Building up traffic for a new blog or website can be a slow and difficult process if you are doing it by yourself with little or no guidance from experts.
After attending all the seminar-workshops and reading all the books there are to read, it can still pretty much be a game where you either hit-or-miss. However, staking your company’s reputation in a social media campaign can mean investing substantially in a hit that delivers marginal results or misses that diminish your reputation. Either way, it could be a costly experience that makes some people turn their back on social media and never look back again.
But if you are an entrepreneur who has decided on planning and implementing a social media campaign for your company without hiring experts, there are a number of ways of finding a shorter route to maximizing your hits while ensuring you don’t hammered by painful misses.
Carefully crafted blog posts or web pages promoted in the right way could shave off weeks or months from a promotion plan and enable you to reach a milestone much quicker.
Building your blog or website on a sound SEO strategy is still very much a key step in ensuring that you get relevant traffic. However, it takes time for things to kick in and it all is pretty much dependent on the time-lines of search engines and other services.
Social media makes it possible to cut through those time lines and makes it possible to realize a break through in traffic without resorting to taking out an advertisement.
Keeping the traffic that just shook your hand.
Some companies going into a social media campaign for the first time will probably dismiss the people they meet and the customers in their shop as a source of online traffic. This could be a situation where the business owner overlooks the gold mine under his nose and there may be a number of valid reasons for this.
But no matter what the reason is, one adage says that serving a few clients exceptionally well makes for better business than serving many clients poorly. Simply asking your clients or customers, “Is there anything more that we can do for you?” can be a way of communicating that your company is committed to providing an exceptional level of service.
Your website and social media accounts could be a way of providing your clients or customers a more meaningful level of engagement with your company.
How do you turn foot traffic to online traffic? There are a number of ways, really and all of them have been basically discussed in previous blog posts. These range from building a data base of e-mails culled from people who’ve bought your product/service and people whom you’ve discussing things over a meeting to giving rewards/additional services to people who give their e-mail, liked your page on FB, checked-in using Foursquare or followed on twitter.
Apart from these, we’ve also written about a company that offers a point of sale social media integration, where customers are given a store loyalty card which enables the store to administer loyalty rewards and almost involuntarily have customers post status updates about their latest purchase on their social media accounts
Now, the number of people you have on your mailing list or social media accounts doesn’t matter as much as the quality of engagement you cultivate with them. Dealing with a customers or clients with a question or concern in a manner that exceeds their expectations can turn into story that gets shared across all platforms over a long period of time.
Lurking with benefits on social media.
Sometimes, it pays more to lurk, listen and observe than to constantly put messages out in the hopes that someone will pick it up. The key here is to find people who are genuinely airing out real and urgent concerns that are relevant to your business.
Assuming that you’ve found people airing their concerns or problems, the next thing you have to figure out is how many people have the same concerns and how many people are already answering those concerns.
If there are a lot of people with the same problems with only a few people providing the answers, that is a very good indication that a blog post or website page will be in demand and most likely be shared and read.
The window on this may be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks.
The strategy really, is to be among the first to put up the post or web page. The title of the web page or blog post should have a title that will call out the attention of people who have a particular concern and the rest of the page or post should carry information relevant to what their concern as well as easy to find links to topics related to their concern — all leading to different posts or pages in your site. It also pays to figure out how their concerns will develop and figure out what information they’ll be needing next, then crafting posts or pages in anticipation of these developments.
Now, after crafting the post or page, the next thing that needs to be done is to find people who are actively seeking information and are also good transmitters of information. You can only do this if you’ve spent time cultivating connections with them, figuring out what interests them, and seeing how effectively the spread information. It is only after you’ve made the connection and found out the best way to phrase a message to them that you can effectively tap them to spread your link.
If you’ve prepared your website or blog with a lot of relevant content as well as made it easy for people to find content that is related to their concerns, you will find that the increase in new visitors will also be coupled with a larger increase in page views.
Paul Farol is a Filipino writer and blogger currently based in Manila. He is currently a media practitioner and is involved in community development projects in Northern and Southern Luzon, Philippines.