There are many online services that companies use for PR and marketing exposure, and many of these are free. For example, Twitter and Facebook are prime examples where companies are harnessing the power of social media to gain PR exposure, and to advertise and announce new products and to get customers aware and start talking about their new products.
Every major company I know are on Twitter and/or Facebook – however, Twitter is becoming increasingly used by companies. It’s short and concise. Each message can be up to 140 characters long. This can be both annoying and useful. It means “tweets” are short and concise, and makes it much different to Facebook.
Twitter is more public and a public communication tool than Facebook and in this way I don’t think Facebook is competitive to Twitter or vice versa, which is why I think companies need to be on both. Not everyone is going to be on Twitter as well as Facebook, since they aren’t the same nor do they work the same way when using these social media sites.
Using Twitter and Facebook to keep customers informed and loyal.
Using Twitter and Facebook are important tools especially if your business is solely an online business, such as an online e-commerce store. You can use Twitter and Facebook to gauge customers on new competitions, new products and to even provide customer support via these mediums.
It’s much easier to contact a company about an issue via Twitter than contacting them official channels, because first, it’s short, it’s concise and it’s quick. And the fact that every tweet is essentially public, most companies will be eager to sort out the customer issue because there is no way to really hide another person’s bad tweet about some company.
But, the bottom line is, it’s a good communication and connection tool for you, your company and your customers. While it has made Twitter even more commercialised, many people will appreciate companies they use for various services, shopping or products that your company is on Twitter to keep updated on the latest products, services and competitions ran by your company.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Why pay for advertising space via AdWords and other online sites? You can use search engine optimisation to have your site listed naturally higher than other competing sites via popular search engines such as Google or Bing, as these search engines start to algorithmically understand your site is quite relevant and more important.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is using techniques in order to have your site, blog or online e-commerce store to be ranked higher for relevant search terms via search engines such as Google, Bing and Ask Jeeves – Google being the main one here. There are many techniques you can use, including:
- Getting back-links to your site: Use quality directories to submit your site or e-commerce store to in order to get link backs to your site; use online forums and where allowed, add a back-link to your site via your signature (as if you are advertising your site). There’s lots of legitimate ways of getting back links!
- Focus on quality content: Quality and original content is required. Google does not just focus on your website URL and title, Google also focuses on the content of your site too. In fact, content is king, which is why it is important to focus on ensuring your content is updated regularly, is of high quality and is always original. If you copy any content from another website Google has indexed (and Google indexes billions of pages), expect Google to remove that page or section of your website off Google listings or not index it at all, or even worse, penalise your entire website whereby your site isn’t listed on Google at all).
- Name your HTML/server-side files appropriately: If you have a page on computer accessories, naming your file appropriately helps towards SEO, so as an example a file name of: computer-mouse-accessories.php, if your page is selling computer mice accessories (or computer-mice-accessories.php, perhaps) – this is for PHP server-side files, but applies just as equally for static HTML pages
We have a blog post on search engine optimisation (opens in a new window) explaining about various search engine optimisation techniques you can use for your online blog, but generally apply universally for online sites and even e-commerce stores, too.
Make word of mouth front-and-centre.
Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. Period. There’s no question about it. I run an online Minecraft server, and I’ve never advertised it any further since I launched it and many new online players that play on the game server were referred from existing players on my server.
Even at eUKhost, many of our customers have referred new customers of ours because they are happy with the service we provide. Word of mouth is important, which is why every company should focus on providing good customer service, support and experience to ensure customers are happy.
You never know, if there is an unhappy customer, they may end up telling others which may lose you sales in the future.
Perhaps add affiliate programs on your e-commerce store? Even customers could use this. Provide attractive offers to get your customers to either advertise your e-commerce store via their website or even via social networking sites such as Facebook!
Own a blog? Make exclusive articles on EZineArticles.com* and add a link back to your blog
This is a great search engine optimisation exposure but also exposure to interested visitors. EZineArticles.com is highly ranked on Google because of how popular the site is and the fact that all articles go through a submission review process to ensure all articles are of high quality, are original and unique.
If your blog is new or isn’t well established from a search engine optimisation perspective (or even it if is), EZineArticles.com is a great marketing method for your online blog. I’d definitely recommend you use ezinearticles.com to submit some unique articles to their site with valuable link backs to your blog in exchange (which they let you do at the end of articles). However, make sure articles on EZineArticles.com are unique and aren’t articles that are already on the Web, such as your own blog.
This is a good search engine optimisation method and to get clicks back to your blog from readers that had read your article on EZineArticles.com.