Social Media, SEO and Local Mobile – The Holy Trinity

social media local seo holy trinity

When we first began to experiment with tying together our online marketing efforts, it didn’t take long to realise that we could send an RSS Feed of our blog posts to Facebook, and have them show up on our Profiles and Pages. It seemed like a great idea and a good way to kill 2 birds with one stone.

The ready way to do this is to ‘syndicate’ your blog to Facebook Notes, a default application in all Facebook accounts.

This worked ok and it brought in your blog posts sure, but what if you wanted to bring in 2 or 3 feeds, or if you managed more than one page? That’s where the apps started to show up, and allowed us to add multiple feeds to multiple pages and manage them from one interface.

About that time people started porting apps to twitter, and soon blog feeds began appearing in Twitter streams. Joining facebook and Twitter seemed like a natural and easy thing to do, and sure enough facebook and Twitter got it together and now they link together as trusted sources of each other (no 3rd party app needed).

What this brought us was supposed to be a great way to share content to disparate audiences, as we thought they were walled in to separate communities or platforms. Twitter for Twitter users, Facebook for facebookers (?) and Blogs for … well you get the idea.

But it’s not all as it seems. I’ve been noticing something, and I want to share it with you.

LOT’S of my followers on Twitter, are Fans on my Page and Readers of my RSS – delivered by email.  Which poses a real problem!  What if they keep getting the same message on each platform, wont they get sick of hearing from me?

Well yes that’s a risk, but it hasn’t panned out that way.  There’s a NEW paradigm emerging and there’s a NEW player.

MOBILE!

OK, so not that new, but what it means is that my readers are logging in when at work and checking emails – and that’s where they read my newsletter.  They are also logging on to facebook to catch up things – and thats where they ‘INTERACT’ with my feed, add comments, sound off, chat about the weather… whatever.

But when it comes to Twitter, they are consuming this information – ALL THE TIME!  They are carrying me around in their pocket – and every time I send out a message with their @username in it – either a reply to something they have said or a link for someone to check out – it alerts them INSTANTLY!

And they can take ACTION INSTANTLY too – whether it’s taking me up on an offer to meet up that night, or check in to a restaurant for a special, or just tweet about their experience of customer service at the RAC.  It can all be done instantly, in real-time ALL the time.

The massive influx of Smart Phones like the iPhone and myriad of Android clones, has meant that the average user now has a very powerful pocket computer that is always connected, and always on.

And they are using them.  Industry pundits are touting 2011 as the Year of Mobile Money – in very real terms.  Instant purchasing right from your phone is very close, paying for cabs from an App, or scanning your phone at Coles are all coming.

So the Trinity now looks more like…

social-local-mobile

OK, don’t laugh at my simplistic graphic here, it just illustrates the point I’m making.  You need to approach ‘Online Marketing’ for your business in a holistic way.  It isn’t enough to just ‘buy some ads on google’ anymore.  It’s also not enough to get your website SEO ranked to the top of the page.  You need to have a comprehensive Social Media Strategy for your business … and this can take some thought.

For example:

If you are a Mexican Restaurant in Mt Lawley (I love Mexican food BTW) – you need to have a think about how your customers are going to interact with you at every step of the process… beginning with the fact that they don’t even know you exist.  So what do you do?

The Yellow Pages aren’t going to help, they are STILL stacked up out front of my apartment building… so what’s the process?

Let’s follow the diagram above.

1st thing you need to do is get online, and get found online.  That may or may not mean a website of your own (it can be done with out it) – but it does mean you have to be FOUND!  Contacting a firm to help raise your online visibility is a good idea (someone like Red Fez for example 🙂 – and establish your online presence.

Let’s say you get a website (WordPress of course), get a domain name, get it SEO’d for your Mexican Restaurant business and you successfuly get a first page ranking.  Great job!

Now, where are your customers when they are looking for food?  Chances are they are at home in front of the computer right?

Well with this model they HAVE to be, because there is no guarantee they can find you on a Map search from their phone.  You just don’t exist!!

WHAT I hear you say?

You heard me.  Your LOCAL business, needs to rank on the Maps page for your business, as most people use a Map or GPS service to find food when they are on the move… NOT search! So your lovely #1 ranking, is no good to anyone looking at their iPhone using the Maps app… because you don’t show up.

So you call your Web Guru guys, and say ‘hey how do I turn up for Local Search – I need to be found on the Maps page as well as the Search page on Google”.  Smart move.  Let’s say this team goes ahead and handles this for you and now you are on page 1 for Search and Maps.  AWESOME!

Problem is, so are 9 of your competitors – they are listed right there too.  Not only that but you see those 5 gold stars under the listing under yours?  That means people have been to your competition, eaten THEIR food not yours, LOVED it and told the whole world about it!  What do you think the person hunting for food is now thinking.  Your listing has NO reviews, your competitor has 3 and all 5 stars.

You guessed it, time to call your web guys again and tell them they need to get you some reviews… and so it goes on and on and on.

Instead of playing catch up you need to have a Plan.  You really need to know what the emerging trends are, and position your business to be in front of the curve and available to the new prospects.  SEO won’t cut it anymore on it’s own, the nature of searching has changed.  People aren’t sitting at home on the house PC anymore.  They are in coffee shops, in the car, in the office, at the park, at the gym, at your competitors restaurant right down the street… even though you have better coffee.

So in wrapping it up (sorry for droning on) – you need to be available in all 3 places.  Be found on Google Search, be found on Local Search and Maps and encourage your customers to interact with your business IN your business via Social Media.

Give me call anytime on 0402 395 336 or tweet me on twitter @rfsociamedia and have a chat about what a targeted and focussed Social Media Strategy can do for your business.

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