Social media, although not a particularly new concept, has only recently become a necessary platform for a brand to climb upon. What was once considered an unstable and even pointless venture is now crucial for marketing and advertising. And it’s very much here to stay. In the ten years since its creation in 2004, Facebook has gained over 1.35 billion monthly active users.
Unlike other websites, social media not only provides the user with information, but also interacts with them whilst doing it. This could mean asking for comments, or asking for votes on an article. Examples of social media sites that the university itself uses are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.
There are many positives of using social media;
Search Engine Ranking
Because of the popularity of social media, your Facebook profile may well show up before your main website in a Google search. This is also often the case for your Twitter account. Web users often visit social media sites before websites in order to get a feel for specific departments and the University in general. Consistent branding across the board is therefore crucial.
Search query volume
Social media engagement is important for building relationships with web users, but it can also be great for boosting the number of searches to your main site. Sharing fresh and interesting content via your social media accounts encourages people to read it and follow links to your main site. The process of sharing content through these sites creates a chain of readers, more curiosity and ultimately results in more Google searches.
In order to actually get social media users to visit your main site, you need to provide directions to it. Include your website URL on all of your social networks. On Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn and Google + company pages there is a specific section where you can put your website URL. Use this! If there isn’t, make sure to display your website URL clearly at the top of your social media page. Provide many links and reminders in your social media content to remind your followers and other visitors to go to your main site.
The concept of community building is a fundamental part of successful web marketing. It adds a feeling of support and involvement in something unique and original for the user; this encourages them to share this within their networks. Community strength is a powerful branding force that is extremely useful on and offline. Interacting on social media several times a week (or on a daily basis) creates a network that can be easily and constantly expanded; it is an essential public relations strategy.
For advice on finding and relating to your target audience, follow these links:
Beating the competition
Social media provides you with a great way to spy on your competition. You can easily find out about their popularity, their marketing strategies and any other relevant news that may be useful to you. Using social media is also a great way to do this as is it free!
Integrating social media on your website
It’s good to get people to visit your website via social media. But it’s also a good idea to encourage people to visit your social media pages via your website. They must both work together to promote the brand as effectively as possible. Some tips to consider:
- Display social media buttons clearly – ideally either along the top, bottom or side of your webpage and grouped together
- If you update your social media daily, it is a good idea to showcase your Twitter feed or Facebook posts directly on your website
- Include up to date buttons – social media evolves extremely quickly and old, out of date buttons reduce the credibility of your social media
For more information and tips on how to use social media for your benefit, take a look at these: