Social Media Management
Social Media for Audiologists
The Importance of Social Media
Our clients are excellent at their practices – providing clients with quality hearing health care with exams, fittings, and on-going maintenance. Although the quality of service and professionalism goes a long way, there is no denying that the landscape of marketing and advertising has significantly changed in the past decade.
In the past, most businesses transmitted information through traditional media, which meant that one source attempted to reach many receivers (newspaper, TV advertisement, etc.). With the advent of social media in the past decade, the model has shifted. Social media operates in a system where many sources attempt to reach many receivers.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, Yelp, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat are all part of an interconnected network that attempts to reach customers in a variety of ways. Information is transmitted through sharing and across different channels.
It is no surprise that with the marked increase in Internet usage in the past decade, the business of reaching new customers has evolved accordingly. Between 2011 and 2012, according to Nielson, the total time spent on social media in the US across personal computer and mobile devices increased 99% (from 66 billion minutes in July 2011 to 121 billion minutes in July 2012).
But for many business owners, the work of social media does not come easy. Creating content, sharing, and managing social media is a job in and of itself. In fact, the advent of this form of marketing has great affected the trajectory of many businesses. New jobs have been created as a result of the importance of social media: social media managers and content creators.
In the classic work on social obligation, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde writes, “To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.” Social media work is comparatively new, to be sure, but it is also crucial to the health of a business. Business owners may be great at what they do – but how do they translate that naturally to a social media presence online?
Content Marketing, Social Media, and SEO Ranking
These are three elements of online marketing strategy for your business: content marketing, social media, and SEO.
Content marketing focuses on creating information that is useful and educational for your audience. Social media promotes this content. SEO ensures that the content you have created is searchable. Working together, these three elements increase website traffic and help your business to acquire new clients.
In recent years, Google has begun to incorporate the use of Twitter in its search process. Because of the succinct nature of Twitter (144 characters in a post), Google algorithms have an easier time finding information. Additionally, the more “re-tweets” a piece of content has, the more relevant it becomes. As such, as you are creating new content, you want it to be catchy and punchy to garner more shares.
Speaking of shares, another important element in Google’s algorithm is the amount of “linkbacks” your website receives through social media such as Twitter, Facebook post sharing, +1 sharing on Google+, and so on. When your content is relevant and fascinating, it is more likely that it will be shared – thus increasing traffic to your website.
It is advisable to consistently generate new content on your website, in the form of blog posts, which are then shared across multiple social media platforms. The more your content is shared or linked to, the more credible your website appears on Google searches. Social media organizer HootSuite suggests that businesses ask themselves: “Is your content relevant to your brand? How many people are you able to reach with the content you’re sharing on your social profiles? Are the people engaging with your content valuable to you – i.e. whether they are influential bloggers or brands?”
At the end of the day though, social media marketing doesn’t just rely on cold hard numbers, algorithms, and formulas. Content that is relevant, informative, and human continues to be the biggest boon to your business online.
To improve SEO rankings, there are a number of things we can do.
Grow Number of Followers
The number of people who follow your social media profile does affect your ranking on Google. This number, though, must be comprised of quality followers, grown organically. It is true that a company with 100 Twitter followers will rank less than a company with 1,000,000 Twitter followers. So how exactly do we grow followers? This is a gradual process that requires patience and consistency. By generating useful content, engaging with customers in conversation, and posting helpful articles on your website, you will slowly garner more interested parties. The exchange of information with your customers is an important step in building your authority on certain issues – and they will return to you for information the next time there is a question.
Use of Links
Links are a crucial element in establishing your business with credibility and authority. If you are generating informative and useful content, it is likely that your work will be linked to from external sources. The more external linking that leads to your website, the higher up you will rank in Google searches. The use of hashtags increases visibility, and connects your content to existing information in threads and discussions.
Increase Social Sharing
In the same way that followers are important to your brand, so does the idea of “social sharing.” At its maximum, when a piece of content goes “viral,” it means it has reached millions and millions of viewers around the world. The number of likes, shares, retweets, favorites, and replies builds up your business’s social cache. Businesses have approached the element of “sharing” in many different ways, from rewarding customers for sharing a post to offering a certain percentage off a service if they “like” a piece of content.
Engage in Local Community
At the end of the day, your business is still a physical location in a community – no matter how much happens in the nebulousness of the Internet. By generating content that is relevant to the community you serve, and by collaborating with local businesses and organizations, you will create a network in your city. By having events, open-houses, or a booth at a local tradeshow, your physical presence could garner new followers and customers in the digital realm.
Keep in Mind:
Social Media Channels Are Also Search Engines
With so many different platforms for people to choose from, how do we know who’s checking us out, and when? If your business has a Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube, etc., it is important to keep in mind that people are searching your businesses on these social media profiles as well. As such, it is important to have up to date content – whether it is a photo, an article, or something to share – at the ready on all of your different social media pages.