Businesses might be well-versed in social media’s game-changing potential, but they are usually less adept at cutting through the hype. According to research conducted by American Express, businesses have been quick to jump on social media, with 41 per cent of SMEs presently capitalising on the social space.
The report also highlights serious disparities when it comes to channels, with Facebook (30 per cent) and Twitter (12 per cent) accounting for the vast majority of social media marketing when compared with YouTube (7 per cent) and Google+ (8 per cent). This suggests that businesses may be missing out on the benefits of less popular forms of social media by failing to connect the dots between social media channels and strategy.
For instance, YouTube can seriously boost customer engagement and drive conversions by allowing businesses to incorporate online video across their websites. And Google’s more recent social networking channel Google+ offers powerful integration with the search giant, bringing big benefits in terms of search rankings.
Here are the best strategies for getting social with two alternative marketing resources:
Online video behemoth YouTube attracts nearly 300 million unique visitors a week, a fact that highlights the power of this tool for raising awareness of your business. Embedding YouTube content on your company blog can also pay major dividends in terms of page ranking, as Google rewards fresh, original video content with higher SEO value.
Customer engagement is one of the major objectives of social media, and YouTube excels in this department – businesses that use the channel to host how-to videos, product demonstrations and webinars enjoy higher levels of brand awareness and potential conversions.
Top tip: Optimise your YouTube channel
Remember that compelling, relevant content is central to YouTube success. Make sure your videos are short, snappy and tailored to your target audience – your video content needs to appeal to five-minute online attention spans. Engaging, bite-sized content is also more likely to be shared between users, a quality that can boost your social media presence and drive traffic back to your website.
Although Google+ was initially met with scepticism, this social media channel boasts some major strengths. For example, the networking platform’s alignment with Google means it can seriously influence referrals from the search engine. The Google+ Hangouts feature also allows you to share targeted content with specific groups – an indispensable option if your customer base is highly segmented.
Top tip: Increase your Google+ followers
Google+ serves as a key source of website traffic, but you’ll first have to make an effort to increase your following. Start by adding a Google+ badge to your website to redirect users to your page, and ask your employees and colleagues to share your page with their personal Circles.
It’s also vital to be as relevant as possible when sharing content on Google+. This channel favours informative, behind-the-scenes content over the short, witty links and marketing campaigns embraced by Twitter and Facebook.
There’s no denying that Twitter and Facebook have enjoyed the majority of social media marketing to date, but YouTube and Google+ can help strengthen and consolidate your brand if you take the time to use them appropriately.
This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Neha Kale is a freelance writer and editor with over six years’ experience in the media and finance industries. She has held senior editorial positions at various business and technology publications and specialises in online strategy, innovation, creativity and management best practices.