What are you looking for?

Dream Local Digital, Corissa Poley

The voice of business marketing cries out “Consistency!” as the most effective solution for brand promotion and customers’ brand awareness. Without reliability, a brand will not be memorable. Logos, colors, and mission statements must all be used as tools to communicate the values of the business. Branding is the key to great communication with the customer and therefore is the key to great marketing.

This is essential when it comes to your social media presence, as the pool of businesses online is so much larger than your local competitor pool. For example, Facebook has offered business pages for over 5 years now. As a result, 88% of America’s businesses will be marketing on the site by 2014. There are at the moment over 30 million businesses in the US, which means over 26 million business will be on Facebook by 2014.

Monthly active Facebook users number over 1 billion. Twitter has 555 million active monthly users, and Google+ has 170 million active monthly users. You can connect with new customers in the social media market; because of the overwhelming number of messages they see and hear every day, clarity is paramount. In order for the customer to trust your brand, you must present it as it is: a reputable local business with excellent service and personal consideration.

Use the tools of consistent branding and promotion to share your business on the web and gain more followers who in turn become customers. One of those tools is the vanity URL.

No matter where you go, whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or other social media sites, you will find that you will have to sign in with a username or email. On Twitter, you can use either. It’s the same on Pinterest. You will be able to choose the name that will be displayed at the end of your profile URL. It is made to identify your profile from the profiles of other users on that website. For example, if you’re the New York Times, you’ll most likely go with something simple and easy to remember, such as “NYTimes”. Your Pinterest URL will look like this: pinterest.com/nytimes. Your Twitter URL would be much the same: twitter.com/nytimes. The wisest method would be to employ that title everywhere, so that on Facebook, Tumblr, your blog, and your website your brand name and “username” online are easily memorable for the customer.

You can see below an example of a “set” of social media URLs.

Facebook.com/DreamLocal

Twitter.com/DreamLocal

Instagram.com/DreamLocal

Pinterest.com/DreamLocal

DreamLocal.com

Other services you can do this with are LinkedIn and Google Plus (Note that Google does not offer this to all pages yet; they are still rolling it out.)

This is a memorable set. If a customer looks at this a few times, even at a glance, it is not difficult to remember later that the websites were “Dream Local”. This will enable the user that may be interested in the company to easily recall the company’s title and visit their social media pages or website.

At the moment vanity URLs do not cost a thing. URLs for Pinterest and Twitter are automatically generated based on your username. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you will have to set your vanity URL for your business name in your company page settings. You can find tutorials for Facebook and LinkedIn (2-minute video) at each link. Google+ is testing the waters of vanity URLs with some selected and verified companies. While this may seem tedious, and the annoying set of random numbers is still your URL, we hope that they will soon offer this feature to more companies. At the moment, there are some tips and tricks you can try to generate your very own Google+ URL.

The customer looks for dependable brands. This may mean the kindness of the customer service representative at your company, the extensive Q&A posts on your company blog, or it may just mean the notability of your company’s brand online. The purpose of social media marketing is to reach out to each customer via digital interactions and connect with them on a personal basis in order to promote your brand.

Sources: http://science.opposingviews.com/importance-vanity-urls-facebook-fan-3431.htmlhttp://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/10/10/vanity-url#why%20vanity%20urls%20are%20awesome

This article was written by Corissa Poley – Online Marketing Strategist at Dream Local Digital. Corissa lives in Portland, Maine and believes Maine is the best state in the U.S. She brings her can-do attitude from the busy pace of her former residence in the New York/New Jersey Area. Her professional experience with the Portland Public Library, green construction publishing, Apple Inc., and the Information Technology Group at University of Nebraska-Lincoln gives her a diverse outlook to feed her ever-curious and creative mind. You can reach Corissa at corissa@dreamlocal.com or connect with her on Twitter.