Birmingham Social Media

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Birmingham Social Media Blog

1 Optimise Your Birmingham Social Media Experience

Do you or our business belong to an online social networking community?  With their meteoric  rise in popularity, the answer should be a resounding “yes”!

Of course, even before many business caught on to the massive opportunities that exist in the this arena (Birmingham Social Media can help you do the same), personal social networking was where it was at for most people.

However, it is one thing to be a personal community member and quite another to actually participate in online discussions.  A prospective member needs to understand how to make the most out of their social networking experience (whether that be for personal or business purposes) before launching headlong into the process.

By researching each website on-line, you should easily be able to familiarise yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each. And, since most social networking websites are free to use (or at least have one free membership level) , there are few risks associated with giving them a try. Here at Birmingham Social Media, we would suggest that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn would be great places to start your review process.

Whilst it’s great  to start making new contacts  right away, it is also important to understand what your social networking site has to offer.  This can really only be done by closely examining the website and in particular,  the terms of use agreement which will outline what you can and cannot do whilst using the site. These rules and restrictions may place limitations on the type of content that somebody can upload, (such as pictures, videos, and other media), and as many websites will terminate a membership for contravening these agreements, by spending a little time upfront, you should be able to ensure that you can continue to maximise your use and enjoyment of  the site for a long time to come. Of course, Birmingham Social Media may be able to help to smooth this process for you, so contact us for more information.

Once you’ve now got your own profile page and  invited other internet users into your network, spend some more time checking out all the other great things you can do with your particular website. Cross linking to other social networking platforms is one example.

Whatever you decide to do, just make the most out of your social networking experience.

And if you want to maximise the potential of your Business to Business or Customer to Business social media experience…there’s always Birmingham Social Media.

2  A Short Video From Birmingham Social Media…

 

 

3 Marketing with Birmingham Social Media

Communication is the key to really great social media.

Think as you would whilst networking offline-you work for and represent your business, but you want to be seen to present a warm, friendly, customer orientated and helpful (above all else) disposition. You want them to buy from you because they know like and trust you first and foremost-note that the word “selling” does not figure in that sentence at all!

Some of the most popular methods right now of staying engaged are by blogging, utilising a Facebook “like” business page, using Twitter (itself a micro blog), having a LinkedIn profile for senior staff (where you can communicate directly with your prospective target client and avoid “gatekeepers”) and by posting You Tube videos (itself owned by Google) -all of which can work very well for business, especially if there is an integrated approach. Birmingham Social Media believe it is worth noting that all these platforms are now freely available for smart phones, which can also be enabled to read QR (or Quick Read) codes through which you may be able to entice your prospect with a discount off their next (or indeed first) purchase!

In fact, Birmingham Social Media believes that social media and mobile/cell phone opportunities could be absolutely huge. The application technology is able to pinpoint the users location and deliver local “opportunities” (such as discount coupons) directly to the users smart phone and can even update the users social media contacts as to the activity involved (once the user has “checked in” at the venue) -more viral marketing for your business!

The main objective then is to interact with your prospective customers or peer group (in the case of perhaps LinkedIn). The immediacy of the communication works well when you want to disseminate really great news about products or create events and helps to keep your customers and potential customers feeling engaged with your business, in which case it is to be hoped that when they are ready to buy, they will think of your business first!

Many social media platforms allow you to target your prospects. Facebook for example allows you to target potential customers via their paid advertising with pinpoint accuracy, whereas having built a Twitter following in a narrow niche, you can keep your prospects abreast of the latest offers and developments (providing your message is less than 140 characters in length so if you are including a link, use a link shortener and tracker such as Bit.ly) as soon as they become available.

Birmingham Social Media believes that loyal informed customers can turn into raving fans and once that happens the effect can be viral and they will spread the word for you. The next time somebody they know (and with whom they are connected via social media) wants something similar to that which you sell, a recommendation from them can yield fantastic results as referrals remain one if not the most powerful from of word of mouth marketing that there is. Engage with prospects, answer their questions and queries and loyalty should develop naturally over time.

What Other Steps Would Birmingham Social Media Recommend?

As with anything, a business needs to measure its metrics so that, qualitative elements aside, it can demonstrate a return on investment in its social media dealings. Time management is vital as social media has the potential to absorb lots of it so it’s important to establish an effective tracking and follow up system just as you would for any offline networking projects.

It may be helpful to consider then that social media plays its part alongside other more traditional search engine optimisation techniques, to include “back linking” and more particular the perhaps the confusingly named “social bookmarking”. Not to be confused with social media, social bookmarking is a process whereby a one way back link is created when that original web site address (or URL) is logged (or “bookmarked”) on another specially designated bookmarking site. These bookmarking sites are usually very well regarded by the search engines and consequently any links created there are also considered to be highly relevant and valuable. Birmingham Social Media believes that this reflected glory helps to drive the original web site further up the search engine rankings for any keyword or phrase that was used as part of the original link creation process. If you then use the same keyword or phrase in your “tweets” or perhaps in other links that you might create when blogging or maybe as a signature in niche forums, it is easy to see how it all might fit together as one strategy.

So how then does the use of social media engage with other “must have” areas such as Google Places where the creation of an optimised (i.e. complete) Places page automatically helps to list that business in Google’s own search engine results, and can create a location marker for that business on the very Google map that is likely to be shown when a prospect performs a local search for the particular service, product or name. The answer lies in the fact that video is a recommended component to complete the listing and of course YouTube is the perfect solution. Whilst a Google Places entry is optimised for (can be viewed nicely on) most smart phones, it is important to ensure that the company’s website itself is similarly optimised.

Organic search engine optimisation (or SEO) plays its part as Google experiments with how it decides what should be shown for any particular search result. It seems logical that a well optimised site with strong back links and a great Places Page will continue to figure highly for some time to come, but only Google (and regretfully not Birmingham Social Media) really know the answer to that one!

Having said that, it’s not just what you know, but who you know, that can vastly influence your success in business, so taking the time to establish and cultivate quality relationships should always pay dividends in the long run.

Using a service such as Birmingham Social Media to help with your marketing strategy might be the first step on the road to success.

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