Social media facilitates the sharing and communication of information, ideas and opinions with friends, family, colleagues and customers in an interactive forum. In recent years, social media has expanded to offer boundless marketing opportunities for businesses. Your firm can use social media platforms as marketing tools to amplify your company brand and content to drive more visitors to your CCH Web Manager website and improve Search Rankings.
By linking your website to your social media pages, or encouraging social media users to share your web content on their accounts, you can increase traffic back to your site which in turn can improve your search engine rankings.
Below we will take a look at a number of options that your firm can use to expand your online presence with social media.
If you’ve been wondering ‘Is blogging really worth the time and effort?’ The answer is YES!
Some might argue that if you are only going to focus on one thing from the topics covered in this blog post – it would be to blog. Why? Because publishing regular blog posts to your website helps to engage your existing clients, enhance inbound traffic, attract new clients and it means you are adding new content to your site containing key phrases (which will be indexed by google) – so not only can it be a critical tool for helping to improve your search engine rankings, but it is also easy to share across a variety of social media platforms.
Blogging for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Search engines will rank sites higher which have relevant content that is regularly updated and that have lots of inbound links from other sites. A great way to achieve this is to publish regular blog posts which you can link back to from social media platforms. This gives Google and other search engines new content to index and gives you opportunities to utilise key terms and phrases in relevant blog articles to improve your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).
Getting your post out there – Now that you have published your blog post to your website, it’s important to promote your post to ensure you’re getting traffic to your site. There are a number of ways you can go about promoting your blog including Newsletters to your clients and prospects, sharing via your own social media pages and providing readers with tools to easily share to their social media pages.
Automated cross platform sharing tools – Hootsuite is one example of a widely used platform for managing social media, scheduling posts and engaging with your audience all from one place. The user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and many more.
There are many other online tools for posting and sharing blogs plus social media to various networks quickly and effectively, each with their own qualities. Some other examples include ‘Onlywire’ – a tool for bookmarking your posts to nearly 30 sites simultaneously. And ‘Dlvr.it‘ – link up your blog’s RSS feed to your different social media accounts.
Universal Share Buttons
Sharing buttons make it easy for your website visitors to easily share your content with their social media connections and networks. Adding these buttons to your content allows you to expand the reach of your content to new audiences and generate new visitors back to your website. Each platform has its own sharing functions and widgets which we’ll cover some of below, however there are tools which can be embedded into your website allowing users to share your content to the platform of their choice with the click of a button.
AddThis is a great example of these tools – it can be easily embedded into any website and you have control over the style of buttons you use on your website as well as which buttons appear such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more. AddThis can also be connected to your Google Analytics account for further analysis.
Facebook is a great way to engage with existing clients and reach new prospects.
There are a number of Facebook plugins that allow you to embed a button or widget on your website to make it easier for your clients to engage with your Facebook page and share your website pages with their own network – each with their own purpose or function.
Embedding Facebook plugins to your website:
- ‘Page Plugin’ Widget – lets you embed and promote your Facebook Page on your website. Your visitors can like and share the Page without leaving your site. ‘Likes’ can give your Facebook page more traction and reach a wider audience.
- ‘Like Button’ Widget – For this one you don’t need your own Facebook page as this plugin lets visitors to your website share pages back to their Facebook profile with one click. When a Facebook user ‘likes’ a page or post on your site, this will appear in the user’s friends’ news feed with a link back to your website.
- ‘Share Button’ Widget – similar to the like button, however this option allows the user to add a personalised message before sharing it to their Facebook timeline, group or individual friend.
How to Add Facebook Plugins your website – To get the Facebook plugins mentioned above added to your Web Manager website visit Facebook’s Developer site, choose the plugin from the left menu and fill out the information for your Facebook page.
When you have the settings how you want them to look, click Get Code button and you’ll see two snippets of code, copy and paste the code into an email and send it to email@example.com
Driving Facebook traffic back to your website – It’s important to give prospective clients on Facebook an easy passage to your website. Use prominent images and videos to ensure your posts gain attention and that your page gets lots of Facebook likes, shares and comments – and most importantly traffic back to your website.
A great method for this is to provide a snippet of content from one of your blog posts. Enough to engage the reader, a leading question or statement to get them thinking – then a click through back to your website for the full article.
Another great place to engage with clients and prospects and share your blog articles to a wider audience is LinkedIn – a social networking site designed for business communities.
Be present and memorable – Having a good, well branded company profile on LinkedIn can be an important part of your marketing strategy. The ‘about’ section of your LinkedIn business page is a great a place to tell a brief story about your firm and what you have to offer, create interest with a brief description and link back to your website for more detail – be professional but memorable.
Engage with Your Network – To get the most out of LinkedIn you need to engage the reader. Try using a leading question or statement to get them thinking – then use a call-to-action to lead them back to your website for the full article.
LinkedIn Share Button – If you are using ‘ShareThis’ or ‘AddThis’ make sure you include LinkedIn as an option there too. Otherwise, visit the LinkedIn developer page to grab the code for a stand-alone share button. Share buttons make it easy for your visitors to share posts with their own network.
Member Profile Plugin Generator – Useful if you would like to embed a small business card style widget for your team members on your website to link back to their LinkedIn profiles.
To get the LinkedIn Widgets mentioned above added to your website, visit LinkedIn and fill out the information for your blog page or website. https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins
When you have the settings how you want them to look, click Get Code button and you’ll see two snippets of code, copy and paste the code into an email and send it to us so we can help you embed it in your website.
Posting a Tweet about your blog helps you connect with a wider audience – there are over 500 million users on Twitter!
Keep your Tweets short and sweet – While it can be challenging to get your message across on so few characters – it’s worth noting short Tweets (under 100 characters) get a higher interaction rate.
Use #Hashtags – Hashtags are a short word phrase following a # that ‘tags’ your tweet with a common discussion topic. These can help give your audience more info about your Tweet and get your Tweet seen by other Twitter users who are searching for the topics you’ve written about.
Some examples of how you could use Hashtags include your business name and your key service areas – #financialplanning, #SMSF, #accounting, #taxation and so on.
Create Visual Appeal – Use eye catching imagery to lure your audience to interact with your Tweet and drive traffic back to your site.
Create curiosity – A suggestive question or statement that your audience can associate with helps create curiosity leaving the reader wanting to know more – resulting in more traffic back to your blog.
Embedded Twitter Plugins – Depending what you would like to achieve, there are a number of Twitter plugins you can use in conjunction with your Web Manager website. We recommend:
- Embedded Timeline – to display a stream of Tweets on your website. Use it to showcase your stories from your Twitter account.
- Twitter Buttons – a small button embedded in your website to enable visitors to easily share your website content on Twitter.
To get the Twitter Widgets mentioned above added to your website, visit Twitter and fill out the information for your blog page or website. https://publish.twitter.com/
When you have the settings how you want them to look, click Copy Code button, copy and paste the code into an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram describes itself as ‘a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures’. It is an application for sharing photos and videos from a mobile device. While it is potentially not the most fitting social media platform for accounting firms – you can use this to promote your business website/blog.
Associate with other social networks – Linking your Instagram to your Twitter, Facebook and other social networking accounts helps your Instagram to reach your clients and prospects on your other social networks. Go to Account Settings > Share Settings) to set this up.
Use #Hashtags – Like with Twitter, Hashtags can help give your audience more info about your post and get it seen by a wider audience of users who are searching for the topics you’ve written about.
As the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube can be a useful tool to drive targeted traffic back to your website or other social media platforms. Some tips for your YouTube content:
Keep your video concise – keeping your video content short and to the point (up to 2 minutes) is optimal for keeping your audience’s attention and encouraging them to complete a call to action – like clicking through to your website, contacting you about a new service offering, or signing up to your mailing list.
Leave them wanting more – So, you have published a content page or blog post along the line of “Tax Time Tips” – during your YouTube video you can provide useful detail on 1 or 2 tips, and list out a short descriptor to give the audience a taste of another 3 or 4 – encouraging viewers to ‘click the link below’ to visit your website page for more useful “Tax Time Tips”.
Link back to your website – Ensure you have provided a call to action within your video and include a link for easy connectivity back to your site.
YouTube is less competitive for key terms than Google, so this is a great opportunity to drive your Search Engine Optimisation strategy as Google ranks video content highly too.
Google shows you how to add annotations and links to your YouTube videos here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/92710?hl=en
Embedding YouTube into your site – You can embed YouTube videos into your site in a couple of different ways – directly into a page by copying the embed code or pasting the URL into a custom database that can display multiple videos in a gallery layout. You may use these options to display:
|Case studies / testimonials||Articles|
|Educational or instructional videos|