You’ve probably heard that social media tools can be great for promoting your website or blog. Maybe you’ve even jumped in and tried a few. Now it’s time to take social media more seriously — to build a social media marketing plan that incorporates some of the right tools for promoting your unique website or blog to your unique audience.
In order to come up with the right social media mix for your website or blog, you have to know your options. Here are three of the biggest to consider.
Chances are good that if you’re not already involved with social networks, you at least know some of the big ones (like Facebook and LinkedIn). Social networks differ from some other social media options in that you can combine both short and long messages when you network (as opposed to something like microblogging).
Generally to promote your site or blog through social networks, you’ll use a combination of message broadcasting, content marketing strategies, and personal interactions with your online connections or “friends.”
Microblogging services such as Twitter give you another way to promote your website or blog. You post short updates (in this case no more than 140 characters each). You might update your general status during the day, post blurbs about site news or your progress on a new site feature, or you could use it to share links to your latest blog posts.
Just remember that social media is largely about two-way communication. So don’t leave it at broadcasting link after link. Share other interesting links from people you follow. Listen to what they have to say to you (it’s a great way to get quick visitor feedback). And interact with people on a one-on-one basis if you want to make your social networking more meaningful.
Remember, when people genuinely like you and what you have to offer (as opposed to feeling like you’re just around to spam your links), they’re more likely to spread the word for you.
Social Bookmarking and Aggregators
Social bookmarking and content aggregation services (such as Digg and StumbleUpon) are other ways to share your blog post links or links on any website. The idea isn’t just to share them yourself though.
The idea is to create content so riveting that visitors just can’t help but bookmark your links, add them to aggregators, and share them with their own audiences. Using these services helps you keep your focus on creating a high quality website.
No matter what social media marketing tools you choose to use personally, it’s equally important to let your visitors choose which social media tools they want to use if or when they promote your website or blog. And you have to make it easy on them if you want them to make the effort to share your links, comment on your content, or interact with you through social networks and microblogging services.
How can you do that? Try adding social media buttons to your website’s pages (or blog posts). For example, you’ve likely seen “Digg this” or “Retweet” buttons on blogs that let you click a link and quickly share an interesting article you’ve read. But go beyond just one or two tools. Give your visitors easy access to the most commonly used social media tools in your niche or industry.
How do you use social media to promote your website or blog? How have you sorted through the mess of social media tools to find the right ones to help you reach your specific audience? Share your stories or tips in the comments below.