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How to reach more potential customers using social media

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In the third of her articles on how golf clubs can improve their marketing on social media, Lily Hymes looks at proven techniques to get more followers – including potential customers – online.

The main aim of any marketing activity is to reach more customers, and just as importantly, the right customers. This month, I’m going to talk you through how you can do this using your social media channels, so let’s dive right in!

Be social

Social media platforms favour ‘great social media users’ and one of the most important activities to undertake in order to be a great user and in turn reach more potential customers is to be social! Social media is called that for a reason, so follow, like and comment on other people’s content. Appreciate, share and have an opinion. Social media algorithms encourage genuine, positive behaviours on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies and more.

I’d suggest following local businesses or venues you admire, news outlets, players and bloggers as well as brands that inspire you and create fantastic content. If you like someone else’s content, tell them! Have a question? Ask it! Found a great piece of news relevant to your business? Share it! These things are important elements of successful social media and the platforms will love you for it!

Engagement is key

Social media platforms don’t just favour great social media users; they also favour accounts with high engagement. You may wonder what I mean by this. I’ll explain…

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The way social media algorithms work is by putting your posts in a pool as small as one percent of your followers. If those people engage with the content, then it’s introduced into a larger pool. Slowly but surely, more and more people see it, but only if it’s engaging.

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How do you ensure your content is engaging?

Sharing valuable content (as opposed to promotional) is key. Sales focussed content is important for your business, but tends to be less popular. You could use the 80/20 balance here. Eighty percent of your content should be useful, educational, motivational and so on, while 20 percent can promote your venue.

As well as this, ask questions, reply to comments, talk to your followers, reach out to them and keep the conversation going to increase engagement! Remember to keep it friendly and professional, as your social media accounts are an extension of your business.

Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag

Hashtags are all about getting you seen, so use relevant and popular hashtags on all of your Instagram and Twitter posts (you don’t need to for Facebook). You may want to use a mixture of ‘trend’ hashtags (such as #FridayFeeling), industry hashtags (such as #GolfClub) and location hashtags (such as #Manchester).

For Instagram, it’s possible to use up to 30 hashtags per post, but there is an argument that 11 hashtags is the optimal number, and can seem less ‘spammy’. I would recommend using 11 or more.

Hold competitions

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Competitions are a great way to get new followers and expand your reach. I’d recommend setting up no more than one competition per quarter, with a great prize on offer. You can run the competition across all your channels. In order to enter, encourage your followers to tag a friend / a group of friends – this raises awareness of your page to similar consumers, who may also follow the page / enter the competition – you could even state that the entire group must follow in order to enter.

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It’s in the timing

Posting at the right times is very important. Why? The platforms will push your content to more followers if your initial engagement (in the first hour or so) is good. So check your insights (Instagram) to find out when your followers are online, or post at recommended times for the sector, for example, one recommended time for food-related posts is around midday on Fridays (Facebook and Instagram), whereas for your Linkedin business posts, first thing Wednesday mornings are considered best.

Social media advertising

For campaigns where you’re looking to reach a specific audience, for example newly engaged couples for the wedding season, or a specific age range for a membership section, social media advertising is perfect and doesn’t necessarily need a huge budget. You can also use adverts to increase your page following, link to a specific offer on your website, generate leads and much more. If you’re unsure about advertising, I would recommend starting off with a small budget or using a social media expert.

Promote your channels

Everywhere that your venue has a presence should also showcase your social media platforms: on your website, in your clubhouse, on your business cards, flyers, posters, listings, your email signature, anywhere you can think of!

Don’t forget, you can also cross-promote your social media profiles. Turn your Facebook likes into Twitter followers and vice-versa. You want your presence to be known everywhere, which will ultimately grow your organic reach.

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Let me know if you found this advice useful by dropping me a note on lily@19social.net. In my next article, I’ll be sharing various content ideas so that you’re never struggling for inspiration!

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Bounce back

The importance of social media in business is more prominent than ever and never more so than in the wake of Covid-19. Jumping on the social media bandwagon is no longer a matter of choice, or a luxury, if your business is to succeed.

Download my latest free ebook here to find out how social media could help you bounce back post Covid-19: www.19social.net/bounce-back-with-social

Author:
Seamus Rotherick

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HOWTO'S

How SEO Works in Digital Marketing

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.

SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.

Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.

This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.

How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?

What is SEO?

SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.

Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.

Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:

  • Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic,  it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.

In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.

Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.

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Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important

The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means. 

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SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?” 

Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:

  • Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers they are looking at. Part of the persona developing process should be the development of the “digital persona” – what websites and search terms are these people looking for? This helps the product marketer when it comes time to develop messaging, as that is going to be critical for developing the content, so the right search terms better be there!
  • Field Marketers responsible for the campaigns need to know how SEO fits within their campaign, how it in fact is core to our demand generation, and how to make sure to keep the campaigns integrated.
  • Marketing Communications is creating the content, so SEO should very well be top of mind for them, as the content itself will be critical in impacting how successful SEO will be.
  • But that’s not all! Often, other groups are creating content (Press Releases, Blog Posts, Presentations, etc.) that also end up on the web and impact SEO. Whether it’s Corporate Communications, Investor Relations or even Legal teams, working with them is critical.
  • IT manages the infrastructure and can be very critical to the technical aspects of SEO.
  • Sales and customer support teams are at the forefront of marketing talking to your future and current customers, so they need to be involved in the SEO strategy. Creating relevant content goes beyond keywords. It needs to address real problems and answer actual people’s questions, and your client-facing teams will be your best source of inspiration here.  
  • Executives also care! While they can’t often influence the day-to-day of SEO, they will care a lot about the bottom line, to which SEO contributes.
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Educating all of these people about SEO helps empower them, as well as position yourself, the SEO, as the subject matter expert who is not just someone back-office who gives very little visibility into the black box of SEO, but someone who is actively educating and contributing to the organization’s success.

Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

Additionally, SEO should be a solid part of any project launch as it impacts every stage of product positioning. From choosing a business name to choosing a website builder, your initial efforts should be driven by SEO best practices.

What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?

As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. 

Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.

As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 

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Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.

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Conclusion

SEO is the most essential long-term digital marketing strategy but to make it really effective, you need a knowledge team that is well-integrated into the company’s life. Good luck!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.

Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).

Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.

Source: Ann Smarty

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