Marketing

How to Market Yourself on Social Media

Ten years ago social media was nothing but a tool used by college students to connect with each other across campus. Now it’s a juggernaut used not only for social interaction, but business and marketing as well. However, using social media as a means of marketing can be somewhat overwhelming initially, and many write it off altogether simply because they don’t know how to market themselves. Marketing yourself on social media is daunting, but with two simple tools it can be incredibly easy and successful.

The most important aspect of marketing on social media is content. An online survey by Cowen and Company found that on average people spend at least 42 minutes of their time on Facebook daily. This may or may not seem like a lot of time depending on your age group, but consider this: within that 42 minute span, users are scrolling past large amounts of content that had been posted throughout the day. The best way to make your content stand out is simply to create more of it.

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Consider the Huffington Post, which on average produces 400 blogs per day. Granted they have 28 full time bloggers, but stick with me here. The Huffington Post attracts 43.4 million page views per day from their social media. Now compare that to the New York Times which produces 350 pieces of content per day, and attracts 17.4 million page views per day. Go one step farther to Business Insider which produces 300 pieces of content and attracts 2.5 million page views per day. Notice a trend? The less content you present to your audience the less online traffic you will receive. While this relationship may seem redundant, too many people believe that they can honestly attract a web presence without producing content on some sort of organized schedule. You may not have the sort of full time staff that some of these major news corporations have, or even come close to the amount of content they publish, but creating large amounts of content on a regular basis is the best way to bring users to you.

Bringing users to your content is your main objective, but the question is how you should do it. When most people think about social media they are usually thinking exclusively about Facebook. In order to market yourself effectively however, your outreach must include broader forms of social media. According to a recent survey done by the Pew Research Center back in September, 74 percent of adults are on social media, with some unique breakdowns by the types of social media they use.

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About 71 percent use Facebook, 23 percent use Twitter, 26 percent use Instagram, 28 percent use Pinterest, and 28 percent use LinkedIn. Why is this breakdown important you might ask? Three years ago, all other social media sites besides Facebook had roughly half as many users as they do today. This trend tells us that Facebook’s rise may be slowing down, while other forms of social media are growing exponentially. When you begin your marketing campaign, it’s necessary to consider which platform has the most users for the content you are creating. A Facebook page is necessary solely because of the number of users that are already established there. From there you may consider a Pinterest or an Instagram based on the growth trends of the past few years. Marketing is all about bringing your goods or services to where the people are. Everyone is on Facebook so naturally you start there, but other sites are beginning to grow in popularity so it is essential you tap into that popularity in its earliest stages to establish yourself.

Marketing yourself on social media can be hard, but by no means is it impossible. The trick to making the whole process easier on yourself and more successful in the long run is to do your research. How much time do you have to write a blog or post original content? Can you do it daily? Weekly? Stick to a schedule and always make sure you are producing as much content as possible. Finally, find multiple platforms for your content that are both established and up and coming. Look for growth trends, talk to people in younger generations to find the latest social media craze, and overall stick to the platforms that you feel most comfortable using. By following these steps, marketing yourself on social media should feel less like work and more like a fun an effective way to connect your goods or services to the users everywhere.

Your Own Slice of the Web

In this day and age, having an online presence is becoming more important than ever. Over 80% of millennials have Facebook pages, and 120 million of LinkedIn’s users are aged 18-35. So, if you aren’t branding yourself online yet, now might be a good time to think about doing so (regardless of your age!).

One of the easiest ways to create your digital image is to have a personal website. This can be anything from a professional blog to a digital resume to a portfolio of your creative works. If your website is related to your profession, that’s even better! Having an online space to show your strengths and passions is becoming more beneficial in the digital era; employers will be impressed, especially if you update or add content frequently. According to a survey conducted in 2014 by The Professional Website, most millennials thought that it was somewhat important to have an online branded image for professional success. Yet most millennials were split on whether or not to actually have a personal website, with many people citing that they didn’t know if the cost was worth it, or that they didn’t want to promote themselves too much. Additionally, most people surveyed would want a personal website for free, and about a quarter were willing to pay $5-10 a month.

Personally, I think the cost is worth it, and if all you need is a self-contained website, there are free hosting options available – you just need to be able to design your own site, or find someone who can do it for you. No need to get fancy though – your resume doesn’t need to be an online video game, although I do believe novel sites that present information are most memorable! I designed my own website earlier this year (more of a page really, it’s just an online resume that looks pretty). I think having my own site provides some sort of professionalism, based on the content I’m hosting. It’s certainly something I’m proud that I have. With regards to potentially pushing your ego too much – in the professional world, you have to be assertive. And honestly, having your own space that celebrates your achievements or passions is pretty fun. This is your space, and you shouldn’t be afraid to share what makes you an awesome/amazing/totally cool person. So the question is, do you want to own your own slice of the web? What will you share?

Millennials, Websites, and SEO

There has been a lot of hype lately about how to market to Millennials, how to get them to buy your products, etc.

Let’s start with what a “Millennial” is. Millennials are loosely defined as those persons who have reached adulthood in the year 2000, commonly called “Generation Y”, or the “Net Generation”. Researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, according to the Internet “encyclopedia”, Wikipedia. With that definition, a Millennial covers an age span between 18 to 35 years of age.

Millennials, usually tagged with the misconception that they are “obsessed” with technology, i.e., “always have their noses in their iPhone”, are in fact more interested in doing things in the fastest and most efficient way using the latest available technology.

Next, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results (emphasis added) – often referred to as “natural,” “organic” or “earned” results.

Everyone knows what a website is but, again, according to Wiki, “A website, also written as web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages typically served from a single “web domain”.” Think Amazon.com, Pinterest, or YouTube.

So, how do all of these tie together? Millennials use the latest technology available to search for information on the Internet with the fastest means possible. That information is found on websites. They don’t want to waste their time in searching. They would prefer getting the right results, right now, so they can get on with their lives doing what they intended to do with the information.

With all of the recent search engine algorithm changes, (over 120 since 2000), search engines try to determine what the intent of the searcher is, and then tries to provide information that is as close as possible to that perceived intent. That means if your website does not have the information that is pertinent, it won’t show up in Internet searches. Keywords are no longer the bait of searchers – it is relevant information on the pages they land on.

So, what applies to Millennials, also really applies to everyone. If you want to maximize your chances of a Millennial, a Baby Boomer, or anyone for that matter to visit your website and do that conversion,  you must make sure you have good quality content on each of your website pages.

So, what have you done to adapt to the latest Google algorithm changes?