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Social Media for Business: How to use it to your advantage

Social Media for Business: How to use it to your advantage

Recently, we covered how home builders can quickly grow a following on Twitter. Thanks to the feedback, Forthea is returning with another social media how-to blog post for home builder marketing and SEO. Social signals (or social media activity) on the page and domain level are among the fastest growing search ranking factors according to SEOmoz. In addition to search engine benefits, Social Media Examiner says businesses leverage social media to connect with customers and become more visible. However, only 44% of small business decision makers use social media, and businesses only respond to 1 in 3 customers on social channels. When comparing these data points, it is apparent that a gap exists between the perceived importance and actual usage of social media. Using our expertise of SEO in Houston, we would like to help you bridge that gap on Facebook.

 1. Engage With Fans

One of the largest missed opportunities for Facebook optimization is simply responding to your fans. As mentioned above, marketers on average will only respond to 30 percent of their customer interactions on social media. That is a huge missed opportunity.

Put aside the content you publish during customer interaction, just think about the opportunity to place your brand personality in the forefront of a customer’s mind. We have a saying at Forthea, “What’s good for the customer is good for SEO.” 15 minutes responding to questions could be more profitable than 5 hours spent on SEO.

Are you struggling on how to engage with your fans? Take a few minutes to talk with your salespeople. Find out what they say in conversation with a customer, or how they put to rest objections about your product or service.

2. Find Out Peak Times

Like telling good jokes and stories, social media depends on timing as much as it does the message and messenger. Even if you publish compelling posts, they are of little use to your brand if published at 2 a.m. Granted, it is tough to find out times which your posts will be most visible. However, there are some tips and tricks we’ll share with you to get started.

According to digital agency Raka, Wednesday at 3 p.m. is the best time for post click-through rates on Facebook. In more general terms, this infographic highlights weekday afternoons as the best time to post. However, this may be different for your brand! A free application that works specifically you’re your page is Buffer App. When you enter posts in the application, it automatically schedules your posts for optimum visibility in your networks.

Some digital marketers have already figured out best times to post, but have trouble being in front of a computer to actually post.  HootSuite is a useful social platform for posting and scheduling, with free and paid versions. If all else fails, don’t forget that you can always ask your customers what works best for them.

3. Get your fans to add you to favorites

One issue our Houston social media marketing team sees frequently is a lack of reach to existing Facebook fans. It’s a tough issue for all marketers. With proper outreach, you can maximize your exposure to fans. Did you know that most fans like a page and never return to it?

Facebook has recognized this challenge, and has presented an option to stem one visit likes. Facebook allows users to bookmark or favorite a page, so it remains prominent to a user. Encourage your users to do this through promoted posts and incentives.

4. Offer incentives for your page and posts to be shared

Not so long ago, a wise communications professor told my university class that people don’t do things just because you want them to. Rather, people need incentives to produce action. This is especially true in the space of Facebook transactions. The concept of incentives is simple, yet the execution is complex.

Ask yourself, why would someone interact with my brand’s posts? There are three basic incentives you can use on your page: Recognition, reward and ownership. Each month, your brand can recognize the top fan in a special post. This publicly thanks fans for their business, and encourages other fans to interact. Rewarding fans is also a great method to encourage interaction. For example, offer a monthly discount code to each fan that shares a post. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the types of incentives! The last form of incentive is ownership, the whole idea behind social media. Sponsor contests for to upload fun content about your brand (such as photos or videos) and offer a prize to the best contestant.

Wrap Up: Tying it All Together

The title of this post is how to integrate home builder SEO and Facebook. If you’ve read this far, you might wonder how SEO factors in here. We mentioned early on that the strength of your social media presence is an emergent search ranking factor. This means in 2013, if two equal pages are competing in Google, the page with a more influential social presence will likely rank higher and gather more customers. We hope these tips will help you become more influential among your customers in both social media and the search engines. Did you find this post useful? Publish a link to this post on your site and share the insights with your friends. Let us know in the comments if you have social media techniques that work for you!

Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.


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