to rank on Google. Higher rankings on search results mean better visibility, more traffic to the website, and more prospect visitors that can be converted into leads or customers. That’s why owners spend their marketing budgets on SEO, or search engine optimization. And that’s good—that’s the only way to level the playing field and be able to reach consumers searching on Google. But here lies the problem with this approach.

Typically, owners, after getting a website done by a freelancer, will then look for another freelancer offering SEO. This approach works if your website is fully functional and does not have any underlying issues that are not visible to the common eye. Problems like faulty coding could prevent SEO from fully benefiting your website. That’s like trying to fill a bucket full of holes. No matter how much optimization you conduct, if the website is faulty, it will not rank.

No wonder, 26.4% can’t be found in an online search, according to the SMB DigitalScape report. Some 56% don’t even have on-page keyword information, which is crucial for search engines to discover and rank your web pages.

Impact by Search Engine Algorithm Updates

Let’s say your website offers visitors a good user experience. For some time, it even ranked well on Google and other search engines. And then, all of a sudden, your traffic started to plummet. You notice your website no longer ranks for the keywords you used to dominate. In worst cases, it doesn’t even appear when you search the actual business name. What happened? Chances are you were hit with a penalty. And it’s most likely due to non-compliance with algorithm updates.

According to marketing software maker Moz, Google changes the algorithm it uses to find and rank web pages between 500 and 600 times a year. Most of these changes are minimal, but there are some that shake the online marketing industry every now and then. For instance, in 2011, Google launched its “Panda” update, which targeted “thin” websites or those with poor quality content. SEO Round Table, a respected forum on search marketing, polled its members and found that 40% were impacted by the update negatively. Other major changes were “Penguin” of 2012 and “Hummingbird” of 2013.

So, if your website suddenly showed signs of sudden loss of traffic or lower rankings, it could be due to non-compliance with algorithm updates. Poor search visibility means your prospects have trouble finding your business (your location, phone number, product and service details, etc.) online. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.

Website Audit Report: Crucial Areas to Focus On

To know exactly what’s wrong with your website, you need a comprehensive website audit report, particularly in the following areas:

Market Research and Analysis – For more online visibility, know what keywords will actually help your web pages rank. A combination of manual and software analysis is the best option.

Content – See if it is geared to drives sales and is compliant with algorithm updates.

Site Structure – Internal links and tracking systems must be thoroughly checked.

Web Design – It should be mobile responsive (loads in all screens and devices, including smartphones and tablets) and the template should look professional.

Page Title and Meta Troubleshooting – Duplicate and missing information can gravely affect SEO.

Backlinks Analysis – High quality inbound links help in rankings. Check your backlinks.

Error Troubleshooting – Problematic codes could block search engine crawlers from discovering the site and ranking it. Error pages can turn off prospect customers.

Others – Page load speed, bounce rates, malware, and other factors must also be audited.

Free Consulting: Audit Report for Your Website

Usability problems lead to loss of sales and referrals. Non-compliance with algorithm updates and poor website backend, meanwhile, can prevent search engines from displaying your web pages on search results. Other factors like malware infection or slow page load time can aggregate visitors’ negative perception of your business.
As your website is and will always be your No. 1 digital marketing platform, you need to ensure it fairly presents your business. Make it stand out and visible. When prospects visit, give them the information they need and the reason to call you or visit your shop. So whatever issue your website is facing, you must start resolving them today. The first step is always getting a website audit report. Know the problem, and then solve the problem.

We’ll give you free consulting on website audit so you’ll understand how our service can detect your website’s issues today. Call us now or send us a message so we can schedule your free consultation.

Online Marketing Company and Services Overview: How Does Our Agency Actually Work?

The necessity for your business to have an outstanding online presence and website has never been greater. For this reason, many local business owners like you are trying their best to find digital marketing agencies that can assist them in their online business goals. However, those who have yet to work with a consultant or a marketing group have little idea on what exactly these types of companies do. So how does an online marketing and web design agency actually work? Using our agency as a case study, here’s how.

Online Marketing Company Overview

A digital marketing agency can bring your brand to the masses and ensure your image online is nothing short of impressive. However, you need to ensure that the agency is constantly aware of the current and historical online marketing industry statistics and trends as well as customer behavioral trends that affect your business. Trends they need to be aware of include Google algorithm updates and developments in mobile-friendly web design. Your agency must also be at the frontlines of the industry, constantly testing online marketing techniques based on research.
But more importantly, the online marketing and web design agency must have the desire to make your business much more successful.

Good Agencies Actually Listen: Intake Stage

No one knows your business and your goals more than you do. That’s why your agency must take the time to listen and understand your business, products, services, and who and where your customers and competitors are. They must take note of your past marketing activities to give us a clearer picture of how to help you. This is the intake stage and we use it to learn more about you.

Engagement via In-depth Consultation

When you are looking for a digital marketing agency, make sure they are a company that can provide a unique consulting experience to you. Though this experience can be achieved in many ways, the most effective is comprehensive consultation. Through extensive engagement, your agency can create a customized plan to expand your online presence and increase the attractiveness of your brand.
We are proud to say that we are an agency that provides detailed consultation to our prospects. While the client gets to understand the value of the service they are looking to avail of, we also get something out of the consultation phase. We are able to better understand our prospect and their business – making it easier for us do all the technical work later on.

Effective Project Management

If your agency cannot manage projects effectively, you’ll encounter great headaches in your partnership. Effective project management entails ample capacity because if the agency cannot handle the load you put on it, it will crack under pressure. See to it that the agency can scale with you and can prioritize your projects, big or small.
More importantly, ensure that your responsibilities in the project are clear are at the very start. This will improve management from the intake stage down to the completion stage. For instance, in a typical SEO campaign, some of our pre-launch responsibilities to you are: managing your marketing expectations, communicating our customer support structure, and giving you a list of the requirements you need to submit. On your end, you need to understand the goals of the campaign, abide by agreed upon communication methods / schedules, and submit the requirements we need to run your SEO campaign. If things like these are clear early on, the project will run smoothly.

Efficient Processes and Workflow

Processes and workflow are usually built with time. What we can say is that we have been doing this for years and our processes and workflow are smooth and efficient enough to make the most of the time we spend together during the consultation and the intake. We also have sufficient experience to ensure smooth and fast movement of tasks from one stage to another up to the end of the project.
For instance, in a typical web design project, we would ask you to submit requirements which include the necessary information to build your website. Once all requirements are in, we’ll start the build phase. The theme will be installed, content will be uploaded, and if there are additional configurations needed, these will be arranged too. The build will then go through one or two rounds of revision before the “product” is installed on the hosting environment. You now have a website.

Cycle Includes Continual Improvements

We follow a cycle beginning with an in-depth consultation to identify your needs and determine the best strategy for you. We then measure and analyze the results and listen to your feedback so that we can make our online marketing efforts for everyone a success. We develop our services continually as the online marketing landscape to ensure the best results, regardless of what service we run for you.

Online Marketing Services Overview

One reason that makes us effective in handling your online marketing and web design efforts is our complete service set. From the “core” service SEO to complicated responsive website design to the relatively new Local Search, we can handle it all for you.

• SEO – Having a website (assuming you have one) is not enough. You need to OPTIMIZE it for search engines. Optimizing websites is called "SEO" or search engine optimization. SEO ensures that your web pages are crawled and indexed by search engine robots.
• Local Search – This ensures your business also comes up when prospects search in online maps, reviews, local directory listings, and check-ins in your area of operation. This is a focused marketing effort external to your website in the local, mobile, and social arena.
• SMO – One in every six minutes spent online is now spent on social media. Use Social Media Optimization (SMO) to ensure your business is present and visible in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
• PPC – Use Pay per Click (PPC) marketing if you're in a hurry to reach the first page of Google. PPC displays your ads alongside search results… instantly. It's perfect for websites where keyword competition is very high. And, you only pay when your ads are clicked.
• Remarketing – Similarly, PPC Remarketing lets you display banner ads to people who have visited your site and left. This gives you another chance to drive them back to your website so that you can get that lead or sale. They see your ads, you get brand exposure.
• ORM – While we cannot fabricate reviews for you, we can publish your genuine customer reviews in the right places – ensuring that positive results push down negative ones. Ask us about our Online Reputation Management or ORM service.
• Web Design – Get a website that is “mobile-friendly” or “responsive.” Why responsive? A Google study shows that 67% customers are more likely to buy from a website that is mobile friendly. 48% feel "frustrated" when viewing a non-mobile friendly website.
• Website Audit – An audit checks the website’s viability to receive optimization. You may uncover major problems that prevent your site from ranking on Google. This “check-up” also enables your agency to better assess your current online standing.

We take the time to listen to your needs through in-depth consultation, which we provide to clients before making any kind of service recommendation. And because we can deliver all these services to you, we’re confident we can help your local business succeed online. Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on online marketing.

PPC Marketing: Go ‘Non-Traditional’ Advertising for Instant Website Traffic

When business owners notice a drop in leads and sales, they typically launch a promotion and advertise it. They publish ads on traditional media – TV, radio, print, outdoor. And if they’re a bit technology savvy, they put promotions on their website. Problem is, these channels don’t always bring in the urgently needed store visits or the much-awaited online purchases. They should have gone with Pay per Click (PPC) advertising instead. Here’s why.

Cost and Complexity Perceptions Explained

PPC marketing can make your “instant traffic” wishes come true. Despite this, many business owners are reluctant to try it because it sounds complicated and costly. This couldn’t be any farther from the truth. PPC is simple to understand. Ads about your company display online when users search particular keywords in Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Ads may also display on many of millions of web pages online that have to do with your product or service. When people see your ad, they become interested and click it. They are then directed to a specific page on your website called a “landing page,” where you can convert that instant traffic into leads or even paying customers.

And as the name suggests, you only pay for ads that are clicked. Users who click are most likely the prospects interested in your products and services. The price you pay each time someone clicks on your ad is set by a bid. The higher you bid for a keyword, the higher your ad position will be on search results. If managed by a PPC professional, your campaign may drive you the most affordable and targeted traffic needed by your website and your business.

Boost Your ‘Slowly But Surely’ SEO Efforts

Search engine optimization or SEO is needed by any website to ensure it ranks well on Google and other search engines. It is a prime necessity. There is no debate there. However, not many businesses can wait for SEO to take effect. Depending on the competition, strategy, implementation, and other factors, it may take months before your web pages appear on the first page of Google for your target keywords. Some businesses simply cannot afford to wait any longer for more traffic to come to their websites.

PPC can bring your business instant customers and generate a return on investment in a very short period of time. Ads about your business appear online instantly as soon as the campaign is launched. PPC is the perfect complement for SEO as it allows your business to join the competition immediately as your ads make their way to the top of organic search results.

Why Not Traditional Media Ads Instead?

Advertising on television, radio, newspapers and magazines, and billboards has been around for quite some time. Yes, they attract attention. But here’s another truth: they are also expensive. And for small businesses needing that urgent boost in traffic, leads, and sales, traditional media advertising may not be the best use of your limited marketing dollars. While they may have a wide reach, they may not send you the website or store visits you need due to lack of targeting.

On the other hand, the PPC internet advertising model gives you much more control. There are many targeting options to reach your customers. Some of these targeting options are: by device, specific geographic location, language, days of the week, and specific times in a day. Depending on your campaign settings, your ads may also appear on various sites that are part of the Google, Bing, and Yahoo networks based on age, gender, interests, and many more.

When it comes to spending, you can set a maximum bid and budget on a daily or monthly basis. Your ads will automatically stop showing and you will not be charged further when you reach your spend limit. And because impressions and clicks can be measured, you can easily prove your campaign’s ROI.

Remarketing: Get the One That Got Away

Traditional PPC lets you skyrocket to the first page of Google without waiting for months, targeting only the prospects you need, and at a budget you can afford. But there’s another form of PPC that is becoming more popular to small business owners: Remarketing.

Also known as Retargeting, Remarketing gives you another chance to display your ad to people who have visited your website and left without buying or leaving their contact information. Remember, you don’t have their phone number so you can’t call them. You don’t have their email so you can’t send them a message.

With Remarketing, you’ll be able to “follow” prospects within the Google Display Network – a vast collection of over 2 million websites, including YouTube, Gmail, USA Today, New York Times, and other popular sites. This is amazing for branding purposes, and costs nothing unless they click on your banner ad. Wouldn’t that annoy prospects? Not if you limit how long ads are displayed, how often they display, how much time goes by between displaying ads. You have control of these options.

Let us help you instantly generate highly-targeted traffic to your website and increase your leads and customers. Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on PPC advertising.

Customers Are Searching for Local Businesses Online – and How Your Business Can Survive the Shift

Do you still think that a listing on the yellow pages is enough for prospects to find your local business? If so, this is a wake-up call. The truth is this: paying customers are finding more and more ways to research products and services in their area. Widespread Internet access and mobile devices enable customers to find what they need instantly, on the go, and with high buying intent. This also comes with the high propensity to share experiences online with friends. If your business is not capitalizing on this shift, then you are losing out.

Online Trends Affecting Your Local Business

Local businesses that serve a specific geographic area can no longer rely on simply placing their listing on yellow pages. Consumers are going beyond traditional methods of searching for products and services in their area. Here are some trends that you need to know:

  • Local Searches on tools like Google Places and Bing Local grew by 144% between 2011 and 2012 (comScore)
  • 86% of tablet owners made a purchase from their recent tablet-based local search (MarketingSherpa)
  • 72% of smart phone owners made a purchase from their recent smart phone based local search (MarketingSherpa)
  • 78% of all Internet users conduct product research online before making a local purchase (Pew Internet)
  • 80% of users stated they have changed their minds on making a purchase because of a bad review they read online (Cone Communications)

These are trends that your business simply cannot afford to ignore.

The Shift – How Prospects Are Looking for You

Based on the trends above, you’ll see that consumers are no longer dependent on print listings and other traditional media to find businesses they need. They are using the Internet and their mobile devices to quickly locate shops. In fact, a survey by Ipsos found that 61% of global Internet users are doing their research before making a purchase. Aside from traditional search engines like Google, prospects are using tools like Google Places, Facebook Places, and Foursquare. Local Search is a service that optimizes your presence in these location-based web properties. Through Local Search, you can ensure your business is optimized for local business listings, maps of major search engines, and the sites mentioned earlier. And frankly, if your competitors are as interested in success as you are, they will be optimizing their business for these increasingly popular tools as well — if they haven't already. To illustrate the power of Local Search, here’s a “personal” example. Have you ever found a business through Google maps? Checked-in to your favorite restaurant over Facebook? Or decided to visit a local store because you were influenced by a friend who did so? Then you've personally experienced what Local Search is capable of. These online local channels will help you, at the very least, ensure potential customers in your service area know exactly how to get to you and by reading reviews, learn why they should choose you over everyone else.

Crucial Areas Where Businesses Need Help

More than just knowing how Local Search works is knowing what pressing issues local businesses are facing. These issues need to be addressed immediately:

  • Duplicate Local Business Listings – Duplicates will confuse people and search engines alike. Prospect customers won’t know which listing is official and correct. On the part of search engines, they might split your listings’ authority between the correct one and the duplicate. This is one area you should definitely look into to be able to take advantage of Local Search.
  • Lack of Competition Analysis – Do you know where you currently stand in the race? Are your competitors being rated and reviewed by your prospects?
  • NAP Inconsistency – One of the biggest factors that affect local search domination is inconsistency of name, address, and phone number or NAP across all listings. Again, Google knows that if you confuse people with inconsistent information, your search results won’t be good for users, and it won’t rank those results.
  • Absence of Profiles on Major Channels – Be there when your prospects look for you. It’s a major mistake not to open your accounts on Google+, Facebook, and Foursquare.
  • Absence of Promotions – You need to attract in-store visits via deals and online check-ins. Posting promotions on key accounts can motivate prospects to check out your store and existing customers to return.

Manage the Shift – Help Prospects Find Your Business

Statistics show us that prospects are searching for local businesses online and increasingly via mobile. Your response should be obvious: move your marketing efforts online and ensure your local business is visible to those who need to find it. All of this starts with a shift in your mindset as the owner. You’ve seen how Local Search works through statistics. But more importantly, you’ve most likely already experienced its potential. You’ve felt it personally and you know it is no longer enough to rely on traditional methods to be visible to prospects. You need to be online, be visible, and be proactive. To survive the shift to mobile local searches and to thrive in it, you need to start using Local Search for your business right here, right now. Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on Local Search.

Social Media Optimisation: A Business Necessity, Not a Luxury

Did you know that within the social media space, there are conversations happening at this very moment that will define your brand? If you don’t capitalize on this vast and growing landscape, your competitors will, and you won’t like the outcome.

Business owners may not realize it yet but social media optimisation is now a crucial marketing necessity if their venture is to compete in this economy. The emergence of social networks over the past few years has changed the way businesses reach out to their audience. In fact, it is no longer enough to have a website, get backlinks, and rank well on Google. Today, a successful business needs essential elements: networking, awareness, engagement, trust, and loyalty – all of which are achievable through social media.

Business owners may not realize it yet but social media optimisation is now a crucial marketing necessity if their venture is to compete in this economy. The emergence of social networks over the past few years has changed the way businesses reach out to their audience. In fact, it is no longer enough to have a website, get backlinks, and rank well on Google. Today, a successful business needs essential elements: networking, awareness, engagement, trust, and loyalty – all of which are achievable through social media.

Social Media Optimisation: A Legitimate Business Need

You might still be wondering, just how important is having a Social Media Optimisation campaign for your business. Well, let us help you put things in perspective.

You might still be wondering, just how important is having a Social Media Optimisation campaign for your business. Well, let us help you put things in perspective.

  • 1 in 4 people worldwide are social media users (eMarketer)
  • 1 in 6 minutes spent online worldwide is spent on social media platforms (comScore)
  • It took 13 years for television to reach an audience of 50 million people (United Nations Cyberschoolbus)
  • It only took Facebook 2 years!

Without a solid social media optimisation strategy, it will be difficult for businesses to make the most out of this trend. Even coping with it will be a struggle. Social media is indeed growing and evolving fast. It's involving more and more people connecting with each other, sharing thoughts and feelings through status messages, likes, tweets, links, photos, videos, and etc.

How connected are you to your target audience? How many people are talking about your business? When a potential customer searches for your business' name on Google, are they going to find (aside from your website) professionally designed and updated social media profiles?

Social Networks as Marketing Tools

In the “State of the Media: Social Media Report,” global information and measurement company Nielsen reported that social media has changed how consumers are influenced to buy. “Consumer decisions and behaviors are increasingly driven by the opinions, tastes, and preferences of an exponentially larger, global pool of friends, peers, and influencers,” the report said.

The Nielsen study also found that, each month, social media users:

  • Read about other customer experiences (70%)
  • Learn more about business products and services (65%)
  • Compliment brands (53%)
  • Express how they feel about brands they like or don't like (50%)

This is both a challenge and a cause for celebration for marketers. While it will be more difficult to control brand messaging, it also opens up new channels for business owners to reach their prospects. If you have a social networking strategy, you can influence how prospects see your brand, and eventually gain their awareness, engagement, trust, and loyalty.

How to Take Advantage of Social

From account setup to maintenance and tracking, there’s a plethora of actions that can benefit the online social presence of your business. Some of the more important actions you can take, and take immediately if possible, are as follows:

Share Updates via Facebook – If you’re going to inform people of your events, updates, and promotions, make sure to include Facebook in the plan. The biggest of them all, the world’s largest social network now has 1.11 billion monthly active users.

Share Updates via Google Plus – Google’s own social network now has 500 million registered members, 359 million of which are active. Apart from its usual social properties, Google+ is crucial for marketing because of its SEO or search engine optimisation benefits. A recent correlation study by Internet marketing software developer Moz found that high ranking pages tend to have more +1’s.

Tweet Regularly – Establish your presence by posting regular updates on the micro-blogging site. MediaBistro estimates that 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter. Twitter’s own survey shows that 63% of people follow SMBs to show their support. Some 85% “feel more connected” to the business after following them.

Join LinkedIn Discussions – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 238 million members. It’s a great way to build your credibility and gain customer trust. Feel free to join relevant discussions in over 2.1 million LinkedIn groups.

Create Hype through YouTube – YouTube needs no introduction but to get a glimpse of its power as a web traffic source and social platform, here are some interesting figures. Over 1 billion unique visitors use it every month. Nielsen reports that YouTube has a better reach than any cable network when it comes to the 18-34 U.S. age group. Video is an exciting format and YouTube enables you to take advantage of it.

Social Media Optimisation Benefits

The problem with networking through social media is the time and dedication needed to ensure you have a regular presence. Your followers need to see constant updates on your accounts. Unfortunately, business owners cannot afford to spend all their time away from the core business posting status updates or commenting on discussions. Good thing we can help you in this area. It is, after all, our expertise.

We will help you:

  • Expand your network (acquire friends, fans, followers, connections, join groups)
  • Increase awareness (through tweets, status messages, posts, etc.)
  • Generate engagement (through discussions, commenting)
  • Promote trust and customer loyalty (with regular updates, promos)
  • And boost this further with the amplifying power of social media

We can draft a social media strategy that can help you achieve your business goals, and then help you execute the plan… so you can remain focused on your core operations, and push the business from that end.

We’re offering free in-depth consultation on how social media can help grow your business today. Call us now or send us a message to schedule your free consultation on Social Media Optimisation.