If your business does not yet have a web presence, you are already years behind the technology curve. But once you have established your internet presence with a nice looking website, the benefits of social media for business are many.
The Internet offers a wealth of knowledge for shoppers to self-educate when researching the products and services they're interested in. Studies show most people looking for information on your business will look to the internet first, and more than any other medium. And yes, this includes traditional phone books! In fact, 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine, according to research from Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance.
Your b2b website needs to be more than an online brochure.
Social media marketing for business has exploded. Allowing your website to remain stagnant on the internet for months or even years without meaningful interaction is not doing your business any favors -- much less your customers or vendors -- and is a waste of time and money.
There are many simple ways to make your website function less as an electronic brochure and more like a web application. Video streaming sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer an easy and free way to embed training videos or your business’s TV commercial on your company website. Most social networks offer code snippets to integrate social media button or live comments feed into your website with even the smallest bit of HTML knowledge. And for a small fee, there are countless services available to offer enhancements like live chat, knowledge sharing and event contests.
Internet users expect to be able to interact with the websites they visit and with the increasing popularity of social media they demand a two-way conversation with the companies they visit online. And social engagement isn't just good at generating web traffic, it's also good for business. According to data from Hubspot, 57% of marketers acquired customers from blogging and 44% acquired customers from Twitter.
Types of social media integration
Social media is here to stay and offers many ways you can engage your customers and vendors on your website. Social media allows a two-way conversation with your business and your target audience.
There are many social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube, and countless others, all of which can connect nicely to your website or company blog. It will take some research, planning and a little savvy to determine which platforms will be appropriate for your business.
Tips for social media integration
- Make it easy for visitors to connect with you. Put your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube buttons prominently on your website.
- Make it easy for people to share your content with others.
- Allow people to share your content with others using RSS feeds.
- Don’t broadcast the same message across all media channels. This is overkill.
- Don’t self-promote; provide valuable information.
- Save time by writing several brief posts in advance, then use a tool like HootSuite or Hubspot to schedule them.
How often should I update my website
No one wants to browse information on your website only to find outdated information on former employees, past events, discontinued products or worse, broken links.
A company blog is a great way to keep your customers updated on the latest company news, press releases and opinion articles. Plus, search engines like these types of frequently updated interactions. As a result they will likely place you closer to the top of search results with common keywords in your industry.
Studies show that traffic on Facebook spikes around Noon, and again around 7pm while Click thru rates on Twitter are also highest around Noon, lunchtime, and 6pm, when people are getting home from work. So how freqently to post your social messages depends to some degree on which social networks you're posting to.
Looking for a web vendor
The presence of social media has made marketing of businesses more cost effective and engaging than any other media in our lifetime. It can also be a time consuming task but does not have to be done all at once.
To save time it can be helpful to hire the services of social media advertising agency to manage your social media marketing. When looking for a vendor to develop your website it is very important to conduct thorough research on the company. After all, your web and social media presence is out there for the world to see. Depending on the scope of the project, this can be a large investment for your company. Here are some questions to ask yourself. How does the vendor's website function? Is it up to date with the latest technology and social media function? What is the experience of the person(s) working on your project? Check out our free ebook, "The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency," for some tips if you are considering hiring a professional social media marketing vendor,
If you commit to a time frame for implementation and engage one social network at a time, the benefits of social media for business can quickly become evident and you will eventually be viewed as the social media guru in your industry!