If You Build It, Will They Come?
nce you do enter the world of social media, be forewarned that it will take time to see results. Be patient and set sensible goals, advises Smith.
“Your customers may follow you or they may not. Trying to find that niche is kind of hard,” he says. “If you go into it with realistic expectations and an idea of what you want to communicate with your customers, you’ll probably reap the benefits in the long run.”
Ragan can personally attest to the advantages of social media. Since engaging in social networking, Atronic Alarms has increased its Web-site traffic by 78%. Meanwhile Sonitrol of the Carolinas, which hired Branham exclusively to manage digital marketing, has experienced success as well. Considering that the company had no social media presence at all last year, Web traffic is up 100%, while online leads have increased 600%. So don’t fret if your social networking sites have yet to accumulate millions of followers. After all, quality counts, not quantity.
“Just because you have 1,000 people who like your [Facebook] page, it doesn’t mean that those 1,000 people actually follow your page,” O’Neal says. “If you have a smaller number of followers who actually engage in answering questions, that is definitely worth more than someone who has clicked on your page and never comes back.”
Bell agrees. “Facebook has differences between engagement and interaction, even though they seem synonymous,” he says. “They are actually different things as far as people who ‘like’ and comment versus people who click and consume. If our followers were to click on a picture or link, that’s a different number than people that ‘like’ our page and comment.”
In a nutshell, grab the bull by the horns and get started, Miller implores. Eventually, all your competitors will use social media marketing to reach customers and leave you in the dust.
“Social media really is the future; it’s where things are going,” he says. “It’s something that everyone really has to include in their mix today to communicate with customers.”
Ashley Willis is Associate Editor of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be contacted at (310) 533-2419.
Web Tools to Manage Social Media
Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote a company’s brand and products. It can also be a time-consuming endeavor. Below are some free online tools and applications to ease updating, maintaining and monitoring social networking sites.
- GoogleAnalytics (google.com/analytics) — Lets users see how much traffic is driven to their Web sites via social media networks.
- Facebook Insights (Facebook.com) — Allows users to monitor the success of their pages and posts and whether or not followers are engaging in them.
- HootSuite (hootsuite.com) — Used for both Twitter and Facebook, this tool helps users manage multiple profiles, preschedules posts and measures social media progress.
- Tweetdeck (tweetdeck.com) — Allows users to view replies and public tweets as well as group tweets at the same time.
- SocialBro (socialbro.com) — An analyzing tool that tells users the best time to tweet to your followers.
- TweetReach (tweetreach.com) — Measures the reach and effectiveness of tweets with detailed metrics.
- Bit.ly (bit.ly) — Shortens URLs and offers analytics and click data for every link shortened.
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