Are you making the best of every opportunity to generate traffic?
Ok, so there’s a HUGE amount of useful information on how to make the most of Online Social Networks these days – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc
BUT wait a minute………how do you entice and encourage people to these sites?
What can be done outside of the usual network activity to build your online presence?
CROSS-MARKETING – this is a key and often overlooked part of a successful marketing strategy. It’s important to be clear, focused and disciplined with your online campaign. Let’s face it, you’re logging on daily for a reason, right? So the majority of your time needs to concentrate on getting your business out there and engaging with your audience.
But are there other ways to build your network? You bet your life there are……..events, phone, face-to-face networking, email – do you make the best use of these?
Here are some ‘Off-Piste’ tips on how to promote your professional social media presence:
1. Business Card: Do you have a link to a social network on your business card? If not, consider adding this to the next batch you have printed. It demonstrates you are up to date with the business ‘rules of engagement’. Of all the online social networks appropriate with a business card I would rank them in this order of importance (depending on your business – clearly) – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…..The links between business cards and LinkedIn have generated me more interest and business than any other ‘off-piste’ activity! When adding your network address, make sure that you have custom your URL (username) so it is easy for the recipient of the card to read and re-type into their browser.
2. Email Signature: Simple and effective – a hyperlink or hyperlinks added to your email signature not only looks professional and builds instant credibility it will undoubtedly generate interest in your website and social networks. But a word of caution here – don’t over egg this opportunity. Add a couple – maybe a link to your website first and foremost. Then one or two of the most important social networks relevant to your business.
3. Add Paper.li to your online tools: I guess this is maybe a little back on the ski slope – Paper.li is a micro publishing platform that enables you to become Editor-in-Chief of your own news site and publish newspapers based on topics of interest to you and your followers. Anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account can log-in and create a paper. The paper provides you with easy to use tools to select your content. You choose your content streams and can create queries and searches based on Twitter users, #tags, keywords, Facebook, your own Twitter timeline, Google+ users, RSS feeds and more. After you have chosen your sources, the paper then goes to work. Behind the scenes, it extract all tweets that include URLs based on your content selection; they extract the content found on these URLs: blog post, newspaper article, photo, video; they analyze the extracted text for language and topic, e.g. Politics, Technology; extract the day’s most relevant articles and construct a newspaper frontpage using the filtered articles, photos and videos. It’s easy to set up and once in place it will self-generate, promoting not only your online presence but also promote contributors to the paper on a daily or weekly basis.
4. Add social network links from your Website and Blog: One of the best ways to promote your social networks is from the very place you want the networks to direct traffic – your WEBSITE! Add social network logos and links from EACH and EVERY PAGE of your website and blog to your social networks. Personally I wouldn’t add every social network under the sun in here as, in all honesty, I think this can confuse and put people off. I would choose just the main few social networks relative to your business – maybe a combination of 3 of the following – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or You Tube.
5. Share Buttons in your Website and Blog: If you are constantly publishing content to your website and blog, why not allow others to share it too? This is a little more complicated, but with a little professional help you can do this. If you don’t have this, you are most definitely missing a trick. People who are visiting your blog/website can then simply share content from your blog/website on their social networks without leaving your page. In addition to this, as people read your blog they can also leave their own comments which adds to your blog/website, updates your site and provides you with fresh content on a consistent basis.
6. Advertising & Promotional Material: If you spend time and money on advertising & promotional material use it to the MAX! Make sure that you add link to your social media in your brochures, flyers, media packs, leaflets, magazine, newspaper, radio and television advertising. Also, co-ordinate your campaigns – if you’re running a competition or special promotion use all channels to be as effective as possible.
7. Smart Phone: Time is of the essence these days so make the most of every opportunity by downloading apps for each of your social media sites onto your smart phone so that you can share pictures, videos and updates in real-time on the move from wherever you may be! If you’re anything like me, often I hear a comment or see something so inspiring as it occurs but once the moment is past it’s difficult to recall the actual specifics of the event. However, if I add a tweet, comment, picture or video as it happens it’s there for all to see, read, digest and share.
8. Events: Exhibitions, workshops, events, training sessions: Call them what you will but whatever you’re delivering make sure you add your social network sites wherever and whenever you promote them both in the lead up to the event, during the event and on any post-event correspondence. Events give you the opportunity to work in ways other avenue’s may not – encourage your networks to promote on your behalf, run a competition for a free place on the event. If it’s an exhibition, have a business card competition to win a bottle of wine or a free consultation to obtain even more contacts – be creative in your thinking!
9. Competitions: An online competition or promotion gives you the opportunity to showcase your social media profiles and Facebook can be a great medium to generate some real interest here. However a word of caution, you MUST adhere to Facebook’s code of conduct – https://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
10. Discuss, communicate, share: How actively do you share your online presence with those around you? Do you let people know which platforms you use and find or do you just expect others to find you? In order for people to find and engage with you online, they need to know that you exist! Some of your biggest and most important leads can come from those around you who may not necessarily be on social networks themselves but come into contact with others who are and may need yours products and services – so share what you do, how you do it and where people can find out more about you and your business.
So the message here is make it easy for people to find you, let them know where to find you and how they can engage with you – once they know that, when the time comes you will be in the right place & ready to go!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Bebb is the Director of Social Progress Ltd – a social media marketing company. Learn more by clicking on “Why Social Progress” at www.socialprogress.co.uk