Saturday, August 04, 2012

Reasons for social media integration!

I have been a bit busy with the issues around the IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IWPA (ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK AUTHORITY) IMP (INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PLAN) AND RELATED PPP (PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS / PROCEDURE)

This issue is very problematic and full of political interference from many levels. There are many thorny issues that need to be discussed honestly in the public domain, which the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority are deliberately sidestepping. See this blog for details http://iwpappp.blogspot.com/

So lets get back on track and discuss the value of integrating your social media efforts with your other marketing efforts, keeping in mind how your prospective customers first find out about your products or services. If you operate in a closed community then you have no problems, as everybody will be aware of what your products / services are, what they cost and how to contact you for more info or adsvice.


If on the other hand your business relies on the public or a niche market, then you know that your customers / followers / clients first find your web page by using a search of some type. Most used Search system (called a search engine) is Google. others are improving and a list can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines 


Search engines are tricky things to master, and no search engine will volunteer their algorithm that they use to sort out the returned list of possible matches that you need to evaluate and choose from. So what should you as an owner of a web site, social media profile or blog do to ensure that your information is located by your  intended target market ?.


The answer is quite simply apply SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques when creating your pages and writing your copy. I am sure you are thinking  "I don't know what that is!!!" but you are wrong, because you use many of these techniques already in you basic marketing plan any way.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) starts with defining your target market, and using words that your defined target market are familiar with when writing your copy. If you do this you are over half way there already. The next step is to ensure that your information has some inbound links, that is ensuring that other websites, blogs, social media pages or forums link to your information in some way. In Facebook clicking a like or share button does this automatically for you. So by loose definition, the more likes a post has in face book the more inbound links the post has. placing a link in Facebook to some remote page  (out side of the FaceBook domain) creates an out bound link in face book which is an inbound link at the remote page you referred to.


The search engines use this data and much more information that they collect about your information by using what they commonly call spiders that crawl the web, looking for webpages and collecting all types of data from the page and storing this data for the Search Engine algorithm to use according to the search engine engineers instructions. 

When you type a word or combination of words into the search box and press enter the search engine processes this request according to the instructions in their algorithm and displays a list of probable matches for you to choose from. 

So taking the above info into account and evaluating what needs to be done so people find your information you need to ensure that you have at least 2 but preferably more places where you discuss your business online, and link these together by cross referencing  your various online information portals.

example : you have a website, a facebook profile and a twitter profile.

step 1 is to create a fan page in FB and write about this fan page on your  wall and link to it on your wall.
step 2 write about your fan page on twitter and place a link to your fan page in your tweets


Step 3 write about your twitter profile on your facebook wall and place a link to your twitter profile on your face book wall.


Step 4 write about your face book profile in your website, and link your webiste to your FB profile with a FB badge 

step 5 write about your twitter profile in your website and place a link to your twitter profile with a twitter badge / banner


step 6 write about your fan page in your website and place a link to your fan page using a FB badge.


step 7 write about your web site in your face book pages, and refer back to your twitter posts.


step 8 repeat steps 2 to 7 on a regular basis, and keep adding extra pages to your website. ensure that each new page in your webiste gets a mention in your facebook effrots as well as in your tweets. keep mentioning your tweets and facebook posts in your web site and update regularly (at least once a week - preferably more often)


Step 9 get your friends and others to mention your info in their facebook pages
step 9 get others to retweet your tweets about your FB pages and your web pages.


step 10 regularly go over what you have done and check for errors that may have crept in. adjust and repeat steps 1 to 9. then repeat step 10 as often as is needed.


If you do this then you will have some success. once you have the hang of this you can expand and really improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) in your website and in all your social media where you are allowed to. this will improve your SERP's (Search Engine Results Position / placements)  drastically


The value of integrating your social media profiles with your web site and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) efforts  will become evident as your online business picks up due to the organic listings generated in many search engines by your hard work and thoughtful use of your key words as used by your target audience.


before purchasing a domain name for your website, or when purchasing a new domain name to expand your online branding consult with at least 3 or 4 different SEO specialists and ask for branding advice related to domain name purchases. If the SEO specialist does not ask you to define your target market before discussing further, be weary as he / she still needs to learn a lot. The primary issue when doing SEO is to know the target market and their vocabulary and terminology used within the target market group.


When integrating your different online marketing segments remember to keep you intended target market in focus and write your copy accordingly. this will generate the most value for your efforts.