During workshops I’m often asked by small business owners whether they need a website, when there’s so much you can do with social networks. As passionate, as I am about social media, there is one major advantage that a website has; it’s yours.
Structure, design, hosting, content – all are controlled by you. Your website is your hub; it’s where you sell goods or services, where you blog or where you provide information about your business.
One of the great benefits of social media is that you can encourage social network users to visit your website. Here are few ideas:
1) Share your own content – You’d think this one would be obvious, but I come across many businesses who blog and publish news but don’t share it across their social networks. If you are updating website content regularly, make sure you maximise it’s exposure and draw people back to your website.
2) Add social sharing buttons to your blog or news section – Not a generic share button eg (ShareThis) but individual sharing buttons, perhaps Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This would encourage sharing by readers across their own social networks and would help attract more visitors. Chances are that their fans and followers have similar interests so they could well be people interested in your website and business.
3) Encourage staff members to tweet and post – Get your employees on board. Dedicated employees are likely to be very effective as brand evangelists and can drive their friends and contacts to your website. Encourage them to share news stories and special offers.
4) Create social media policy – Many employers think of a social media policy as a list of ‘donts’, but it should also be used to include ‘dos’ and to encourage employees to use social media pro-actively. This could include advice and guidance on sharing content on behalf of the company.
6) Link to website on profiles/pages – Make sure that all your social network profiles and pages include your website address. It’s worth including in other fields as well as the Website URL field. For example, on Facebook include in the Short Description field. It will then appear under About and on the left of your Facebook Page.
7) Add website link to Pinterest pics – If you pin an image from your website, the address of the page is automatically added but when you upload an image, you have to remember to manually edit and add as there isn’t a prompt. Pinterest users expect to be taken to a website when they select an image so don’t miss this opportunity.
8) Make your headlines punchy – A snappy headline on your blog posts and news articles can encourage readers to click and find out more. Especially if it tantalizes you to find out more. Buzzfeed are masters at this, “This Is Why Streaking During A Rugby Match Is Never A Good Idea“. This tip works whether your content is shared by you or others.
9) Listen – In pretty much every aspect of social media, listening is vital and attracting visitors to your website is no exception. Using a tool Twilert, you can monitor key words and hashtag relating to your business and then engage. There will be plenty of opportunities to send people relevant web links to provide them with further details or additional contact information.
10) Consider Facebook and Twitter advertising – Facebook and Twitter provide specific advert types that will encourage social network users to visit your website. Both provide 2 types; one for clicks and one for conversions. Their strength is that you can be very specific in targeting your audience.
When carrying out any of the above techniques, it’s important to measure your results to see which work best and how you can improve your overall strategy. Google Analytics and social network tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Pinterest Analytics can all be used to provide accurate measurement of how much traffic each social network is bringing to your website.
Are there any other tactics that you use to successfully attract visitors to your website from social media? Let me know in the Comments below.
If you would like a quote from me regarding advice on using social media for your organisation, please visit the Services section.