Don’t Even Think About Investing in Social Media Until You Read This

This entry was posted on August 29, 2011 by Lillian

The impact of social media is undeniable. These days it seems like everywhere we look there’s an opportunity to Like this retweet that, or get LinkedIn to someone. And here I sit writing a blog post about all of it. But are Facebook and Twitter really going to help you drive sales? When used correctly they can, but first you need to evaluate what else you’re doing to market your business online. Here are some questions to ask yourself before making the leap into social media.

Is my website up to date?
If it’s more than three years old, the answer may be no, at least as far as your text, information and pictures are concerned. From a layout or design standpoint, your site should be attractive and user friendly. As long as it works and doesn’t look outdated, you don’t have to make any major changes with that kind of frequency. Ideally, your content should be updated as much as possible with announcements, new products or services, press releases, etc. Consider incorporating a blog in order to encourage a two-way conversation between your company and its customers and prospects. You can easily set one up through WordPress and have it link to your site. But a blog requires a commitment, so be sure you have the manpower to devote to it before including it on your site.

Has my site been optimized?
It’s important that your site is properly optimized to get the highest organic search rankings for your targeted search terms. To do this, you’ll need to determine which search terms people use most often when looking for your product or service, and then integrate those terms into your site’s copy and back-end code. Writing copy that reads well and registers with the search engines is tricky, so be sure you strike the right balance.

Do I have a good pay-per-click ad campaign in place?
Studies show that those businesses with a combination of high organic rankings and solid PPC campaigns generate the most web traffic. So it’s a good idea to devote a portion of your marketing budget to setting one up. Focus on the most popular keywords for your product or service, but don’t break the bank in order to get them. While you only pay the search engine when your ad gets clicked, some clicks can be very expensive! For example, at about $55 per click, the word “insurance” is the priciest term on Google Adwords. It’s best to be specific with your search terms. So if you specialize in business liability insurance, bid on that term instead and pay around $15 per click.

Once you’re satisfied with your answers to these three questions, then it’s time for your business to enter the social media arena.

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