Odds are, your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools you have. If you are an e-commerce business, your website is your means of connecting with customers and generating income. Brick-and-mortar organizations may use their website as an imperative way of connecting with customers, creating a strong brand identity, and provide a platform of communication. Increasingly, social media is being used as a way to drive traffic to their site, and to connect with current and potential customers.
Social media has many benefits for companies looking to increase the power of their marketing: it allows you to easily connect with customers in an informal way; it can create ongoing connections based on a range of interests; it is easy to target customers of nearly any demographic; and perhaps most importantly, it’s most often free to use. It’s important to note that while social media shouldn’t be the only marketing strategy used, it can be a powerful and highly effective add-on to help drive traffic to your company website.
Facebook is a go-to not only for individuals looking for a way to connect, but for businesses hoping to connect with potential customers and generate interest in their products and brand. Make sure to create a fan page for your business, and link it to your blog or the landing page of your website. To keep your Facebook relevant and fresh, consider:
- Sharing blog posts, business updates, and breaking news on your Facebook page.
- Share exclusive offers and promos on your Facebook page. By offering coupons, special deals, and insider tips on your page you will create strong relationships with clients who find you via Facebook.
- Use what Facebook has to offer: create a powerful image and use your logo as your profile picture. Add albums and events to your Facebook page to keep customers in the loop.
When you are using Facebook to help connect with customers and drive traffic to your website, remember that shameless self-promotion will turn off potential customers. Make your Facebook posts engaging and relevant to keep customers interested. One of the strengths of Facebook is that you can incorporate stories, images, and promotions all for no or little cost, and engage with a wide range of of potential customers.
Much like Facebook, one of the tenants of Twitter is not to be overly self-promotional. A twitter account that only tweets links and company news may not build up a strong following. In order to engage people who share an interest in what your company sells, cultivate an online personality and interact with people through real conversations. To create a strong online presence, try:
- Creating a twitter bio that answers what you can do for your followers, not just your bio or mission statement. Make it benefit driven and not just about you – customers will learn about you when they click through to your site!
- Monitor keywords and trending hashtags related to your website or the product you sell. That way you can always be ready to jump into a conversation when it focuses on your area of expertise.
- Don’t auto-follow people. This makes your twitter account seem impersonal. Put the time in to follow people who follow you, and avoid auto direct-messaging or following people just to save time.
- Ask questions to get conversations going. You can easily spark an engaging conversation by polling your followers.
Pinterest is a social media networking site that is growing in popularity, especially among female users. With over 20,000,000 users, it is the third most popular social network in the United States and is growing quickly. While Pinterest may not work for all businesses and industries, it can be a powerful way to connect with potential clients and also do market research on the areas where your customers are the most interested.
- Curate lots of boards with a variety of images. Once again, don’t just pin your own images and brand; this will lose customers’ interest.
- Pin images from your blog and/or website along with other related items, topics, and ideas. Always make sure to link back to your site as often as you can, but with Pinterest the real focus should be on a visual brand, not solely driving traffic.
- Make sure that all your web pages and blog posts have photos. That way you can pin them to Pinterest and easily link back to your site.
There is an abundance of social media sites that you can use to drive traffic to your site. Review sites like Yelp.com, business profiles from Linkedin.com, and other sites including the ones mentioned above make creating an online personality that is strong and compelling. Follow the principles of creating a strong online persona and avoid being overly promotional, and you will find that social media is a great addition to your current marketing strategies.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Shannon Ryan is writer and lover of all things tech. She is the online community manager for the Nusite Group, a Toronto waterproofing and specialty trades company.