Whether your company intends on investing in social media marketing or not (it should), there are 4 critically important reasons you should reserve your social media profiles today. While I could easily write an entire blog post about why your company MUST be on social media, I know there are a lot of companies out there who still just don’t buy into the movement (it’s really more of a seismic shift). So I want to focus this blog post on why EVERY SINGLE business in existence should at the very least register their social media profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and any new social network that crops up.
Now I know you may be thinking to yourself, “Marco, calm down! We’ll register our profiles down the road when we eventually decide we want to use Facebook or Twitter.” To that, I respond “Even if that time is tomorrow, it could be too late!” Your customers are looking for and talking about your company on social networks RIGHT NOW. A competitor or unhappy customer could register your company name on Facebook or Twitter and absolutely humiliate and damage your brand, just because you didn’t register your profile and secure your name.
These are two very serious negatives that could result by not registering your social media profiles, but there are also some serious benefits to simply registering your social media presence. First of all, the future of search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing is going to be deeply rooted in the “social graph” that develops out of social media. Not to mention, if you have your social media profiles registered and setup today you don’t have to worry about it down the road!
Be Easy to Find, Available for Your Customers
Facebook has over 500 million active users and Twitter users spew out over 1 billion messages every single week. I’d be willing to bet a good portion of your customers actively use at least one of these platforms. Chances are, at least one of your customers has looked to connect with your business using social media. Aside from the lost opportunity that comes with not fully investing in social media and building a community around your brand online, there is a serious loss when somebody tries to find you and can’t. It would feel like the marketing jackpot if somebody walked into your business and said, “Hello, I want you to send me marketing updates please”! That is the exact same thing that happens when people try to connect with your brand online – they are ASKING you to connect with them! How on earth could you ignore that!?
In addition to simply connecting with your customers, having a social media presence means that customers can tag you in posts that are shared with their friends and networks. For example, I could write on Twitter “I just had a great lunch @Merzi in downtown DC! Love these guys!” I have a LOT of people in my network that live and work in downtown DC that haven’t heard of Merzi, but since Merzi has a twitter profile that I could tag my friends can click on @Merzi and see the company’s Twitter profile. Next time they walk by the restaurant, they’ll think “Oh hey, that’s where Marco ate the other day and he said he loved it! Let’s give it a try!”
From a customer service perspective, social media is one of the most powerful tools you can have. Even if you are not actively pursuing customer service with social media, having easily found social media profiles is just as important as having a phone number or a contact form on your website that customers can contact you through! The fact is, many customers have their own comfort zones with how they communicate. Some ONLY communicate by phone, while some ONLY communicate through social media. As a business, you need to be available through EVERY channel so that anybody can connect with you!
Prevent PR Disaster: Social Media Identity Theft
If your company already has an online presence, then you most likely understand that one of the most important purchases you make is your domain name. Your domain name is your address on the web – where people can find your business (www.yourbusiness.com) or contact your company (firstname.lastname@example.org). Despite the fact that you have to pay for a domain, people and companies have bought up thousands (if not millions) of domains in the hopes that they can sell them at a later date for a profit. Each domain costs an average of $10 each, but registering social media profiles is completely free! You better believe that if nobody has yet, somebody will scoop up your social media identity (eg. @yourcompany) hoping to sell it to you for a pretty penny.
The country of Israel paid six figures to a guy in Miami for the Twitter handle @Israel – http://goblu.co/gQJGxa. And that’s the most benevolent of scenarios. Imagine if your online identity (@yourcompany) got in the hands of a competitor or an unhappy customer!
We’ve seen domains end up in the hands of competitors, which is why you should register a .CO domain immediately. When a competitor or upset customer gets a hold of your social media identity, they can setup a profile under your name that either pretends to be you or that disparages your brand. Can you imagine going to the Facebook page you think is “Bank of America” and it’s telling you that Bank of America is closed and all accounts are being forwarded to Capital One!? Talk about a PR disaster! If you’ve registered your social media profiles, though, you can make sure that this kind of social media identity theft never happens!
SEO Benefit of Social Media Profiles
If you haven’t read my blog post about social mediaand the future of SEO, be sure to check it out for an in-depth review of how social media will play a critical function in how the internet works in the near future. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the “social graph” created with social media will soon become the foundation of search as well. Social media introduces new metrics such as trust, credibility, degrees of connectivity and much more – valuable metrics that search engines can use to help make sure that the results you see for your query are custom and relevant to you. What does this mean for business? In the long-run, this means that how your website ranks in search could be determined by factors including:
How many Facebook “Likes” or Twitter Followers You Have
How active your social media presence is
The degree of engagement between you and your followers
How much your content is shared across social media
And much, much more!
More immediately, social media profiles can help your website’s SEO today by driving traffic to your site as well as encouraging sharing and “link-building”. On their own, social media profiles tend to rank well in the search engines and can help you to maximize the real estate that you own on Google. Twitter and Facebook both have a “Page Rank” of 10, and profiles tend to have a significant “Page Rank” themselves – a factor that plays a predominant role in Google’s search algorithms.
Whether you are looking for long-term or immediate value from social media, simply registering your profiles can play a significant role in your current and future search engine presence.
Don’t Worry About it Down the Road
Social media is revolutionizing the way individual and companies communicate. It is hands down one of the most powerful tools your business can be using to connect with customers, prospects, supporters, media outlets and more. But social media is invariably a long-term investment. It is an investment in your brand, your relationships with the community around your brand, and your company’s online identity now and down the road. While some companies are embracing social media and investing tons of money in it, others are focusing their marketing dollars on more measurable and immediate-impact initiatives like SEO and PPC – and there’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, for a lot of businesses with limited budgets it may make more financial sense to be investing in these services! But I guarantee you, in the next 5 years your company will NEED a presence on social networking sites.
One of the most important investments you can make today is taking the first step in registering your social media profiles! What if I told you that for absolutely ZERO COST to you, I could:
Connect your company with a network of over 500 million active users
Provide you with direct access to connect on a personal level with customers, prospective customers, and members of your community
Build you a network of people who WANT to hear your marketing
Shut down opportunities for competitors and upset customers from stealing your online identity
Help increase your company’s real estate on the search engine results pages
Position your company in a way tomaximize its search engine rank 3-5-10 years into the future
Even if you do NOTHING with social media this year or next, your company needs to register its social media profiles. It’s a no-brainer investment for your company today and into the future!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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