Creating a Social Media Presence

Creating a Social Media Presence


Creating a Social Media Presence

22.01.2013


Most of us are already familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linkedin, and many of us are active on a number of these sites. We have seen what social media can do for us personally; allowing us to connect with others,  find and share content at an incredible rate, yet what are the social media implications for businesses in Malta who are seeking to expand their customer reach and sales targets?

The presence of businesses and business pages in social media is growing; as of December 2012 there were over 13 million local business pages on Facebook, with 8 million regularly active pages. According to the latest statistics, approximately 150 million people visit Facebook pages every day, so the potential for increasing your audience is incomparable when compared to print advertising or email marketing.

With such an enormous potential for growth and an abundance of users from which to gain leads and sales, it is no wonder that many businesses in Malta are choosing to join the social media frenzy, whether they are large corporations or intimate, family-run establishments. However, simply creating a business page is not enough; creating and maintaining a social media presence requires dedication, much as it does for SEO. In fact, this type of social media marketing is today referred to as Social Media Optimisation, as search engines are increasingly relying on the recommendations of users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank pages in their search result pages.
The goals for SEO and SMO are very similar, with the objectives of both to increase brand and product awareness, increase website traffic and encourage crucial leads and sales.

They key to any business’ long-term success on social media is engagement and professionalism, and both ensure a solid presence that is reliable, relatable and above all provides its customers with a valuable client service when they need it.

Below are some important things to remember when creating a social media presence for your business:

  • Use your corporate logo and branding consistently to allow your followers to recognise your company and the products or services your offer. Make use of profile pictures, avatars, cover photos and photo albums to express your corporate identity to its fullest.
     
  • Provide accurate contact information: allow users to contact you via telephone, email and fax. Provide accurate opening hours (where applicable) and of course a link to your website.
     
  • - You are representing your brand, and so all comments and opinions should reflect those of your company and not yourself. When posting, sharing or even simply communicating with other users from your business page, a professional image is imperative. Objective feedback should be given, and you should always portray a positive image of your company. As with any page on social media, whether business or personal, etiquette and respect for others must always be considered.
     
  • Provide feedback: if a user asks a question about a product or has an inquiry, follow up with them as soon as you can and give them all of the necessary information. Engage them in your products and services by posting special offers, news and blog articles and information about your company.
     
  • Do not ignore users as they will quickly go looking elsewhere. Creating business to consumer relations is one of the most valuable assets that social media has to offer, so use it to its potential.
     
  • Post regularly. For the same reasons as SEO for websites, updating your business pages on social media not only keeps your content fresh and relevant for your users, but for search engines too.
     
  • Find your niche market. A niche is a specialised group of social networks that target a specific theme and focus on a specific user group and target audience. The advantages of niche channels involves better audience targeting, and higher engagement by your audience who are within the same fields of business and interests as your own company. Niche networking also allows you to carefully analyse and follow your closest competitors, discovering what strategies work for them, and how you can ensure that your business gets ahead and gains a greater Return on Investment. Some examples of niche marketing include LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, DeviantArt and GoodReads.


Social networking sites  give businesses the ability to share content to a much wider circle of followers through shares, Likes, follows, tweets and much more. The possibility of attracting potential new clients in areas where you may not otherwise have found them should not be taken for granted.

As with all aspects of your company, your corporate image, your website and your fundamental values, consistency is key. Updating your website alongside your social media pages and constantly reminding users of your key products and services will help create and maintain a stronger and more memorable web presence.

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