Social Media - client acquisition, conversion and retention

Posted: 21/06/2012ICreated by: Paul Sideridis

There’s no denying the internet has rapidly changed the way Australians communicate. We use it to entertain ourselves, learn new things, and of course shop without leaving our comfort zone.

It’s become an integral part of our everyday lives.

And that’s why local and international online marketing continues to outgrow both traditional and other marketing mediums.

However, many businesses are yet to make the most of their online marketing dollar by integrating their existing marketing goals into the new media. And now the online marketing landscape is about to change again.

Enter SEOcial

The meteoric popularity of Social Media saw Facebook quickly rise to the top place in online advertising by the third quarter, 2010.

In December 2011, Hitwise reported that Google.com.au was the most visited site by Australians, followed very closely by Facebook and YouTube.

Now things are changing again.

SEOcial - The convergence of internet marketing

We’re moving towards SEOcial – where the lines between Search and Social Media become increasingly blurred.

And that probably has repercussions for your current online marketing strategy.

While consumer’s use of social media is growing, it’s not just about likes and tweets. It’s about engagement between customers, partners and vendors. Managed correctly and with the right strategy, you can grow business value along with pre-determined outcomes.

When discussing SEOcial, it’s important to understand we’re not merely talking about Facebook or Twitter management and reporting anymore. We’re now looking at how it helps your business achieve specific marketing goals in an integrated fashion with other communication media such as SMS and email newsletters.

So, before you dive willy nilly into social media marketing, ask yourself a single, important question.

How can this new media assist me in achieving my existing marketing goals?

The answer? Fully arm yourself with complete, easy to understand analytics and tracking that you can customise to give you the information you need to know.

Knowing is half the battle

The best place to start is by reviewing what your competitors are doing in the local market.

Should you be a market leader then look to other regions or countries for upcoming trends, insights and initiatives.

Once you have a good snapshot of their online marketing campaigns, you can put a plan in place that allows you to integrate social media into your existing daily/weekly routine in a way that makes sense to you and achieves quantifiable results.

Do keep in mind that any campaign or marketing initiative can and will evolve based on consumer and performance factors. So it’s crucial you find a way to monitor this regularly.

criticone - Matt Hot tip: criticone’s uncomplicated SEO and Social Media tracking and reporting allows you to keep on top of your SEOcial initiatives.

Some of the key reasons businesses participate in social media includes customer service, community management and performance management.

Performance management shares the same goals as SEO – acquisition, conversion and retention.
Other areas primarily focus on engagement and nurturing your audience to ultimately build business value.

Social media effectively provides your business with a direct connection to its potential and existing client base, which can be used as a testing and feedback channel. It’s therefore vital to offer value to the end user, ensuring participation and brand loyalty in the form of word of mouth or future sales.

Remember, if you’re not doing it, your competitor probably is.

So, while metrics exist to monitor and track social media, unlike search engine optimisation (SEO) each social channel should be measured for different outcomes.

That’s because you’ll perform actions on Facebook and Twitter that have different desired goals and outcomes. This can include competitions to attract more followers, informative posts to establish and grow your authority or website exposure, and promotions that generate word of mouth and new business leads.

Social media can also be used as an effective business research tool. It can help you better understand what is being said about your brand, track competitor or industry activity and happenings, and ultimately increase the intel that allows you to make better business decisions.

How to get the right information

The sheer volume of analytics data and segmented reporting from different social media sites makes it difficult to work out and understand.

Automated tracking along with integrated data assists in providing clear and standardised reporting. The right product means less time spent tracking and reporting and more time analysing and taking action.

Social media is more than just likes and tweets. SEO is more than just ranking position or traffic. Make sure you take an integrated marketing approach and effectively measure and tie it to a business result.

So what should you be doing?

Given that one size does not fit all, each business should explore and trial SEO and Social Media while monitoring and reporting in order to define areas of benefit. Once you have defined and refined what works for your business, based on SEOcial intel, you can continue to explore and evolve this further over time.

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