21 Social Media Technology Questions Answered for Startups

social media risks for startups

Social Media is very time consuming and as a startup you certainly don’t have lots of spare time to invest in it.

But it is a crucial part of growing your business.  Social Media takes time, advertising takes money and lots of it.

If you have an online presence you need a social media strategy.  This post won’t give you a strategy but it will give you some ideas in relation to social media technology questions that you may have.  We have some answers and want to share.

 

1.  How do I use Social Media to generate free traffic to my website

When you want to generate traffic to your website you can pay to get the traffic or you can use some of your time to generate the traffic.  You don’t actually give out money but your time is money so it’s not really free!

So you decide.  Do you want to drive traffic to your website by paying for something like Google Adwords?  Or do you want to write content to attract the traffic.

A blog is a great way of driving relevant traffic to your website that you don’t have to pay for.  You write content focussed on what your audience is searching for that is relevant to your product and service and get free traffic from Google.

2. If I decide to create a blog how do I know what my target audience are searching for?

Google provides provides a tool called Google Keyword tool.  Enter in what you think your customers are searching for and Google will tell you how many people search for this on a monthly basis.

 

Google Keyword Tool

Google Keyword tool shows you what people are searching on.

 

4.  What software should you use for a blog?

We have always used WordPress and haven’t gone wrong yet.   Get a developer to build you a theme for wordpress which is how your website will look and how it is laid out.  Make sure this a responsive theme.  This means the content will automatically adjust according to the size of the device.

5.  If you build your site with WordPress what plugins should you install?

Here is a list of some of the usual plugins we install:

  • Akismet – This helps catch spam on comments.
  • WordPress SEO – This helps optimize your content for Google.
  • Backup Buddy – It’s essential that you regularly backup your content
  • Digg Digg – Great plugin to encourage sharing of your content on social media channels
  • Gravity Forms – An easy way of building forms on your site.
  • Disqus comment system – We find this is a better comment system than the comment system provided with wordpress.
  • WP Total Cache – Cache your pages improves performance.  Better performance means Google likes you more.

6. How do you optimize your blog content for SEO?

If you want to optimize a post so it has a better chance of appearing higher on Google here are some tips:

Title Tag – The Title tag is read by Google but not visible to your user.  It’s one of the most important elements to configure correctly.  Make sure to include your target keywords for your post in your title.

Note: The words at the start of the title are more important from a Google perspective so include keywords near the start.

Description Tag – This is displayed in Google search results under the title.  Make sure you have the keywords with the title.

Page name – Make sure the page name of the blog post has the keywords in there.

Content – Mention the keywords in the first sentence a couple of times in the content.  This is not an exact science so don’t over do it.  Use the keywords when it’s relevant to include them.

If you want more information read – how to improve google ranking of your blog post.

7. Is Guest Posting useful and how do you benefit from it?

Guest posting on other influential blogs can be very beneficial to drive relevant traffic to your site.

Make sure to have a good author bio which includes a link back to your site using relevant keywords that you want to be ranked on.

 

SEO Optimised Author Profile

This profile is optimized with a link to their website using keywords that they want to rank on (i.e. Facebook page management software)

8. How do I assess a website if I’m considering guest posting on it?

You can check traffic on the site using compete.com

You can check alexa rank using alexa.com (the lower the better).

You can check page rank using prchecker.info

Check for social shares and comments

Look at who else is posting on the site!

9. How do you capture visitor details so you can continue to market to them?

Most visitors to your website will not come back so you need to capture their details.  One of the best ways is getting them to sign up via e-mail to download a white paper, subscribe to the blog or just get more information.

10. What e-mail management tool should you use?

As your list grows you will need to invest in an e-mail marketing tool that will help you manage, communicate and report on any e-mail communication with this list.

We use Aweber which is great.  If you want an alternative that is free use Mailchimp (free for up to 2,000 e-mail subscribers).

11. How do you improve your e-mail subscription rates?

To improve email newsletter subscribers you need know what works and doesn’t work on your website.  Here are some tips:

Offer Incentives – Become a subscriber and get your amazing guide!

Display Social Proof –  Your website visitors are influenced by other people.  If you have a large number of subscribers display this.  If you don’t have a large number of subscribers find someone that your audience will admire and look up to that is relevant to your business and get them to give you a great quote about your site!

 

social proof

Getting someone influential in your field to recommend your site improves e-mail subscription rates

 

Make it easy –   A lot of sites make it very difficult to subscribe because you can’t find the subscription box.  Make it stand out on the page with a clear call to action (e.g. Join now!).  Also display it in numerous places – to the right of the post, at the end of the post, in the footer and in the about us page!

12. How do you effectively manage twitter so I’m not wasting time?

The best tool to use is Hootsuite for social media management.  Create a twitter list of all the influential people that you want to connect with and create a column within Hootsuite that tracks these.  Create other filters that are relevant to your business and separate them out in columns.

13. How do you grow a following on twitter

Identify relevant people to following using the search facility within manage flitter and use this tool every day to target new followers.

14. When is the best time to post on twitter?

Check out Socialbro.  This will show you when your twitter followers are online.

15. Do you need to be up 24 hours a day sending updates?

If you are targeting an international audience you need to share content at times relevant to them.  Use Hootsuite for Scheduling content and BufferApp.

16. Any tools or applications that will help you on Facebook?

Competitions can work very well on Facebook to grow a following.  Check out Shortstack.

If you want to evaluate your Facebook page to see what improvements you need to make check out Likealyzer.

Check out Appbistro which is a directory for Facebook applications.

17. Do you kneed to be on Google +

Yes, you need to have a personal account on Google +.  When you post any content on your blog share it out with your circles on Google+ and when people +1 it the content will be indexed by Google.  Google + is becoming increasingly important.  Check out Google Authorship.

18.  How do you convert social media traffic into business?

Social media is about building relationships and if you build relationships with the right people you will generate business as a result of this.

If you are communicating via social media channels bring visitors back to your home base which is your website.  Capture their details via e-mail and then you can promote your products and services through this.  Avoid too much direct promotion of your services through twitter, Facebook etc.

19.  Are there any LinkedIn Tools that can help?

Rapportive is a plugin you install within gmail.  When you get e-mails Rapportive looks them up to find out their LinkedIn profile and then you can connect instantly with that person on LinkedIn within gmail.  If you want to be successful on LinkedIn  you need to build up your profile.

20.  If I’m stuck for any technology questions where do I go?

We always answer comments on blog posts so come back here any time and we’ll answer your questions.

21.  Where do I find more social media technology tools and tips?

Read these 101 social media tools and technology tips!  and subscribe to this site and get the free social media tools guide (see subscription on the right hand side of this page.

As a startup what has been your social media technology challenges?  Any tips above useful to you?

 

  • http://twitter.com/jenillustre jennifer illustre

    Exactly what I needed. Thank you so much!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Jennifer, glad it was useful!

  • http://twitter.com/salcoombes Sally Coombes

    Great tips and love the FAQ approach. Here’s my question – how are publishers/brands like Mashable and Huff Post using the branded URL shortner so it appears something like http://on.mash.to/ or on.huff.to/ … Does it require setting up short domain names or is there a free platform that enables you to customer brand the short URL? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

    • http://twitter.com/changed76 Bartosz Tomczak
      • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

        Hey Bastrosz, thank you so much for the link, very helpful. Ian

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you Sally. As Bartosz mentioned below this is white label arrangements. They let you use their software to produce you own URL’s but you pay a fee fro it. Thank you for your comment.

  • http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com/ Cendrine Marrouat

    As always, awesome article Ian! You always go above and beyond what people need. Great job!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Cendrine, thank you so much for your great feedback and thanks for sharing on Internetbillboards.net! Much appreciated. Ian

  • http://twitter.com/naveennanchari Naveen Nanchari

    Thanks a lot for sharing this Ian

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Naveen, you are welcome. Thank so much for commenting. We love to get comments! Ian

  • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

    Thanks Ian, great timing. I’m working on a new project ‘Social Media 4 Swiss Start-Ups’ and shared this on the newly created LinkedIn Group.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Sarah, great thank you!!

  • http://twitter.com/LocalAndIndie Local & Independent

    Great! Sharing on with my audience. Thank you for keeping it short and to the point. Fast answers for busy people.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much for your feedback. Thank you for sharing, that would be great!!

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It contains a lot of useful and insightful information that are exactly spot-on and kept short. Thanks again.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Michal, thank you so much for your feedback. Glad it was useful!

  • http://www.writemypapers.org/ writemypapers

    The implications could be horrendous for the employee if there is some inappropriate comments on social media.

  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/ Jayden Chu

    Social media is a great tool especially for entrepreneurs. It is imperative that they give importance to this because of its capability to reach more audience. Thanks for sharing this Ian.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks for your feedback Jayden.