Since the first Facebook post, Tweet and Instagram upload, social media has brought about something of a technological and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18013662 social revolution. Social media is a part of most people’s everyday lives as we share information, pictures ad stories online with friends, family and wider audiences. Whilst social media might provide entertainment and help us keep in touch with people, for businesses it is a highly competitive environment where thousands of businesses of all sizes are competing for the attention of potential customers.
Social media is important because it builds trust in a brand, allows people to share reviews online and gives businesses an opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships with its customers. Because there is so much competition and so many businesses all wanting to talk to targeted groups of potential customers, effective use of social media is about more than just posting some interesting content.
Developing a linking strategy which helps to promote your brand is an essential part of any digital marketing activity, but every social media platform that you use needs a different approach which reflects and recognises the particular nuances of each platform. This activity also needs to consider the users for each platform and the reason that you are using that platform in the first place. It’s also important to have a method for monitoring impact and engagement with social media.
Done well a linking strategy will; help to optimise links, increase website traffic, improve brand awareness and enhance visibility on search engine results pages.
The recent pilot to increase Tweets from 140 to 280 characters has delivered an increase in the number of tweets but has seen no real difference in the length of tweets! Twitter works really well for linking content. Over 90% of all Twitter content is focussed around clickable links. To make the most of this opportunity, here are some tips:
- Make sure tweets are brief and succinct
- Make sure links are clear, and that your bio also features links to your website
- Twitter offers a ‘pretty links’ PlugIn – make sure you’re using it to help make your tweets more noticeable
- Use a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule Tweets – you might be busy during the daytime when your customers might be looking at Twitter, so use a solution that keeps your business engaged when it matters to your customers
Facebook offers a number of promotional opportunities from creating a page through to PPC advertising targeted at specific demographics. Increasingly Facebook has repositioned itself as a platform for sharing between friends and has downplayed the commercial aspects of the site. This means that linking is even more important. So, when you’re putting content of Facebook always make sure:
- Links are visible so people can see them – this is known to deliver increased click-throughs
- People have limited attention spans, especially when scrolling through their updates, so keep descriptions brief
- Images and videos are always going to capture people’s interest (and Facebook likes this sort of content as well)!
- At least occasionally that you offer information and content for free
- And don’t forget to promote competitions and freebies to get people through to your site
Although less focussed on linking content, Instagram is proven to help with business engagement – and business that use the platform well benefit form much higher engagement rates than Facebook! Remember that Instagram won’t allow you to put links on your posts, so there are other ways to maximise your use of Instagram:
- Adding a pretty link to a biography is really helpful to encourage engagement
- Adding a deep link to your website to take people into a specific part of the site is often more effective on Instagram than simply linking to your home page
- As Instagram is an image led platform, high quality images are absolutely essential. Creating a photo library of high quality imagery will help maximise the impact of Instagram.
So remember, Facebook and Twitter are great for links, but effective linking on Instagram is likely to have a far more impactful result when it comes to customer engagement!