Why Businesses Need to be on Google+

 googleplus

Google+ and your business

Businesses tend to think about Google+ as just another social network, similar to Facebook or Twitter.  While this is basically true, Google+’s influence extends beyond social networking, and ignoring its presence can cause your business to fall behind.

So what exactly makes Google+ so valuable to businesses?

Google+ is guaranteed to have an effect on your search engine ranking

Google+ users receive a bump in Google search engine ranking simply by keeping an active Google+ account, providing fresh content and engaging with other users. A number of studies, such as the one done by Search Metrics*, show a powerful correlation between search rankings and the number of Google +1’s (equivalent to Facebook’s “Like” button).

Simply put, +1s will create a followed link back to your post, causing organic link building, which is an important part of any SEO strategy. In addition, +1s indicate to Google that your website has been vouched for by a third party, giving you another boost in the search ranking process.

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LinkedIn Debuts New Capabilities

LinkedIn

On June 19, LinkedIn announced that companies are now able to send targeted status updates to followers of their company pages. Aiming to increase company engagement on LinkedIn, users can now tailor the way they communicate with followers and help meet their unique needs.

Thanks to this new capability, businesses are now able to update their company pages through the popular social media publishing giant, HootSuite. This is incredibly convenient for businesses and marketers since it’s now easier than ever to update multiple social media platforms in one place.

One of LinkedIn’s challenges has been that, compared to other social media platforms, users are less engaged and typically spend less time on the site. For example, according to Nielsen, visitors to LinkedIn averaged only 16 minutes and 46 seconds on the site in April while Facebook saw visitors spend an average of more than seven hours on the site in one month alone.

However, with these new updates, LinkedIn users should enable better listening and engagement between companies and professionals. Like with all social media, the power lies in exploring new frontiers, making connections and developing relationships with people.

For more information on using LinkedIn to market your business, refer to our articles, “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn,” and “Top Five LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid.”

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

How to Measure Social Media ROI

Social Media ROI

Measuring your business’ social media return on investment (ROI) is essential if you are looking to analyze the value social media can bring to your organization. Social media ROI is notoriously difficult to truly measure because there is the question of whether or not financial return really indicates its true value. Many marketers find more value in social media’s power to promote engagement and interaction between businesses and consumers. Aside from monetary gain, social media can significantly boost brand awareness, identity and online influence. However, it’s still important to show quantifiable results for your time and effort spent on social media.

If businesses want to be successful in their social media marketing campaigns, it’s critical that they understand what is actually working and what is not. While measuring social media ROI isn’t always easy, it is possible. There are various programs, both free and paid, that provide users with valuable and useful measurements. This article will provide an overview of what social media metrics are important to measure and some of the best tools to track them.

Conversion Rates — It’s important to know when a lead comes from social media. Many marketers are able to easily track conversion rates and other metrics using HootSuite, a publishing program that has integrated Google Analytics into their custom URL shortener “Ow.ly.” HootSuite’s new custom social analytics reports provide users with valuable insight on the impact of their social media profiles. These reports measure Twitter to Web conversion rates, which geographic areas produce the best campaign results, top content, activity on Facebook such as “likes,” posts, demographics and much more. Users can choose from over 30 analytics modules to customize their own unique and interactive reports.

Shortening your URL through HootSuite will not only conserve space but create trackable links to learn which follower clicks result in conversations on your website. For example, a long Web address like http://longislandmarketingblog.com/ can be turned intohttp://ow.ly/bwPE7. HootSuite offers a free version (which does have limited capabilities) as well as two business-level plans. To get started with a 30-day free trial of this more advanced plan, visit hootsuite.com/pro.

Engagement — Engagement measures the number of people who not only read your post but engage in some kind of action associated with it. For Twitter, this number would be how many people re-tweeted or replied to a tweet. On Facebook, you can measure how many times your links were clicked on, how many times people commented on your page or how many users liked one of your posts. Engagement can be measured with online tools available from Radian 6Attensity and TweetEffect.

To learn more about the importance of engagement marketing and encouraging consumers to be active participants in a business, read our article, “How to Build Your Business with Engagement Marketing.”

Reach — In regards to social media, reach refers to the number of people who view or have been influenced by your posts. For Twitter, TweetReach is a great free tool for measuring reach. With this program, you can search for a URL, Twitter name, phrase or hashtag and TweetReach will analyze tweets and metrics that match your search. The program will then give you a free report on the reach and exposure data for the information you entered. For example, if a business entered their username, they’ll receive information on how many accounts they have reached, the number of impressions, who their top contributors are and more.

You can also use Twitter Grader and Facebook Grader to measure your influence, your number of fans/followers, the power of this network of connections and more.

Social Media Growth — This is perhaps the simplest measurement to keep track of. It’s helpful to monitor your number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers and any other social media connections in order to analyze this number over a period of time. If the numbers are not increasing, you are doing something wrong. Evaluate your social media content, variety of posts and timing of posts to discover what your audience is most responsive to.

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.

How to Build Your Business with Engagement Marketing

engagement marketing

More than ever before, businesses and marketers are turning to a marketing approach that, unlike traditional brand and direct marketing strategies, encourages consumers to regularly interact and participate with a business. Engagement marketing is based on the idea that consumers should be active participants in the business and its marketing strategies. From social media to email campaigns, the Web has provided multiple venues for marketers to engage their audiences with valuable content, two-way conversations, multimedia and lead-generating calls to action.

Engagement marketing is all about strengthening relationships between businesses and consumers. For years, consumers could only watch a television commercial or glance at a print advertising product without any real interaction on their part. While these traditional marketing methods can still be effective, one-way communication fails to provide a way for customers to effortlessly respond and interact with the company. The mission of engagement marketing is to encourage a two-way conversation with customers through new venues like social media sites, blogs and email campaigns. Since customer relationships are the core of any business’ success, any organization will benefit from incorporating the following engagement marketing methods into their business strategy.

Social Media — Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are ideal for engagement marketers because they provide ways for brands to create a two-way dialogue between businesses and consumers. This communication can also take place faster than ever before with the accessibility of social media on smart phones, iPads, laptops and desktop computers. For those who are new to the idea of engagement marketing, it’s best to begin by developing a presence on social media. Before you post anything, you must be in sync with your target audience and what they are looking for. It’s essential to be able to confidently answer the question, “What content is most valuable to my audience?” This could be anything from an article on a problem that your business solves to a photo that your audience would find interesting. Another tip is to run social media contests to promote engagement, attract fans and keep your audience engaged and entertained. Give social media followers a reason to look forward to seeing your business’ posts pop up in their newsfeeds.

Blogs — A blog is only as effective as the content it contains. Like social media, when developing a blog, it’s essential to put yourself in the consumer’s mindset to determine what content would be most valuable to them. Depending on your industry, create articles that provide solutions to the needs or problems that your customers face. While it’s fine to include information on your business, avoid self-promotion. Consumers are far more receptive to valuable, interesting content than straight sales pitches. For more information on blogging, read our articles, “Should My Business Have a Blog?” and “5 Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them.”

Email Campaigns — Targeted email marketing campaigns can successfully build engagement, build brand awareness and nurture leads. By creating punchy, interesting taglines, strong content and engaging graphics, your emails should look professional and appealing to readers. It’s best to include a variety of content since everyone takes in information differently. For example, include an article, photos and a brief call to action that encourages readers to get in touch with you. If someone replies to an email, it means that they have demonstrated an interest in your company or services. Make it a top priority to contact them within one day, at the latest, or you could miss out on a potential customer or client.

By nurturing interactive relationships with customers and providing them with valuable content that they will look forward to reading, your business can increase brand loyalty and customer engagement. Not only will you be able to strengthen relationships with existing customers but these customers will be far more likely to talk about your business, share your content online and recommend it to their friends and family.

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.