(And how to avoid some common mistakes)
Need might be a little strong, but customizing your various social mediums the right way will increase interest in your updates, draw in more followers and ultimately increase sales, which is the goal of course.
“Great, first they told me I had to get Facebook and Twitter, and then they told me I had to update them, now I need to hire a team of designers to make it look pretty. What happened to taking out an ad in the local paper and being done with it?”
I know, trust me even for people who work with social media every day the evolving nature of it can get dizzying. Believe it or not this is easier than taking out an ad in the local paper, faster, free, and you probably don’t need a team of designers unless your really want something complex. Here’s why it’s a great idea to customize all of your social media sites; Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, whatever else you have going on:
- It looks pretty – “What kind of generic advice is that?” No really, it matters. Not necessarily “pretty” but something to remember. There’s more to it than that though. Let’s think about the psychology of your average customer. Too many designers and business owners make the fatal social media mistake of thinking their average customer or even new potential customers wantto follow them. As if they’ve been surfing the net for hours to find you and now they are overcome with a sense of euphoric awe upon gazing at your landing page—that you’ve graced them with your presence is enough. Sorry, but chances are they are there because they want something now, or something somewhere caught that split second of interest it took to click a link, and you have less than a split second to keep them there.With that in mind, here are the most important elements to keep in mind while making your social media sites pretty:
- Don’t make them wait for a video to load. If you have a video, audio or anything else that takes time let them choose to hit play. Sensory terrorism might be putting it strongly, but basically people don’t like it when you trap them there with a video they never asked to see or audio they don’t want to hear.
- Make sure everything about your page draws attention to your call to action, whether the call to action is to buy something or just follow you on Twitter or “Like” you on Facebook. The design should draw the eye there and the text should be drawing them to it amidst benefits and descriptions.
- Keep it simple and free of clutter.
- Now within those rules you can create something specific to your product and service that is memorable and intriguing.
- Get leads – Most social mediums give visitors the option of following you, which is cool, but a custom page can do more. Always offer the option of entering an email so that you can contact them. If possible give them a reason to give you an email as well, a promotion is helpful. “Why isn’t the Like button enough, or whatever the case?” Sometimes it is, but chances are you are getting quite a few visitors who don’t want daily updates about you cluttering up the area they talk to friends and family but they would not object to you having their email with an opt out option. Now you are giving them control. People like having control. So always include an opt-in option on your custom social media page.
- Branding – It is sort of part of making it pretty, but more. Here’s the cold hard fact that a lot of businesses don’t want to hear. The vast, vast majority of people are not looking for what you are selling at this very moment. Worse, there is absolutely nothing you can do about that fact. You can’t hypnotize them, you can’t steal their credit card and make them buy, you can’t hold their kitten ransom until they do buy… what you can do is make sure they remember who your are for when they do want what you are selling. This requires time, an intriguing and unique message and design and a consistent message across all mediums. You cannot have a consistent and memorable message with a generic social media page, it has to be custom and it has to fit in with everything else you do.
About the guest author: Jeff Gross is a marketing and SEO expert based out of Long Island, New York. He is founder of iIntentio, a Long Island Web Design firm. If you would like to find out more please visit www.iIntentio.com.
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