Have you ever launched a website, new product or a service and not known how to start driving traffic to your website? It’s virtually impossible to establish a meaningful presence on all of the major social networking sites. The old adage, “You can’t be all things to all men” is true. It’s important to have a social media strategy that works for you. What we need to do is focus on where our target customers are and establish our presence there.
Where Are Your Potential Clients and Customers?
First, ask yourself if your primary business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). There are certain social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Google+ that are more geared to businesses than individuals. A good place to start is searching the LinkedIn group directory (from the top menu, click on Groups, “Group Directory”). You can search on keywords, categories and countries. My personal preference is to join members only groups where you need to request permission. (This is signified by the security lock before the group name.) These groups are moderated and tend to do a better job of keeping out spammers.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have more of a mix of both consumers and businesses. You may be able to reach your existing and potential clients and customers on these sites as well. An interesting fact about Facebook is that their definition of “its ‘monthly active users’ at a whopping 845 million people” may be an exaggeration. According to their prospectus (for the sale of their stock), Facebook considers someone who clicks on the “like” button on a third-party website to be an “active” Facebook user. (Source: Those Millions on Facebook? Some May Not Actually Visit.)
Where Are the “Experts” in Your Niche?
Every niche has “gurus” – the “go-to” person(s) who are the perceived experts. They either have the answer you’re looking for or they can direct you to the resources that you need. Who are they in your niche? What sites are they on? Do they have a YouTube or Vimeo channel? If so, how many subscribers and views are they getting? Video can be an excellent source of search engine traffic. Do they answer questions on LinkedIn or Quora? Do they run groups or are active on forums where customers and clients are seeking information or support? Any of these could be excellent platforms for building awareness of your website and driving traffic to it.
Since many people base buying decisions on trust, becoming recognized as an authority in your niche can be beneficial to you. If you’re knowledgeable about your niche, join in the conversation. Start answering questions and contribute to the discussion.
What do you think? Which social networking sites are you active on? Are you involved in any groups or forums that are specific to your niche? What are the pros and cons that you can think of for joining or not joining some of these sites? I know privacy issues are a huge concern for all of us. Is there one of the sites that I’ve mentioned that you feel disregards your concerns for privacy more than the others. (This could be an entire post of its own.) Also, for those of you who don’t already know, several of us belong to the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, please join us there. You should recognize many friendly faces there if you do.