For the last few weeks I have been writing about recycling your print content and making your existing marketing material work for you, especially on your web site. Re-purposing/recycling/updating all makes a lot of sense. Accessing the brains of the customer service department contains a wealth of insight. Now it is time for phase 2; look at your website and see what you can push into social media. It’s a good time to play in a new sandbox.
Show Your Website Some Love
Did you see Toy Story 3? Poor Lotso was a left behind toy. Don’t treat your website like Lotso. Your website isn’t going away, but a cool accessory, like social media, can make it feel new again. Most websites are getting social media buttons added to their home pages. Free digital tools are a robust addition to your website. This feed brings information to the customers in their way. Do you know how your audience wants information delivered? They want engagement. Here’s how you deliver it to them.
Take Time to Play
One of the simple rules for getting into social media is to start on a personal level, before you do anything professional. Last week I attended Beth’s class on Facebook for Businesses. A key takeaway for businesses is to take the time to learn the tool. Pick any of the ones below and spend at least a few months with it. Then slowly add your business. At this point you can decide if it is the right tool for you to use. Remember social media tools are accessories. If your website it broken and doesn’t work, social media will not fix it, just highlight the issues that need fixing. Doing social marketing well takes time.
Blog— This is easy, write about what you know. Use a calendar, is there some seasonality to your work? What about a yearly tradeshow? One of the best local organizations I have seen do this is Larson Builders; they make home maintenance and remodeling projects informative and fun. They offer simple tips or easy tricks-that’s knowledge that I want to use.
Email–Use your email list or start an email program with Constant Contact. Constant Contact is an email program that helps your send bulk email where you can see who opens what subject line and what links within the email get additional response. This takes some testing, but even if you send out an email telling your customers you are trying, they will get excited. Get some feedback from your trusted clients and find out what they find interesting on your site, then send an email to drive them there.
Facebook–Another freebie, take the time to setup a Business Page, tell your employees, customers and vendors, then use it. The easiest way to get started is to comment on some industry news and (a link will work just fine) and start a discussion. I have been very impressed lately with Dairy Queen, they are posting frequently on Facebook and even got me to try one of their shakes.
LinkedIn–You need to be here. Most prospective employees need to research your organization and what you say about yourself is key. It provides insight into the company culture, it also allows the employee to read the backgrounds about some of their co-workers. This research gets the right people in front of your organization at the right time. And it isn’t just for recruiters, it is also a place to become an industry thought leader by participating in groups and discussions and to network.
YouTube–YouTube is your answer to add more motion to your site. Do you manufacture something that could benefit from a demo? Do it. If you struggle with explaining who you are and what you do, a YouTube video will do the talking for you. The video also can be imported to your site and be emailed, posted on Facebook or even Twitter. Now you have created one piece of content with 4 different avenues of distribution. All types of audience members will see your product/service in motion.
Twitter–Twitter is a great way to keep a constant presence in front of your audience. Besides getting a lot of cross promotion for your blog, you can also generate buzz for your next project. One great example I have seen lately is where an author tweets out one or two sentences of the her next book. You see choice selections everyday and that little buzz makes the engaged community crave more. Last week Vivid Image posted a link to a blog that came from a Tweet. Utilizing all channels creates a domino effect to get a marketing message out quickly.
No one wants outdated marketing. Even television, which was a primarily outbound channel, uses social media tools to keep their shows top of mind. Diversifying digital marketing channels can bring you new customers. It’s time to accessorize your website, so it isn’t a left-behind marketing tool.
Here’s your homework: Jump in the Social Media Pool! Try one social media channel this summer and plan to connect it with your website by September. Which one will you try? Now is the time to prepare your website for a new level of engagement. If you need help, give us a call, we’re glad to show you new digital toys.