It’s every marketer’s dream to pop up in Google’s top rankings, say number one, for example. And even hitting the top three, or top five, would be as close to nirvana as you can get. Let’s go one step further - ranking on the first page of a Google search result deserves a pat on the back, a high-five, and a fist-bump.
That’s because if you land anywhere else, say page two or beyond, it’s like not ranking at all. Everyone knows that nobody bothers to look.
In the “old days,” say a few short months ago, marketers embraced SEO as the Holy Grail to hitting the top rankings on Google. And quite honestly, SEO is still a key part of ranking higher on Google. But then Google pulled the old “switcheroo,” and changed their mysterious algorithms. The nerve!
Nobody but the top gurus at Google can explain those algorithms. Nobody. Suffice it to say that their spiders are crawling all over the web, searching websites, pages, content, etc., etc., etc. And if by magic, they come back with search rankings.
But along the way, some savvy marketers determined that social media could impact those rankings. Yes, social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - they all play a role. The only question is, “what role?”
Here’s the SMC (social media scoop).
It turns out that Google’s spiders can’t actually crawl Facebook pages or “likes” and Twitter retweets for a variety of privacy and technical reasons. So there’s really no direct correlation to higher rankings and social media.
Facebook “likes,” pages, ads, along with Twitter retweets and YouTube video posts do play a significant role, because they create backlinks and searchable content, which Google’s algorithms can absorb, digest, and spit back into the ranking equations. So it really does help your SEO efforts.
If…and it’s a big “if” - your content and Tweets and Facebook pages are providing authoritative answers to questions that are being asked by your target audience. Your pages end up on backlinks that become a useful resource, which is helpful to Google.
It’s critical to have your social media efforts generate backlinks and referral traffic if there’s any hope of those efforts helping your ranking move higher organically. And you do that simply by providing good old meaningful, authoritative content.
Learn how to be social!
Listen, Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Sure, it’s the biggest, but not the only. So plan on having your social media ready for searching as well. YouTube is number two, right behind Google. People are sharing on YouTube, even if it’s videos. And sharing makes it social. More importantly, it’s huge. How huge? Well, how about one billion unique monthly visitors. Yep, that’s one billion.
You simply can’t ignore that amount of people!
And how about Facebook? People search on Facebook all the time, looking for friends, businesses, organizations, topics, ideas -- it’s a big list. There are thousands of searches each day, which can be a wealth of targeted leads for companies who know how to properly use it.
And what about Twitter, you ask? How about 2.1 billion queries every day? Sure, people are getting Twitter-only results. But if you use Twitter properly, like tweeting about the hottest topics, use hashtags in your tweets, and use it frequently, you’ll benefit from the organic backlinks and searches that will occur.
Bottom line: use social media! Nobody will tell you there’s a guaranteed uptick in rankings by using it, but there are a lot of benefits to companies who do use social media with the same energy and effort that they put into SEO. Here’s why: using social media is one of the best ways to promote your content and one of the fastest ways people can find you online. And that’s just what SEO is supposed to do!
With the rise of smartphone technology, many consumers are increasingly engaging with their favorite brands while on the go. In today's fast paced world when many consumers communicate with brands online, it's imperative that businesses respond quickly so as to retain business. Research studies suggest that 40% of consumers who complain to brands through social media expect to get feedback within an hour. These evolving consumer expectations have led the rise of chatbots as an important customer service tool.
Chatbots are AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered tools which mimic the conversation a customer might have with a customer service representative. And just like the customer service representative, chatbots stick to the script. They answer typical user questions which have been pre-programmed. They basically work as an optimizer of the overall customer service. Because of their high success rate, they are becoming increasingly popular as a reliable customer service tool. That said, it's important to note that the more advanced AI chatbots use what is known as, 'Natural Language Processing,” or NLP and can understand what is said (and not just the commands), and then tailor its actions and answers accordingly.
This newly enhanced AI technology can give businesses a serious competitive edge if implemented correctly. AI chatbots can help businesses identify and quickly resolve a variety of customer concerns in a cost effective way without wasting resources.
Currently, the customer service chatbots have somewhat limited capabilities, however, their usage is rapidly growing, as many businesses are looking for ways to automate low skill functions, provide 24/7 customer support and reduce labor requirements, These bots can actually let your business be much more proactive in addressing the potential customer queries by acting as an integrated part of the overall browsing or shopping experience. The best thing about chatbots is that they allow businesses to create a first class experience for their customers.
Apart from being excellent customer service tools, chatbots can also generate and even nurture new leads. They're good at targeting your audience and then adjusting to particular needs. While respecting privacy, the bots know exactly what the customer likes, wants and needs.
For instance, when a customer visits business cloud hosting provider Sun Spring Hosting’s Facebook page, visitors are greeted by an AI chatbot when messaging the provider. The chatbot answers customer service inquiries, makes product suggestions, and offers to subscribe visitors to a mailing list.
Bottomline, chatbots have the ability to drastically improve the overall quality of customer service you provide your clients, while reducing costs. The bots can help take your business to the next level, as long as they're implemented properly.
Facebook Live is a live streaming feature that allows users to share live video and engage with audiences in real time. It was released in April 2016, and since then has become very popular with not only the general public, but also businesses as a way of producing live streaming videos.
This feature enables businesses of all sizes to conveniently tap into the power of social media marketing. Businesses can with its target audience, build community, increase brand awareness, and nurture relationships.
Go Behind the Scenes
Customers rarely get to see exactly how things run behind the scenes. Facebook Live allows you to give your audience a glimpse into your business by showcasing your products, your employees, and how everything comes together.
Product Tutorials and Demos
If you have some tips for using your products or services that you wish to share, you can use Facebook Live to provide a live product demonstration. You can guide your customers on how to use certain features, while answering their questions in real-time. You can utilize this opportunity to show your expertise, and impress the audience with your level of professionalism.
Promote an Upcoming Event
Facebook Live is a cost-effective and smart way of announcing an upcoming event. If you have planned an event, you can create a Facebook post to share the details and invite participants to tune-in to your Live stream broadcast.
Announce New Products and Services
Facebook Live is a great way for businesses to launch their products and services. Whenever you are rotating new products/services into your business, you can feature them in a live stream broadcast. During the broadcast, make sure you keep it short, simple, authentic, and inform your target audience about all the benefits and highlights of the new service or product.
Live Q&A Sessions
Facebook Live is not a one way channel. Anyone who is tuned in to the live broadcast can easily type a message which will appear on your screen. This basically means that you can give your customers the opportunity to learn more about your business by answering their questions during a live stream. You can also reverse the roles and even ask them some questions. This is a perfect way to get immediate insights and feedback into your customers' needs and wants.
Image credit: Joseph Morris | Flickr