Social Media Marketing Services
The latest figures released in March 2013 show that over 85% of the UK population (53 million people) are now online. Google's sites, such as its search engine and Google Maps, command the largest UK audience, but social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter lead Google in terms of the amount of time spent online.
The factsheet on the left (free for you to download) shows that people spend about 22% of their time on social networking sites, 21% performing searches, 20% reading content, 19% doing their emails, 13% on multimedia websites (e.g. YouTube), and 5% shopping.
This trend has made social media marketing one of the most debated topics on the Internet, although much of this debate is driven by marketing agencies looking to create a demand for their services.
An effective social media strategy has two main challenges:-
- Time: Creating content and interacting with your Facebook fans, Twitter followers or blog comments takes time - and it's continuous. Unlike many other marketing activities (which tend to be campaign-based), a popular social feed requires a regular supply of quality, original content.
- Content: From experience, we know that one of the most difficult aspects of social media for business people is finding things to say. No-one wants to "follow you" or read your updates if all you do is promote your own product or service.
What is Google Panda?
First released in February 2011, Panda is the term used by Google to describe changes to its search algorithms designed to promote sites with high quality content, and penalise "content farms" or sites with content that it deems to be of poor quality, stolen or duplicated.
Sloppy styling, poor grammar, spelling mistakes or factual errors are also taken by Google as indicators of a poor quality site, as is a high ad-content ratio (especially above the fold).
Google Panda is particularly problematic as the entire domain - not just individual pages - is penalised, often resulting in a dramatic loss of rank and traffic.
High quality content thrives in social media environments, and is a cost-effective method of establishing yourself, and your company, as authorities in your chosen field (as well as contributing to your organic rankings). While there may not be an immediate benefit in terms of direct sales, we know from experience that this is one of the most common ways of getting your business "on the short list".
This is a metric frequently quoted by social media marketing agencies and, while it obviously applies to high street brands, it is also of value to small and medium-sized companies looking to establish themselves in their area or industry. Social media naturally lends itself to referrals and "word of mouth" advertising - something that can benefit companies of any size.
Social media can contribute to direct sales in some markets (primarily B2C), for example: craft industries, music and gaming. However, for most companies (especially in the B2B sector), anticipating direct sales from your Facebook page is not a realistic metric. It is far better to look at the volume of additional visitors to your website. If your objective from day one is to generate sales, you will also be broadcasting the wrong type of message.
Understanding the pros and cons of social media, together with your own company's capacities and limitations are the vital first steps in developing an effective strategy.
Companies that simply ignore social media are cutting themselves out of 80% of the buying cycle, while those that jump in "feet first" are just wasting money.
This is where we come in - providing you with an honest and realistic appraisal of what can be achieved, together with practical expertise in setting-up the components of a successful social media marketing strategy.
Depending on their scope and duration, our social media marketing services are available as fixed-price projects, by monthly instalments or on an hourly-rate basis.