I’m back and wrapping up the series on Local Search Made Easy. The series began with a look at “five must-haves for local success,” then we moved into “get listed, get optimized, get found.” Following that was “reputation management and reviews,” and we certainly couldn’t forget “websites that work.” Today we are exploring using social media, the great amplifier to enhance your online presence.
There is often debate on whether or not social media contributes to search engine ranking and local search efforts. Each time an authoritative source studies it, there seems to be a correlation, although it’s not officially called out by Google or Bing. Whether or not anyone makes a statement, the power of social media cannot be denied. It provides an opportunity to connect with consumers and to hear what they need; ideas for new products and services abound for those willing to listen to the consumer voice.
Facebook’s methods of doing business and the ripple effects they have are felt almost as strongly as changes within Google. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report for 2016, ad spend for those two powerhouses account for a 76 percent share of internet advertising. This is continuing to grow. Twitter is still trying to find its way when it comes to advertising but Snapchat is coming into its own.
Having said that, however, engagement on these and other platforms which are right for your business can change everything for you.
Amplify Your Local Search Efforts with Social Media
In the U.S. consumers spend approximately 19 percent of their digital time on social networks, meaning it is reasonable to expect to be able to reach them there. Following are three reasons to include social media in your local search strategy.
1. Connecting with a New Audience
Social media can take your message to thousands of prospective customers. There is no denying the power of social media as a place for people to congregate. Millions of Facebook’s members have volunteered tons of psychographic data to the network and left a digital trail through the pages, ads and other links they’ve previously clicked. Facebook has the ability to target users, not just based on demographic data, but also by their interests.
2. Driving Site Traffic
Social media provides a place to meet with and engage audiences, but businesses still need consumers visiting their websites.
- Using video to educate, whether through a live video or releasing a series of prerecorded videos, is always a win. Getting consumers coming back for more each week builds loyalty and increases awareness.
- Creating custom graphics that feature tips, stats and snippets of data, and including links to the site for more on the topic is a surefire method to get more site clicks.
- Revealing special offers on social media first and even exclusively builds a fan base that will keep consumers coming back, paying attention and buying consistently.
Ultimately, driving traffic to the websites where the business fully describes who they are and the products and services they offer – so the consumer can make a decision or purchase – is the goal.
3. Monitoring and Metrics
Most of the major social platforms have free metrics to track the reach and popularity of your posts. Third-party applications, like Buffer or Hootsuite, allow you to view, update and maintain several social media accounts and compare their effectiveness.
It’s also important to know how long they stay once they click on the website, what else they click on, and if they convert to a customer. Integrating Google Analytics will help track the path of the consumer once they hit the website.
Manage the time and money you put into various social sites and get the most for your investment.
It’s a Wrap
We’ve reached the end! OK, the local search journey is never truly over; Google, Bing, and the social networks are always evolving and so will we.
One final point as I close this series – you really can’t ever wrap up your local search efforts or your learning about local search. Jump right in and remember, you don’t have to do all of this yourself. We exist to help you.
Be sure to come back next week. I’ll have something good for you.