It is no longer a question of whether social media drives leads and sales; the question is how does your business use this powerful tool to drive traffic and leads? Is your social media foundation working? Is social media one of the tactics used in your marketing strategy or is it something that happens at the last minute but may not relate to the overall corporate marketing strategy or promotion that is underway?
A strong social media marketing strategy will include a number of sites. How many sites depend on the size of the company and its resources, and the sites might also vary a bit by industry and segment of the industry, but the basic sites to include in your social media foundation are a blog, Facebook and Instagram. Depending on what the company’s focus is, you might want to include Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, SnapChat and/or Houzz, and of course, there is YouTube, a must-have for posting company videos.
Is Blogging Important for My Business?
Blogging is one of the best ways to improve inbound marketing and drive traffic to a website. Of course, blogs must be written and posted consistently with quality content that engages the target market and the search engines. Blogs need to be thorough and show expertise. They can range from 400 words to 2,000 or more while covering the subject matter completely. Blogging builds brand awareness while also attracting prospective customers. Each blog added to your website alerts Google (and the other search engines) that there is new content and gives their bots a reason to visit your site, crawl it and index the new content as relevant.
Associates in Building + Design sees a tremendous amount of traffic to its website from its blog and social sites. In fact, social media drove more traffic to its website than organic traffic six out of the last 12 months! Consistency and content are the keys to success for this custom home builder that offers remodeling and design/build services.
“We have seen more engagement outside of social media with clients and former clients chatting about out blogs with us in the community,” AB+D General Manager and Interior Designer Heather Schreiner said. “I think it has provided great branding for us to show our local engagement especially since we are definitely further out from the larger metropolis of Denver.”
Keep it local! Just like search first assumes that online browsers want the result that is closest, potential buyers are looking for products and services in specific areas, not an entire metro area. New home builder Highland Homes, located in Central Florida, keeps it local by writing hyper-local blogs about the 16 communities it builds in. This content provides home shoppers an easy way to find the builder’s homes no matter what city the homes are in or near. Additionally, Highland Homes dedicates content to first-time buyers through its Homebuyer 101 series. This content addresses common concerns that buyers have and alleviates some of their doubt. The quality content produced serves to attract both buyers and search engines – not only does it appear on the builder’s site, but it is used as the foundation of the social media program as well.
For more on blogging, read How Blogs are Like Jeans.
We Post Organic Content on Facebook, Do I Need to Spend Money on Ads too?
Facebook has one billion+ people on the site, and while this means your target market is there, it might be a bit hard to break through the algorithm and clutter of other ads and posts to reach them. This rings true for Page followers too. Just because they follow a business Page, doesn’t mean they see anything/everything posted by that Page. To combat this, successful Pages run a combination of organic or native posts and paid posts. Most businesses should post organically a minimum of three times a week to Facebook.
Basic Guidelines for Posting on Facebook as a Business Page
- All posts on Facebook include links back to the website or other client asset.
- Header image is changed quarterly to reflect new product, programs, services or promotions.
- Photo albums are uploaded on a regular basis.
- Videos are uploaded to FB natively (not just posted through from YouTube).
- Facebook ads are used to magnify organic posts.
- Video Shorts – 10 sec ‘videos’ of new programs, product, services or promotions.
- Facebook Live is incorporated to highlight new product or services, as well as staff.
- Custom Graphics are created to showcase new products and services.
Basic Guidelines for Advertising on Facebook as a Business Page
Denim Marketing recommends running Facebook ads with a variety of goals. To maximize effectiveness, install the Facebook pixel on your website. This will allow people who have visited your website to be retargeted when they visit Facebook.
Facebook Ad Types:
- Facebook likes
- Promoted posts
- Website clicks
- Click to call
Various Purposes of Facebook Ads:
- Event ads
- New Project/ New Service ads
- Promotion ads
By using a combination of organic and paid posts on Facebook, companies are able to reach new audiences, keep current followers engaged and generate traffic to the website as well as leads.
How Do We Generate Instagram Traffic?
Instagram doesn’t make it easy to generate traffic from organic posts, but it is possible using a few key tips and a strategy. Instagram wants traffic to stay on Instagram. This is why there isn’t a way to click through to a website from each post. Instead, Instagram users must tell followers to “see profile” for a link to their website. Some companies switch this link often, depending on what they are promoting, but that can be a super time suck for businesses that post a lot, as well as confusing to followers. Instead, we recommend that creating a custom Instagram landing page on your website. Highland Homes created one and its traffic from Instagram has skyrocketed. Visit the page here for an example: https://www.highlandhomes.org/ig.
Facebook ads that cross deliver on Instagram or standalone Instagram ads are the only way to beat the “Link in Bio” requirement – these posts allow viewers to click the entire post itself to learn more instead of clicking through to the profile view and that individual post’s link.
Basic Guidelines for Posting on Instagram as a Business Page
- Post frequently
- Follow others
- Engage and Interact with followers commenting on posts, and comment and like other posts as well.
- Don’t be scared to use #Hashtags! On Instagram, it is encouraged to use a minimum of 11 hashtags per post, up to 30 total per Instagram restrictions. There are ways to research hashtags to maximize the popular ones.
- Host a contest
- Consider creating an Instagram landing page on your website for linking.
Basic Guidelines for Advertising on Instagram as a Business Page
Instagram ad goals:
- Expand reach
- Brand awareness
- Local awareness
- Website clicks
- Video views
- Website conversions
Ads can be for various purposes.
- Event ads
- Ads to promote a project or service
- Promotion ads
Ads can display a variety of ways.
Don’t be shy when it comes to advertising on Instagram and Facebook. This is money well spent. The Denim Marketing team manages ad budgets ranging from $200 to $5,000+ a month. No matter what your budget is, it is possible to be effective on these sites.
For more content on online advertising read Reach Buyers Through Advertising.
Who Can Run My Social Media Program?
The number one push-back we hear on starting a social media program is, “I just don’t have the time. I know I need to do it, but I can’t add one more thing to my day.” Those who fall into this category should outsource to a reputable marketing, public relations or social media agency.
S&A Homes out of State College, Pennsylvania calls Denim Marketing the foundation of its social media program. Each month we create a calendar of social media posts for the builder’s various sites. These posts tie into the overall marketing program and what is being promoted to buyers via the website, blog, advertising, email, etc.
“Social media is one thing that I just don’t have to worry about,” SA Homes Online Sales and Marketing Manager Janice Glessner said. “I know our social media foundation [the basics] is covered in a thoughtful way to entice traffic and conversations.”
Denim Marketing makes social media easy for the company’s it partners with. We recommend creating a content strategy that includes developing original content for the various social media sites. This original content takes into consideration unique selling proposition, news, trends and more. A full social media content calendar should be developed monthly for Facebook and all of other social media sties and once approved, this content is posted natively to Facebook, Instagram, etc.
To further detail how we work, each month, depending on the level of service needed, clients receive the following:
- Month-End Report – recaps successes, details traffic sources, showcases top posts, review advertising costs per campaign, suggests next steps and lists upcoming content for the next month. Typically, this report is covered on a monthly call with clients.
- Social Media Content Calendar – details each individual post for the next month. This includes the exact copy, link and photo or custom graphic. Once clients review the Social Media Content Calendar, this content gets scheduled for the month on all sites.
- Social Media Advertisements – Whether likes, sponsored posts or ads, clients have a chance to review and approve the copy and audience.
- Blog Posts – Throughout the month, clients will receive blogs for approval. Our goal is to spread them out to keep the search engines coming back to index the site.
Denim Marketing partners with a number of companies to power their social media. Who is powering your social media foundation? Whether you need social media for home building or remodeling business, social media for a utility, design firm, mortgage company, closing attorney, construction product, we are here to help! Please contact us here or via phone at 770-383-3360 to schedule a call to discuss how we can help you succeed at social media in 2019!