Using social media is vital when trying to promote your website, reach your audience and ultimately sell your service or product. Saying that, to harness the power of social media successfully you need to understand your brand and target market and how these both relate to the different social media platforms out there.
So where to start? In this article we are going to look at the different social media options and discuss what types of websites they best support. Building an online social media presence can be time consuming so it is best to start with one or two channels. There are many choices out there so look for a media platform which suits your site and is where your target audience hangs out.
If your site is very text rich with informative or opinionated articles then Twitter is a great platform to promote your website on. Twitter is great for quotes and if you are active on Twitter you can tweet out interesting lines or quotes from your content to share with your audience.
Twitter has its own plugin for WordPress, which is actually called Twitter. Amongst other things this plugin allows you to add a Tweet button to each page or post, so your readers can tweet out quotes from your site. This means your content is being shared with a wider audience and it should help draw more visitors to your site.
To get started on Twitter you need to create an account and then just start sending out tweetable quotes from your website. Tweets have to be sent out quite frequently throughout the day as Twitter is pretty fast paced and you need to be constantly visual.
Initially it is worth following people in the same field as you to help get you some followers. But remember, it is only worth having followers who are your potential target audience, there is no point having thousands of followers who aren’t interested in your niche.
Pinterest is a great social media platform for websites with share worthy images. If you have images that you want people to see and share, or if you have interesting images that will draw people to your website then Pinterest is for you.
A helpful plugin that enables visitors on your site to share your images is Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Button. This plugin allows you to add ‘Pin It’ buttons to all of your images so if someone wants to save the image for later or share the image with their followers then they can pin it to their wall.
Pinterest is easy to use but can be quite time consuming. Just sign up, create some boards and start pinning. The great thing about Pinterest is that it is timeless, so pictures created months ago can be recirculated and are not forgotten about. If you are constantly adding images to your site it is easy to add them to Pinterest at the same time and get them shared with a wider audience.
If you are wanting to make your website into a community of like minded people then Facebook is the way to go. On Facebook you can create a page where you share what’s going on with your business but more importantly you can create groups. A group on Facebook enables people to interact with each other and create a community that will ultimately support your site.
The Custom Feed Facebook plugin enables you to display Facebook feeds from any page or group that you have on your website. This is great for increasing social engagement between your Facebook community and website, and for encouraging more people to join your Facebook page.
Facebook is very straightforward to use and the majority of people now days are on it. However, getting your page and posts out there for people to see is difficult unless you are prepared to pay.
YouTube is a powerful social media platform for websites that contain video. If your website has many different videos on it then you should definitely be using YouTube to share your content. It will ensure your videos are watched by a much larger audience and it will enable people to find your site, thus increasing the number of visitors you receive.
YouTube is again easy to use and you can publish all your videos into your own channel. However, the downside of having your videos on YouTube is that you lose your site audience to YouTube. The YouTube Channel Gallery is a plugin which enables you to share your YouTube Channel on your website, showing all your latest videos. This means that your visitors can still view all your videos on your YouTube channel, but they stay on your website, which is where you want to keep them.
LinkedIn is the social media platform for businesses and professionals. If you are trying to promote your business, services, products or yourself then you need to be on LinkedIn. By joining groups and sharing contact details and information you can connect with like minded people across the network.
LinkedIn Auto Publish is a useful tool that publishes text for you, straight from each new article you post on your site. This enables you to stay visible on LinkedIn, share content from your website and save you time.
Google Plus is also worth using for businesses as it is the fastest growing social network and has many great new features including the increasingly popular Google Hangouts. Using Google Plus will also help your rankings in Google, which is an obvious advantage.
The Google Plus plugin is a powerful tool to use to create a bridge between your website and Google Plus account. It enables people to connect with you on Google Plus through your website and allows you to post directly from Google Plus onto your activity stream. This encourages a Google Plus network, whilst keeping your site updated and current.
When you are starting out and especially if you are a one man, or woman, band, then it is definitely best to pick the most relevant platforms and just begin with them.
Although there may seem to be no harm in joining all of them, it will be virtually impossible to dedicate enough time and effort to all the different social media platforms, resulting in a job not well done across the board. Better to choose the one or two most important ones for your target audience.
Once you become confident, have worked out a successful posting schedule and built up an audience you can then branch out to other social media channels.