Practical Tips for Promoting Websites on Social Media
Setting up a website and social media structure is by no means an easy task
Your website can be the best-designed, most informative, engaging and exciting thing since Google, but you have to let the world know it exists. Sure, that’s what SEO is for, but in this day and age, social media presence decides your fate, for better or for worse.
That’s why today we want to talk about promoting your website on social media.
As a digital agency in Malta, we are not only interested in how to get people to engage with your social media posts, to follow your profiles and interact, but also how to bring them from your social profiles to your website.
We will cover all the essentials for getting started, and talk about each of the major social networks individually, too.
So, pour yourself a big cup of coffee and let’s get started.
Start Building a Presence
Social media is all about building a presence. Only after people start hearing about you and after you have established a brand identity for your website can you tell yourself you’re on the right track, social-wise.
Pick the Social Networks to Focus On
There are too many major social networks today. You can’t possibly focus on all of them. In life, you have to pick your battles, and in online marketing, you have to pick your networks. The question is:
How to decide
Facebook is, hands down, the most popular network. With more than 2.32 million active monthly users, it’s a network you have to be on, regardless of the kind of website you run.
The same goes for Twitter. From mom blogs to B2B companies and international organisations, every serious website maintains some presence on the microblogging platform. So Facebook and Twitter are pretty much a must for all websites.
As for image-based websites (portfolio sites, eCommerce, art and design magazines), Instagram is the platform that can offer the most to showcase the visual content. Recently, the network also provided shopping functionalities, and its popularity as a vehicle for e-Commerce is on a steady rise.
Pinterest and Tumblr are trying to follow suit, and while they most likely won’t surpass Instagram in popularity any time soon, they still represent essential platforms for visually oriented websites.
According to its “serious social network” reputation, LinkedIn remains the number one platform for businesses (small, medium, startups, B2B companies, corporations, conglomerates, institutions).
YouTube and Vimeo are essential for websites that post a lot of video content (duh!). Foursquare and Yelp are a must for location-based websites (especially those in the food, hospitality and entertainment industries).
Even though Google+ is somehow still a thing, we never heard of anyone gaining traffic or, god forbid, conversions from that network. And as for Reddit, it’s a rabbit hole that deserves a research paper of its own so that we won’t go into that right now.
Join Groups and Communities
On social networks, you can’t rely solely on your posts for interactions with your audience. To build a following, you first need to interact with others in the same or related niche and connect with your prospective audience. The fastest way is to join as many relevant groups and communities as possible, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Once you join a group, be active. Answer the questions that fall into your competence, and ask the questions yourself. Engage with other users and feel the audience’s pulse to learn what it is they want and which of their needs you can meet with your website.
Use Logo for Profile, Cover and Hero Images
The benefit of this approach is twofold. First of all, you are consistent, making sure your brand identity is uniform across all your channels and the social platform in question. Your overall presence appears more professional, and that’s always a plus.
Second, by repeating your logo in the strategic places – your profile and hero images and your cover photo – you’re making sure your brand gets “stamped” into your visitors’ minds. The more familiar you are with them, the more likely they’ll be to interact.
Use the Same Username Consistently
The same applies to your username. The name may fall into the “stating the obvious” category, but it won’t hurt to underscore: your username should be the same across all your social media profiles, and it should be the name of your brand or your website.
The benefits are the same as using the logo as the profile picture: you perpetuate your professionalism, and you’re making sure everyone gets well-acquainted with your business.
Now that you are all set up, let us see how you can leverage social media to draw visitors to your website.
Create Quality Content
We can’t stress this hard enough – good content is crucial for the success of your website, no matter what kind.
By content, we mean both textual and visual. If your website is a blog or a magazine, your primary focus will be on text. Your visual content should be optimised to the max if it is more of a portfolio site.
Quality content is:
- Long-form (if textual)
- Exceptionally well-written
- Relevant to the topic and your niche
Now, you may wonder what content has to do with social media. It’s simple – write a long, informative piece on a topic relevant to your niche. Share the link to the post on your social profiles, along with a captivating image. A catchy headline and a caption both describe the placement and tickles the users to read the rest.
By keeping your content fresh and unique, you can keep your social media contacts coming back for more, resulting in much-improved website traffic.
Create Video Content
Videos are all the rage these days. Regardless of your niche, you can benefit from posting videos on your social channels. This sort of content is highly compelling and proven to improve both site traffic and conversions.
Ideal platforms for this purpose are YouTube and Vimeo, Instagram, and Facebook, as they have prominent video features and stories.
What sort of video content to make depends on the nature of your website and your business. Try behind-the-scenes, product showcases, client testimonials, how-tos, and so on.
The important thing here is to use all the options the platform you’re using has to offer. In the case of YouTube, which we recommend using for hosting the videos, you should make sure to create a full-featured channel, complete with images, descriptions, links, tags and so on.
Note that YouTube is mighty in itself, equal parts a video hosting service, a search engine and a social network. Small business owners should realize that making money on YouTube isn’t as complicated as you may think, and it can be pretty lucrative.
In addition, you should always link your YouTube videos to your other social profiles, including LinkedIn. The embedding or simply posting videos has been made super-easy on all platforms, so there’s no excuse for not making use of that.
Consider Paid Ads
It’s important to understand that there are some distinctions between Google Ads and social ads. We won’t get into details right now but let’s say that social ads are essentially simpler and often cheaper than Google ads, and they also serve a slightly different purpose.
With Google, you pay to have your content displayed in search results. Your content presents itself to users who are already searching for the kind of content you offer.
With social ads, your display content to those who may not yet know they need your content (services, products). You can tweak this to entice those who are likely to be interested in your offer.
The best practice is to write based on demographic data, user interests and so on. You can also use the information you already have, like your email subscription list, to target customers, resulting in qualified traffic back to your website.
When it comes to the budget, you can set criteria for how much you want to spend. It doesn’t have to be a lot – sometimes even as little as 50 euro can make a difference, and you can time these spendings for when it fits your budget the best.
As for how to go about paid ads, it’s different for every social platform, but almost all networks have some mechanism for paid ads. Facebook has the “Boost Post” option, Pinterest has promoted pins, while LinkedIn and Twitter have website click ads.
The best thing about paid social ads is that they still have a lot of potentials and are not yet as saturated as other forms of paid advertising, meaning you can still get decent traffic, provided you set everything up correctly.
Contests, Giveaways and Webinars
We all love getting free stuff. Why not use this simple psychological fact to bring your social media followers to your website?
For example, you can create a contest with prizes and all but keep it exclusive to your social media profiles (or just one of them – for instance, Facebook). Create a landing page for the contest or the giveaway and link a social media post. People will click on the link like crazy (because – free stuff), and from your landing page, you can easily direct them to the rest of your website.
Another smart thing to do here is to offer additional chances for contest entry (or other giveaway items) to those who share (promote) your contest (and, therefore, your website) on their social pages. Giveaway techniques will significantly expand your reach and get you heaps of new traffic.
Webinars are also a good idea. If it makes sense for your website to offer a webinar, you can promote that too on your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, bringing the interested users back to your site. And to get people to sign up, make sure to make it crystal-clear the webinar is free and that it will provide some valuable, actionable and potentially profitable insights. Use a bit of teasing in your social media copy, showing the users what you have for them.
Client testimonials are also another great piece of content you can post on your social media pages to boost traffic to your site. Testimonials are beneficial for e-commerce websites, but it’s excellent for any business that offers services, too.
Customer testimonials do wonders for brand trust and loyalty. They tell people that your business is for real, that you are not a scammer and that you have something of value to offer.
The best way to go about this is to create a page or part of the page where you’ll collect all your client testimonials. Then, you can use an image with text (quote) on your social media pages, linking back to your website. Customer endorsement is quick, easy, but substantial content that is perfect for sharing on your profiles.
You can be as squeamish as you want about people earning money by being pretty and doing cool things in fancy places, but influencer marketing is as real as it gets.
The thing about influencers is they come with a huge following – that’s what makes them influencers, after all. In this marketing, you rely on their clout to promote your cause (website, product, service). Influencers do it for money, so this may not be something that can work for brand new websites and businesses that are only just starting. However, if you can find an influencer who is willing to trade for something, it might work.
Note that influencer marketing is particularly suitable for Instagram. Come up with some Instagrammable content, hook up with a willing influencer and have them link back directly to your website, and that’s it.
Use Social Listening
Social listening refers to the practice of looking out for mentions of your brand or service throughout social networks, as well as to discussions on keywords, topics and competitors in your industry or niche.
In simpler terms, it means using the search functionality on Twitter or Instagram to see who is searching for your words and keywords. If you run, for example, a pastry shop, you will use terms like “pumpkin pie in Valletta” and then reach out to them, directing them to your site.
It’s also vital to regularly research hashtags on both Instagram and Twitter. It’s a good idea to search for similar terms and keywords and follow the competition to hear what the people are talking about and, again, reach out and win them to your side.
If you feel you need help setting up get in touch