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How to Use Social Media to Engage With Potential Customers

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Social media can get overwhelming, especially when you use it for business. Still, if your business has any sort of online presence, you don’t want to ignore social media altogether. These days, virtually everyone owns a smartphone, and most people use these devices to connect to various social platforms. As a business owner, you can use social platforms to meet your clients where they are. So, how do you get started? Here’s what you need to know. 

Consider a Social Media Manager or an SEO Service 

First, decide if your team has room for a social media manager. Running a social business account takes time and strategy, so why not hire someone who knows how to leverage social platforms? If you don’t have the time or patience to keep up with Facebook or Twitter, there’s nothing wrong with handing the reins over to someone who does. 

You can also hire a full-service SEO team. These teams can handle everything from blogging to website creation, and many of them will take care of your social media, too. 

Now, if you don’t have the space or budget for a social media manager, don’t worry. You can still use these platforms to boost your business. 

Choose Your Social Media Platforms 

If you’re handling your own social media, the first thing you’ll need to do is choose your platforms. This step can get overwhelming because you have so many to choose from. So, which platforms will work best for your company? 

First, ask yourself which platforms you’re more likely to use consistently. If you can’t bring yourself to use TikTok and Snapchat, then stick with Twitter and Facebook instead. Consistency is the key to a good social media campaign, so don’t start an account that you’ll never use. 

Next, decide which platforms fit your brand’s content the best. Do you produce a lot of visual content? In that case, Instagram and Pinterest can make great choices. For word-based content, Facebook and Twitter can help you engage with your clients. If your company does a lot of B2B transactions, then LinkedIn may be your best bet. 

Finally, figure out which social media platforms appeal to your average client. The simplest way to do this is to ask yourself how old your clients are. Baby Boomers, for example, may stick to Facebook, while younger clients will spend more time on TikTok and Instagram. 

As you make your choices, remember that you don’t have to use every platform at once. In fact, some companies perform very well with just one or two platforms. 

Establish Your Brand Voice 

Once you choose your platforms and create your accounts, try to establish a consistent voice. If you use more than one platform, keep that voice consistent across all platforms. 

While social media is a great way for brands to interact with their clients, people don’t log on to social media specifically to interact with brands. People use these platforms to interact with friends and engage their own audiences. That’s why it’s so important for you to develop a consistent, authentic voice when you use social media for your business. Without that consistent voice, your tweets and posts can feel fake and forced, and people won’t interact with them. 

Take Advantage of Social Media Advertising 

Once you get the hang of social media, you might consider advertising within your platforms. Social platform advertising works a lot like search engine advertising. Your ads will look a lot like regular tweets and posts. However, you can pay Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites to boost your content and put it in front of a bigger audience. You can even choose the age groups and location demographics for your advertisement audience. 

However, make sure that you establish your brand’s voice before you start using advertisements. Again, authenticity matters, and you can hurt your authenticity by communicating only with ads. Sprinkle a few well-placed ads throughout your regular content, and you’ll find the right balance. 

Establish Links to Your Website 

In both your regular posts and your advertisements, include some links back to your website. For businesses, one of the biggest benefits of social media is the SEO potential. Social media gives you a source for external links, and when people use these links to click on your website, your site gains authority in the eyes of the search engines. As a result, you’ll get rewarded with higher rankings. 

Don’t Forget Website SEO 

Speaking of website SEO, don’t forget to include SEO in your strategy. Some business owners view their social media efforts and their website efforts as two entirely separate things. However, it’s better to view these efforts as two sides of the same coin. 

Your social content can drive a lot of traffic to your website, but that’s just the first step to a good SEO strategy. Your website should also provide a good experience once people get there. For example, are your visuals simple, engaging, and easy to follow? More importantly, how is your site’s speed and reliability

These things matter because they can make or break your entire SEO strategy. Let’s say that someone clicks on your website because you posted a link on social media. If your website is fast, reliable, and visually pleasing, then that person will stay on your site for a while. Hopefully, they’ll also make some return visits. When that happens, the search engines will notice, and your site may get higher rankings. 

On the other hand, if your site is unreliable and doesn’t provide a good experience, then the search engines will notice that, too. They’ll assume that people are leaving your site for a reason, and you’ll see lower rankings as a result. 

Have Patience and Stay Consistent 

Finally, stay consistent with your social media platforms. Try to post something at least once a day, if not more. Your social media accounts may take some time. You may even get frustrated with it every once in a while. However, if you stay patient and consistent, the payoff will be worth the effort. 

If you need to look at customized web hosting, contact Solar VPS today!

Four Benefits to Using Multiple Social Media Platforms to Connect with Customers

Social media has been revolutionizing the way that people and businesses communicate for almost two decades. It’s a huge part of what sets modern businesses apart from the old style of doing business. Having a clear, distinctive brand is what can make or break a business that works on social media. Customers look for memorable aspects of marketing and interaction that come from remarkable businesses. 

According to Hootsuite, there were 3.196 billion social media users around the world as of 2018. It’s never been more important to use social media than right now. In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at four benefits of using multiple social media platforms to connect with customers around the globe.

Social Media Benefit #1: Brand Building

The first benefit of using social media involves brand building. This concept surrounds how consumers come to know your company. Unlike traditional marketing practices, social media casts a wider net on the world wide web. While a starting company might consider only using one social media platform like Facebook, it’s important to expand as the company grows in size and depth. Many worldwide brands will have social media teams who design campaigns to reach viewers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and others.

A deeper element of brand building includes establishing and sharing company values. Social media marketing allows companies to share the human side of their work. This often happens by highlighting your company’s views on important industry and social issues. Many brands will also use different platforms to highlight key members of the team that make a difference in operations. Human interest stories and real examples of the product help to show what your brand is really all about.

Social Media Benefit #2: Growth and Development

The second benefit of utilizing multiple social media platforms comes down to how brand interest grows. In this area, social media posts are designed to encourage customers to get more information about the company. Customers who engage with a company on social media platforms can become more active users of products and services. Additionally, companies can use active followers to become ambassadors that drive further traffic to the brand. You might be familiar with the concept of social media influencers.

Social media influencers are platform users who have a high number of followers. These influencers have the ability to drive more customers to learn about your brand. This can be done through focused marketing projects and sneak previews of products. For example, social media influencers might receive early access to a highly anticipated product line and be asked to create video reviews to encourage their followers to purchase your products. It has been estimated that 20-50% of sales happen from word of mouth. Influencers just happen to have a larger reach than traditional advertising routes.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Social Media Benefit #3: Content Creation and Distribution

The third benefit of using social media platforms for customer engagement involves the creation of content and distribution of said content. Part of what sets social media apart from traditional means of sharing content is the speed with which it can happen. Once content has been created, social media allows viewers around the world to see it and interact with it in a matter of seconds. This far outpaces traditional television or print marketing. In this benefit section, creation and distribution go hand in hand.

As a company, content creation also merges with cultivation. In no world is this process more fruitful than in software development and technology fields. This is a natural place to bring in social media due to the willingness of Generation Y and Generation Z to quickly adapt to technology in new and evocative ways. One way that your company might utilize this three-way street of content creation, distribution, and social media involves challenges and contents.

For example, the Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite that allows users to generate a variety of different types of media to meet their unique needs. When Adobe releases a new software package or a new upgrade, they frequently highlight what real users are doing with the software suite. These user experiences often lead to training guides and a community of devotees.

Social Media Benefit #4: Communication and Customer Relations

The fourth strength of using social media platforms for customer engagement involves constant communication and instantaneous customer relations opportunities. Social media has the potential to make your company into a customer relationships champion or a customer experience failure. It all comes down to how you use the platforms to engage with your fans and your foes respectively. Consider how your team would react to a negative experience from a customer or a group of customers.

While the temptation might be to ignore a bad review or a problem, this is viewed as a failure to respond. Even a short response shows customers and other viewers that your company takes their concerns seriously. In some cases, it goes beyond one response. Take social issues related to race, sexuality, and equality as a whole: These are longer, deeper issues that require concentrated efforts and clear action plans. Social media is an ongoing opportunity for your organization to become the people’s favorite or their sworn enemy.

Solar VPS: Social Media Warriors for Your Business

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the power of social media platforms, it’s time to consider how you can up your strategy. The team at Solar VPS understands the intricacies of developing, maintaining, and supporting web-based infrastructure. No matter whether you’re using iOS, Windows, or Linux products to support your day-to-day functions, we are ready to find a unique way to improve your business. Don’t let social media overwhelm you and under-serve your customers. Contact us today!

How to Start Using Big Data to Learn About Your Audience

Big data’s been all the rage in recent years, as companies use data provided by customers to understand how to improve products and services. The large amounts of data collected are commonly referred to as “big data.” Big data is a general term that refers to using large data sets to get insights into a problem, issue, or opportunity. Customers, and even potential customers, are surprisingly willing to give businesses information if it means savings or better products for them. They give things like location, birthdays, interests, preferred brands and other data that helps companies analyze their buying habits and needs. Companies are using social media to engage with audiences and collect data to help drive growth. Here are a few tips on how social media can help you learn about your audience to be more successful. 

Know Your Demographics

It’s important to use social media to find out who is buying your products. It’s perhaps the best way to use advertising effectively. For example, if you know your typical client is a 25 year old female, you don’t have to throw marketing dollars at the retired crowd. You can selectively place ads in social media groups where a target demographic spends time. Using big data gathered on social media helps companies build a strong core audience that can grow organically. Social media data also can help identify where large groups of potential customers live. This helps companies decide where to open new stores or pop-ups to test whether they want to make an investment in a certain city or town. 

More People Are Buying on Social Media than Ever

Sales from clicks on social media are growing at a rapid pace. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and other social media giants are proving that their platforms are generating sales. Companies are directing more money to social media marketing every year. That’s because it’s money well spent. Big data has helped businesses locate potential buyers by analyzing purchase patterns. Just like in supermarkets that place shaving cream near the razors, social media companies can show what customers buy and when. They use search results and buying history to help companies increase sales. If customers regularly buy a hairbrush and then a certain brand of hair products, companies can market to specific audiences.  SolarVPS helps companies use technology on a scale that helps them gather and filter big data from social media. To find the right solution for your company, contact our team today.  

Instagram Direct: Brand Uses & The NSFW Problem

Instagram Direct

On December 12, 2013, Instagram introduced Instagram Direct. The basic premise of Instagram Direct is simple – users now have the ability to send direct photo messages to the person or persons (up to 15) of their choosing. The Instagram direct messenger allows for users to add comments to photos and to view the direct messages as archived content, never to disappear.

From the individual consumers point of view, Instagram Direct supplies consumers with the ability to privatley reach out to friends, family and groups without their entire Instagram follower list seeing the image. Instagram Direct is the social equivalent of a private joke which only you and your friends know about.

This said, what are the corporate benefits to Instagram Direct? Can companies utilize Instagram Direct to interact with their clients in a more personal fashion or is Instagram Direct designed more for person to person communication?

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The Internal Cloud via Social Media Collaboration

The Private Cloud is Empowering Social Media Collaboration

In the age of connected networks, Social Media platforms and instant communication, the world of has become a smaller place. With the world being more connected then ever before, Social Media networks powered by Cloud platforms are proving time and time again that everything comes down to communication. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter what your interests are and it doesn’t matter what you look like, Social Media networks are empowering increased communication across the globe between members of differing geographic locations with likewise interests. Communication. It’s about communication.

It’s about communication. Within the public Cloud, i.e. Social Media networks, it’s all about communication. The same remains true for users in the corporate world. Whereas most people think an Internal Cloud deployment serves as a protected repository for critical business data, the truth is the Internal Cloud is shifting into something more social, more communication based, more collaborative.

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Counterpoint: 4 Reasons Why Facebook is Dying

As a tech company, we spend a lot of time reading the blogs, digital newspapers and sentiments of other Cloud companies. However, like anyone, we have more on our mind than just Cloud technologies and virtualization solutions. I am a keen follower and advocate for everything social/blogging. With this in mind, I want to present a counterpoint to a blog our content friends over at Brafton published yesterday titled, “4 Reasons Why Facebook Isn’t Dead“. It was a well written article yet there are some holes.

Facebook, the social media big boy, might be dying

1. Does It Really Boast the Most Members?

Ghost accounts. Liking parties. Spammers. As noted in the Brafton piece, Facebook has over 1 billion active users worldwide. 1 billion? Let’s look at that figure a bit deeper and go beyond scratching the surface. According to Facebook, the social media giant has 1 billion strong however according to multiple sources – The Huffington Post, Mashable, The Globe Press, Business Insider, CNN etc. – Facebook is constantly skewing their user base by a range of 10 – 20%. Quick math, that means the social media giant has between 100 million and 200 million fake accounts floating around, posting and spamming. Brafton is correct in the sense that the Facebook user base of 800 million active accounts is a “huge pool of potential customers your brand can engage with and turn into loyal customers” however while other social media networks are gaining a larger following within the teenage community, Facebook is holding steady/shedding them.

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WrightIMC's #ASE12 Interview with FortressITX

In this sit down, WrightIMC’s Account Coordinator Kimberly Reynolds sits down with FortressITX to talk about Affiliate Summit East 2012, affiliate marketing, social media and why Google+ might or might not be a good network to get involved in. A special thanks to Ms. Reynolds for allowing us to reprint her blog post in this space. To read Ms. Reynolds interview with FortressITX Dir. of Marketing Josh Ewin, read below… Continue