It's the start of a new month and for many of you it's the official kickoff of the holiday season. Hopefully your marketing strategy is in place and you're ready for the flood of customers... of course in the United States we actually need to wait until after Election Day for those customers to start flooding in since no one likes to spend money during an "election season."
All joking aside, there are marketing methods that you should be including in your mix this year. In addition to your newspaper, radio, direct mail, and billboards, you also need to think about the mix of social media networks and how they could play a part in attracting customers.
Of course the big question is if social media is even worth it. An article in October 2012 issue of JCK Magazine by Tony Argyle with Leanne Argyle (Read it here: http://ow.ly/eH4FX ) shows the frustrations that we are all feeling with the effectiveness of Facebook as a business marketing tool. Google+ has already proven itself, to those who use it, to be an excellent new way of achieving search engine optimization.
Are other social networks worth it? I want you to think that they are, because I *know* that they are. For those that don't know me let me say that I'm an SEO Analyst, and a heavy data research guy. I usually don't stick my neck out on a limb unless I have the data to back up what I'm saying. I've been online since 1988 and on the web since 1994, but that’s enough of blowing my own horn...
I've tracked different strategies for social networking for the past several years, starting way back with MySpace. I'm actively measuring the success rates with Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Facebook Mobile, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Yelp. Each of these social networks appear in my monthly tracking, some more often than others, but they do bring potential customers to you... if you do it correctly.
I'm not going to give you specifics of how to do it correctly in these social networks, but I invite you to sift through my 593 previous Daily Nuggets to dig into those details. On the other hand there is a single commonality that ties all your social efforts together, and that called ... your website.
Your website is the only online property that you can 100% control. You don't have to abide by someone else's terms of service; in fact you can make your own rules. What you do on your website is completely up to you. You can change the theme for the holiday season, you can update your home page and your blog daily, or you can totally shoot your foot off and let your website stay unchanged for years and years.
It's up to you to monitor your website traffic through Google Analytics. Analytics will show you how many people visit your website and what they do when they get there. Do they stay for a few minutes or do they puke when they get to your home page and rush to click the back button?
What about the showcases window displays in your jewelry store? Do you decorate those for the holiday season? Do you frequently change out the merchandise in the window? Do you renew the product lines you carry in your store? The answers to these are obviously yes, but would you say you put the same effort into your website?
The only way to make social media work for you is if you include a link to your website inside every post you make to Facebook and Google+. You need to add a link to the description of each pin you send to your Pinterest board. You need to include your website address as part of your bio on Twitter. You need to also include your website address in your venue description on Foursquare, and then write a Foursquare Tip for your venue which also includes a link.
Posting videos to YouTube will bring new visitors to your website, but only if you include a link in the description of the video and in the description of your YouTube channel.
Do you have something interesting to say to a professional audience? Then write a blog post and share that post with a link to your LinkedIn connections and groups.
All these links bring people back to your website, back to the property you control. If your website looks disgusting you will scare people away. It's time to put away the Halloween costume your website is wearing and get down to business. Social networking give you a way to lead customers to your website, but it's your fault if you screw up the opportunity that social networking presents.
Your homework for today: Do a Google search for Website Conversion Rate