|Posted on July 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM|
Your website is your public presence, your business card and your audition, all combined in one neat “www” package. But getting people to your website is the ongoing challenge – you need new eyes on your website and you need returning eyes to continue to grow your audience and your business.
There are several social media platforms that you can use effectively to draw in new eyes and to keep bringing back your current audience. But even on those platforms you must consistently maintain a conversation and an interesting presence – George Takei is the current reigning king of Facebook when it comes to creating an interesting presence to drive people to his website. But you don’t have to be a Starfleet officer to effectively steer your audience back to your home port.
Recently, I posted a news item about a locale near-and-dear to the hearts of a social club whose Facebook page I administrate. In five hours, there 784 people saw the post! To give you some idea of this accomplishment, there are 253 people who have ‘Liked’ the page. That means, 531 potential new sets of eyes saw the name and link to the club’s Facebook page.
How did this happen? The beauty of the ‘Share’ button. A club member was impressed enough by the news item to share it on his page. One of his friends shared it to another social page and one of the members of that page shared it to her friends.
In a day, I will have the results of new “hits” to the club’s webpage but what I expect, as I have seen in the past, is a spike in both the number of people liking the club’s Facebook and the number of people coming to visit the club’s website for more information on who they club members are and what sort of activities they sponsor.
This approach works also for Twitter, where you can use a shortened web address to link your quick statement or message to your website or a specific page on the site. The more engaging your message, the more people both clicking on the address and sending it along to their friends, followers and fans.
Facebook and Twitter, along with Google+ and Instagram, may be fun ways to tell those near and dear to you what you had for lunch but they are crucial avenues for business and professionals to drive audience members to their websites and directly deliver their messages. Social media is not a diversion any longer but a vitally important tool for increasing website traffic which leads to an increase in business.
The key is to select words, pictures and new items that both support your message and capture the interest of your audience. The goal is not to advertise just to the individual viewing your status update or tweet. It is to amuse, intrigue or even enrage the viewer enough that he will then share your message with his friends and followers. Like McLuhan wrote, it is to take an old message and insert it in the new medium – viral marketing or work of mouth though social media. Each one of your friends or followers who shares what you have posted or tweeted becomes a salesperson for your product when she share your cute little someecard or kitten picture or news item on flooding in Key West.
To groom these salespeople, you must invest in your social media and your website. Win them over. Offer them some levity during the day or a new perspective on a current topic. The goal is to interest them enough to keep coming back to you and then to your website. When they like what you have to say, your salespeople will happily sell you to their friends via social media, the electronic word-of-mouth today.
As they click away at your amusing picture or message, they will come to your website. You want to make sure you have your website listed in the information for your Facebook or Twitter profile. Including it on the image or as part of the status makes it easier to find and increases the impulse to find out more about it. And example is a popular page focusing on a young cat with a genetic deformity. The “kitty mama” posts I Can Has Cheezeburger photos regularly – and she adds her Facebook page link right on the photo. As her pictures get shared and reshared, the membership of this page has grown, helping her to raise awareness for shelter pets and the medical needs of pets and people.
The goal is always to get your message to your audience. Your website is the depositor of that message. Old-fashioned word-of-mouth still reigns in marketing but it has moved to the new medium of social networking. Effectively using that medium will increase your websites audience and the reach of your message.