“NO ONE OWES US THEIR ATTENTION.” That’s a phrase every business who has a social media account should use as its screensaver. Repeat: No one owes us their attention.
In early October, social media and SEO expert Amy Guth delivered a workshop on "SEO via Social Media" to a bunch of business editors, including yours truly. Guth has a list of new tips anyone can implement to get their social media pages noticed by Google and other search engines — and that's important for building your business.
So, if you want to expand your social media presence in front of your current – and future – consumer audiences, pay attention:
TIP NO. 1: The most important thing you can do today on social media? Update your bio (or “About”) area on each social site. Your business bios on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are "online rocket fuel" when it comes to SEO – especially the first 40 characters, which are noticed by the search engines, Guth says. Stop being cute (“We love riding!”) and use keywords search engines can find – motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, brand names. Update the bio areas from time to time to keep things fresh.
TIP NO. 2: Abide by the Rule of Thirds. One-third of your social media posts should be original (your content), another third should be within your topic but original to others (you’re sharing/retweeting others’ content), and the final third of your posts should be personal engagement (thank you’s, comments, responses). The exception: Instagram, where most of your posts should be original, Guth says.
TIP NO. 3: Regularity trumps volume. Search engines are first determining whether you have a robust Facebook, Twitter or other social media account, so make sure you’re posting to it regularly – even a once-a-week photo post will get more search engine attention than a more extensive item that’s posted once a month, Guth says.
TIP NO. 4: Stop telling people to “check it out.” Asking your viewers to “check out” a link or a story is one of the worst things you can say on social media: “It is an instant demotivator. You’re asking them do to something before you’ve earned their trust. No one owes you their attention,” Guth says. Of course, if you’ve already earned their trust, you don’t need to ask them to “check out” something you’ve posted – because they’ll do it anyway.
TIP NO. 5: Avoid buzzwords if you want to reach new customers. To people outside of or new to the motorcycle market, buzzwords can be exclusionary. Save the jargon for the enthusiasts… and your co-workers. (But here’s an idea – how about a series of social posts that explain certain terms used by your service department?)
TIP NO. 6: Choose your platforms. Where are your current and future customers? Most powersports businesses are highly visual – there are great-looking vehicles and products, and lots of opportunity to post people photos and travel images, so include a visual platform, like Instagram or Pinterest, in your social media suite.
Mary Green is vice president and general manager of Dealernews, and after she posts this, she's going to update her Twitter bio (@EditrixB2B). Contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org