Social Media can be an effective way to get traffic to your website, meet people in your industry, and connect with others. However, many people and companies aren’t using it very effectively. This article will show you some good ways to use the two biggest Social Networks (Facebook and Twitter) as well as give you some bonus tips on other ways you can connect with people online. I will be using the travel industry as an example but nearly everything I suggest can be applied to multiple industries and niches.
Facebook can be a good way of extending the reach of your blog and sharing it with your family and friends (if your ready to take that step). I suggest that you set up a Facebook page as the home for your blog on Facebook. You can set your blog posts to automatically post to this Facebook page. Once your page is set up, you might want to look into creating a custom landing page. The default landing page for new people is your wall. This is filled with information and can turn people off meaning they’ll never come back. A landing page is specially designed to give people more information about what to expect from your page and encourage them to “Like” it.
Once your page is set up you can begin telling people about it. You could include a Facebook Like box for your blog or site to convert visitors into Facebook fans of your page. You are able to market it to your friends and family as well as any other forums or online communities you are a a part of.
After you have a Facebook Page that’s attracting people it is important for you to keep them there. Post to your page regularly with interesting content and endeavor to pose questions that encourage a response. You are trying to get others to interact with your page compared to just lurking.
Twitter is another excellent tool for networking, especially amongst the travel community. There are discussions about travel going on all the time. You can find these discussions by searching some of the following hashtags. #ttot #lp #rtw #tni #matador Once you find an interesting tweet or link posted in twitter, respond. Give the tweeter props for posting it, retweet their link, or offer your thoughts or advice. Your goal is to start building relationships online with people so that they will in return check out your site or share your links.
One last way to connect with people who have similar interests online is through the use of forums. Forums are online discussion groups usually based around particular topics or industries. A great travel forum is the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum. It’s a great place to meet people with similar goals, feelings, and desires. You can get and give travel advice, meet new people to travel with, or just swap travel stories. These types of forums exist for almost every industry/niche imaginable. They are usually free to join and you can link back to your site from them in your signature. They can be a very good way of getting targeted traffic to your site as well as getting the word about your product or service without seeming spammy.
Hopefully this article can give you some ideas on how you can use Social Media to properly drive traffic (and sales) to your website or blog. I’ve used examples from the travel industry but the strategies outlined can be applied nearly anywhere on the web. So get out there and start getting social!