Strengthen Your Marketing Strategy

June 1, 2010

What social media can do for you

Social media allows you to communicate directly with prospects and customers, increase your business’ visibility and listen to what is being said about your company. Social media by itself, however, cannot substitute for a marketing or public relations strategy, control customer dialogue or guarantee sales. Before you implement any social media program, evaluate your business goals to determine if social media engagement is right for you.

Growing Numbers

According to reports, the number of Web users engaging in social media has nearly doubled since 2008, encompassing nearly 50% of the U.S. population. A Facebook Fan Page or a Twitter account is a great way to reach and engage the networks’ massive audiences. Leverage social sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to enhance your current marketing mix and put your business in the spotlight. Use a social network to announce a discount on installation, product innovations, new water treatment technologies and standards and special deals.  

Brand Forum

According to recent research, 20% of tweets and 70% of blogs mention a product or business name. Social media acts as a modern, global public forum where businesses and brands are openly being discussed, both positively and negatively. A Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey discovered that 90% of respondents from more than 50 countries trust the online recommendations of their peers. Encourage past customers to post a positive review on your fan page and put your business in front of their online contacts.  

Foster Conversation

Have a tip or methods that homeowners can use to test their drinking water? Spread the advice. Engage users and become a valuable resource. Develop a strong following and
harness social networking sites to foster conversation. You can participate in discussions regarding water quality solutions, positioning your business as a leading expert.

Social Search Results

Research suggests that social media users are increasingly likely to search social networks for a business or company as they engage with that online network. ComScore, Inc.’s latest data shows social search increasing from January to February 2010, even though most social networks do not offer true search functionality. However, a recent study discovered that 77% of searches conducted for brands resulted in top listings originating from third-party Internet users. Do not let others speak for your business.

Reputation Control

In any industry, a negligent customer service incident, a photo of a technician napping or leaked proprietary information can spread like wildfire on the Internet, possibly resulting in a crisis. A damaged reputation can hinder growth. Utilize social media’s ability to connect your business with target audiences quickly. When a crisis strikes, these types of sites can allow for an effective statement to be made immediately in real time, dousing reputation issues.

Improve Website Traffic

A tweet or Facebook update may not flood your website with qualified prospects, but every shared inbound link helps lift your business’ listing to top positions. Internet users trust organic (non-paid) listings. Typically, higher search rankings generate up to 50% more clicks than top paid listings. Social media can increase the amount of traffic to your website, thus improving your business’ overall search visibility.

Increase Page Ranking

A proactive Twitter persona increases the quality and quantity of customer-generated content that search engines and social searches are destined to highlight. Capitalize on the popular trend of sharing links through tweets, blogs, Facebook updates and more. Benefit from search engine optimization enhancements to increase your organic page ranking.

Walt Denny is president of Walt Denny, Inc. For more information, contact Denny at 630.323.0555 or by e-mail at walt@waltdenny.com.

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