As social media becomes more of a focus in the world of business marketing, you may be wondering how to maintain all the necessary profiles and interactions. The amount of time needed to establish a credible online presence is moving beyond what an in-house employee can handle, and many businesses are realizing better returns by hiring a social media expert to manage that aspect of their marketing. Regardless of who is taking care of your social media, two necessary components of your online business presence are Google+ and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn for Businesses
LinkedIn is particularly effective in B2B marketing; Business Insider has done research that showsLinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than either Facebook or Twitter. According to the Business Insider study, 77% of B2B marketers say that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Groups are particularly valuable for generating leads. You can do a search to see what Groups the people in your network belong to, though it’s also important to reach out beyond your usual niche (you can connect with new Groups by using tags or search terms). Here are some further tips for optimizing your LinkedIn presence in Groups:
Start discussions or answer questions in ways that provoke more questions
Offer some useful information or industry tips before trying to sell anything, but leave your readers hungry for more
Provide links to your business’s own landing page, where visitors will be able to learn more by signing up for a newsletter or downloading an eBook
In addition to staying active in Groups, don’t overlook the LinkedIn Answers section; users go there to get advice and it’s a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Be sure to optimize your presence by choosing a personalized LinkedIn URL that appropriately represents you, and make good use of LinkedIn Mobile and Direct Ads.
Google+ for Businesses
Google+ is a second crucial platform for spreading the word about your business. It’s important to gradually accumulate a sizeable following on Google+, so you’ll want to increase the number of your +1s (the Google+ equivalent of Facebook “Likes. ”) In Google+ Communities, ensure that you’re sharing plenty of commentary and generating discussion. Focus on just a few active, pertinent Communities rather than spreading your efforts too widely.
Keep your Google+ page optimized in order to make viewers feel engaged. This means that you need to post attractive, interesting images, including a clear and compelling profile image. You should include a short, informative introduction to who you are and what you do. Put links in your “About” section, and add product videos and photos. Once you begin to engage people on Google+, you can drive them back to your business’s website by sharing links as well as hangouts, videos, and so forth.
Here are a few more tips to get the most out of your Google+ presence:
Add fresh content frequently (you can add partial information and then include a link back to your site for the entire piece)
Use hashtags to help people find your material
Mention other Google+ users and pages in your posts by using the “+ Firstname Lastname” protocol; many will return the favour
Add links to your website in the images and videos, as well as in captions and other “metadata” areas
Increase the number of your Google Circles; you can ask your contacts which of your Circles they’d like to belong to
Put social extensions onto your AdWords campaigns; you can show how many people in your Google+ network have “+1d” your content
Embed the +1 button in highly visible locations on your website
Don’t Lose Leads to Your Competitors
Google+ and LinkedIn have a wide assortment of tools and options to energize your customers and build awareness of your brand. Chances are, your competitors are out there using LinkedIn and Google+ to get ahead. But even if they aren’t, there are certainly potential customers just waiting for businesses to connect with them. Don’t leave them hanging – be proactive with your Google+ and LinkedIn strategies!