The big talk on the web these days is the use of social media in business. Major case studies for its success include Dell with its @delloutlet twitter account driving a whopping $2 million in sales and Zappos well known for its online customer service. But what does this all mean to the small business owner? How can the use of social media send traffic to your hosted site and grow your business?
Looking beyond the success of larger companies, small companies such as fencing supplier Lois E. Paige Inc. have seen great success with the use of social media. By starting a blog called the Fence Post the small Massachusetts based firm saw a sale lead increase of 850%! And, on a post about woven wire fencing, he had received more than 1500 page views. Any firm large or small can effectively implement social media to increase traffic and sales for its website. Through this article you will be able to see how the use of social media within your site and social networks like Facebook and twitter can help build your online business.
Getting Started: Blogging
Another great example of a small business able to drive more traffic to their website comes from the Classic Cookie company. On the brink of closure this company through blogging was able to develop traffic and, as a result, customers to help the company continue operations. Starting a blog for your business can be an important initial step to driving traffic to your website. Compared with static web pages, blogs are able to build more traffic as they are better optimized for search engines as well as for us on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Developing a blog is easy but does take a time commitment. myhosting.com allows one click installation of the WordPress blogging platform that makes it easy for your company to start blogging. After installation it’s a matter of consistently writing content for the blog. This can be a brief mention of the operations of your company, opinion of industry events or interesting advice on topics that are relevant to prospective customers.
Some key considerations when starting a blog: Posts need to be done on a semi consistent basis to drive traffic and interest. As well blogging should not be all about your company it should provide interesting content that your audience will read and share. No one will want to read a constant sales pitch.
Additional ways a blog can drive site traffic
By creating content that is original and interesting to readers your posts are more likely to be shared with others. By using a widget such as Addthis you make it easier for readers to share this content with friends in their own networks and with other social media sites. By allowing readers to share your posts through websites such as Digg and Stumbleupon and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook your website is further exposed to a larger audience.
With more than 300 million users Facebook is the largest social network on the web and is a great opportunity for your company to expand traffic to its website. As a promotional platform Facebook works well as a reminder to your customers and as an opportunity to reach out to groups and individuals that may be interested in learning more about your company.
While you may want to use your own profile page and Facebook targeted ads in building traffic to your site the most effective tool will be setting up a fan page for people to go to. Creating one is a simple process in which you choose the type of organization you are and provide any information/media you wish to display.
Developing a fan base won’t occur overnight like with large international brands. But by inviting current customers and through engaging with Facebook groups and individuals you will be building a strong audience that you are able to regularly interact with either via their news feed or the fan page itself. If you’re interested in more info All Facebook has a great post on developing a Facebook following.
Becoming popular more recently, Twitter allows your company to directly deliver actionable content to specific target groups. This may seem daunting at first but once you get the hang of it, it becomes an easy to manage tool in directing traffic to your hosted site.
Sharing industry relevant websites and your own blog posts can be a great initial start. Progressing from that point twitter has two significant tools for building a company following, the search page and hashtags.
Twitter Search: This tool is helpful in finding and interacting with users interested in your site. Through the use of key words relevant to your firm you can discover users who have recently discussed this topic and engage them in their conversation exposing them and their network to your company.
Hashtags(#): By using hashtags that are relevant to your website you are inviting others to engage in your content. Users interested in your content range may find your twitter messages and begin following and even regularly viewing the content you post.
Most important in using twitter is to be natural and conversational. By sharing content from your newly created hosted blog, company experiences or relevant web content, your follower count and your website traffic will increase with qualified traffic.
While effort is needed to use social media effectively it can be a great tool in building your website’s traffic. Whether it’s by attracting users via company blog, Facebook fan page or Twitter account you will be opening your website to consumers who will be interested in the content and services that your business provides. Through this article we provided the basics in promoting your website and encourage you to further research and explore this growing area in business promotion.