Just How Important is Social Media?
The Internet has turned largely into a social environment. Why else would we open up our laptop and hop on over to YouTube, Facebook or ICS’ new Clean Restore Connect forum? We want to socialize with others who share our interests. Social media is the reason many people use the Internet on a daily basis.
So how is social media important in marketing a cleaning and restoration company? Since all this socializing is happening online, you need to be part of it. It can be similar to attending an online cocktail party or chamber of commerce event. In addition, Google, which is the largest search engine, is beginning to place some of its ranking factors on whether or not your website has social media involvement.
It’s time to get social online. Below are a few key ways you can put your cleaning business in the social mix. Many of these options are free and only take a small time commitment.
When someone is on Facebook or another social media website, their behavior is to socialize. Like any other social gathering, when the topic of dirty floors comes up, your client has the chance to refer you. A common scenario would be a mom mentioning how her toddler spilled a whole jar of spaghetti sauce all over her carpet. At that moment, the door is open for any of her online friends or viewers to give recommendations on which cleaning company to call. You’d be surprised how often subjects like this arise on social media.
Many social media sites have options for paid advertising. Facebook has a neat pay-per-click program where you can pay for impressions or pay for the number of people who like your fan page. The advertising is completely optional, but if you want to get up and running fast or get more traffic to your website, the pay-per-click is something to look into. In addition, you can pay to advertise on many social media websites through Google Adsense ads or Google Re-marketing ads.
Social Media Pages
You can be on social media for free. Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Squidoo, LinkedIn, YouTube, Hubpages, Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, Blogspot and many others are free social sites where you can set up an interactive page that gives cleaning tips. This page can educate prospects, provide helpful tips and nurture an environment where viewers interact with you and each other. On some of these sites, you may be limited in the amount of promotion you give to your business. But giving helpful advice is always appreciated. And even on the few sites that are strict about promotion, like Hubpages, you can do a small amount of promotion on occasion as long as it’s done tastefully. Always remember that these sites are social environments. No one likes the guy who comes to a party solely to push his business.
Search Engine Ranking
On all of these sites, you’ll be able to give links back to your cleaning website. It’s been long known that links help boost your ranking. But now it’s kicked up a notch with a new thing called “social signals.” Google takes into consideration how many times your company or website is mentioned on major social media websites. They use these “signals” as a small factor in ranking. In the near future, experts predict Google will consider social signals even higher as a ranking factor. If you want to gain or hold your Google ranking position, you should get highly involved with social media.
Google is placing a high emphasis on Google Plus, their social media platform. They created this in attempts to keep up with Facebook. And wouldn’t you know that every time someone mentions your website on Google Plus, Google takes this into consideration.
What do you need to do on social media?
First, you’ll need at least a Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter profile for your business. On Facebook and Google Plus, you’ll first need a personal profile. Then you can sign up for a business profile. On each there will be a personal info page where you can place your business name, website, phone number and other important contact information. Sometimes doing this alone can boost you ahead of your competition.
Consider installing a blog on your website. Wordpress seems to be the blog platform that Google likes the most. A blog will allow you to post company news, community news, cleaning tips and special offers on your website. This allows your website visitors to read more about your company. In turn, Google gives a small amount of ranking boost to the websites with an active blog.
Do something with your social media profiles every week. Post relevant, helpful information for your viewers. Also, be interactive. If someone has a post that you can comment on, make a comment. Keep the sales pitches to a bare minimum though. If you are helpful and give a lot of helpful advice, you’ll make sales.
Make interactive posts and comments on your profile page. It’s helpful if others are commenting and giving kudos to your posts. This tells the Internet world that you are well liked. Also, this is the social signaling that can boost your ranking and give social approval to your website. If your profile has only a few posts with no comments, it looks like a ghost town to your visitors. Encourage interaction. After all, interaction is what social media is all about.
Social media is the most lucrative return in many small business marketing plans. I highly recommend you do some level of social media in your company. You don’t need to devote thousands of dollars or dozens of hours each month. Even a small amount of time and money dedicated to social media can yield huge returns.