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3 Social Media Marking Tips for Small Businesses

Social media marketing is a powerful channel to promote a business on the web. For small businesses, social media is the glue that helps to support local brand awareness and customer loyal.

According to statistics from Pingdom (popular social media monitoring website:)

• The proportion of male and female social media use is almost the same (47% for men and 53% for women).

• 61% of people on Facebook are mid-aged or older (the average age is 37).

• Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 do not dominate any particular social networking website – they are spread all over.

Social Media Marking Tips for Small BusinessesGiven these statistics, small businesses have a lot to gain by taking the time to discover which social media marketing channels best suit their business and customers. By failing to use social media, businesses can lose out on an effective way to acquire local customers and build a strong community of valuable relationships.

To help give your small business a boost in social media marketing, below we share with you three tips to get your campaign going.

1. Promote Exclusive Offers

Whichever social media channels your business takes on, your campaign will be greatly improved by enticing your customers with a product/service that is not readily available elsewhere. You could also offer such exclusive offers as weekly coupons and free shipping to your fans or followers. The idea is to use social media marketing to incentivize your audience with something of value.

2. Monitor your Competitors

Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you come up with a comprehensive strategy. Analyze the presence of your top competitors and take into consideration the follow factors:

• The social networking sites where they are active

• The content published on these sites

• The number of views/fans/followers on each of these sites

• How specific programs, products, or events are promoted

3. Listen to Your Customers

Once you get your social media marketing campaigns underway, always keep top of mind the interactions you have with you customers. Even if it's a one-to-one interaction that seems small, listen and empathize with every individual customer that chooses to communicate with your company. If someone makes a comment or question, promptly address their inquiry in an appropriate manner. It's remarkable how special and individual feels when a business takes the time to respond to their post.

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Top 3 Social Media Marketing Sites for SEO

There are so many social media platforms out there that it's hard to determine which are in your business's best interests. If your company is also pursuing search engine optimization (SEO) as a means to direct traffic to the website, there's a few social media marketing platforms that can help bolster the SEO efforts of your business.

Below we highlight three of the top social media marketing sites that can help benefit your SEO strategy.

1. Google+

Top Social Media Marketing Sites for SEO

 If SEO is primary means for your Internet marketing, taking advantage of Google+ is a must. As one of the newest social media platforms, Google+ is like a hybrid of Facebook. However what makes Google+ much more powerful is that it is directly tied to Google search - which is a big deal for organic SEO.

Let's do an example. Joe, who is a Google+ follower of your 'marble cleaner' brand, performs a search on how to clean marble countertops. As he sifts through the search engine results, he notices a Google+ post that really stands out from the rest of the search listings. That Google+ post just so happens to be a Google+ post that you made regarding a recent article your wrote about "cleaning and caring for marble."

Instances like the example above are happening more and more as the Google+ community grows. It's Google's way controlling the quality and relevancy of its search results, all the while building its social media network. For this reason, Google+ social marketing goes hand in hand with white-hat SEO: produce superb and highly relevant content, and share it on Google+. Not only will this generate social signals to your content and website (+1 for SEO,) but its possible that your post could be seen in the search engine results (+1 for SEO!)

2. Facebook

The greatest advantage of Facebook is that it offers cost-efficient opportunities to inbound traffic to your website. Unlike Google+, you Facebook posts are not going to be seen in the search engine results of Google; however, your brand's profile page could very well be optimized for search.

It's thus important that you do not simply create a Facebook page and call it good. Rather, optimize everything you can on your profile to be as keyword relevant as possible. A few ways to do this are:

* Populate your "about" description, "products/services," and any additional fields about your business with keyword-relevant content

* Take advantage of custom URLs. You'll need to have a certain number of followers to do this, however it will significantly help the SEO potential of your profile being visible in search

* Build a link from your website and blog to your Facebook page

Currently, there over 300 million users on Facebook. Aside from the SEO advantages of this social media marketing platform, the ability to inbound direct traffic to your blog or website (via content sharing) is also a powerful technique. So although this isn't a direct benefit for SEO, inbound marketing via Facebook will improve the health of your overall web marketing strategy.

3. Twitter

In the last year, Twitter has grown in leaps and bounds. Similar to Google+, your posting activity in Twitter can actual be ranking in the search engine results. Also awesome for search engine optimization is that links from Tweets can actually help build authority from an off-site SEO perspective.

In fact, we have seen some Twitter pages that have incredible authority (or Google PageRank, to be specific.) This means that any Tweets blasted from an authoritative Twitter account can work wonders for SEO. And when it comes to off-site SEO for ecommerce sites, these tactics can help increase the rank of product pages (from both the link and social signal that's been established.)

The Takeaway

So if your business is investing heavily in organic SEO, these three social marketing platforms can help support your efforts and bolster your rankings. In without question that social media is impacting search. The signals from social media sites are becoming increasingly important in determining search rankings, so get on these three social media platforms and starting sharing excellent content with your target audience.

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