Starting With Social Media

Why Social Media is not that scary

We are often asked by clients what they can do themselves to improve their website traffic. Once the important task of on page SEO has been done to optimise the content correctly and the process has begun to submit the website to a range of Search Engines and Directories – usually something they assign us to do for them – there’s still much that can be done to help. When we dare to bring up the subject of Social Media, we are usually met with a series of award winning gurning faces or spine chilling groans.

Your Social Media Options

In recent years, more and more Social Media platforms have emerged. Some of these are targeted at specific groups of people, professions or preferences. Perhaps you’re very visual and like to share pictures, in which case Pinterest will appeal to you. If you’re more business orientated then you might opt to maximise your use of Linkedin.

Of course there are the main players like Facebook and Twitter, which most people tend to associate with personal use and made popular by the younger generation sharing every movement in their busy lives. But, they also offer great opportunities for Businesses and provide an easy way to spread the word and drive new visitors to your website. In this article we’re just going to focus on Facebook and Twitter, though we’ll look into some others in the near future.

Getting started With Twitter

Twitter is the easiest platform to get started with. Just visit twitter.com and find the Sign Up link. Twitter likes to make changes to its website – take note – so the snap shot you see below might, be different when you land on the site. It’s a simple process to get started and you just need your name, an email address and a password. As with all online logins, please use strong passwords and perhaps make use of applications like 1Password. They will not only keep all your logins safe, but will also generate a secure random password for you.

Twitter Login Screenshot

When you select your Twitter name, try and get something close to your business name or specialised subject. It will make it easier for others to remember or find. All Twitter names begin with the @ symbol and you’ll be surprised just how often these little names appear around the web. You can start to build out your Twitter profile by including a concise company bio that includes a link back to your website. There are a number of options and settings within the profile section of your Twitter account and once you have them set, you can begin to build your audience.

You’re bound to know someone who’s already on Twitter, so you can begin by following them. You can then begin your search for others and Twitter can even search through your contacts (if you allow it to) to see who else you may know. You can even follow us @nialtoservices. The next thing is to Tweet! Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters so you have to get used to saying it in as fewer words as possible. The great thing is you can Tweet links and pictures as well as text and is a great way to publicise the longer written content from your website. We’ll Tweet this article when its published on our site and all our Twitter followers will see it in their time line.

When you get more accustomed to using Twitter, you’ll learn that you can re-Tweet another persons Tweets. If you Tweet something good, your followers may well re-Tweet it and all their followers will see it too and may chose to visit any links in your Tweet and perhaps follow you. You can Tweet offers, run competitions and do all sorts of interesting stuff to interact with your Twitter crowd. To help you get started, Twitter have produced a simple guide to using Twitter, though there are tons of other resources out there. The last thing to do is to make sure you include a link to your Twitter page on your website. You can also provide simple social links that allow visitors to your website to Tweet your site content. Let them drive more traffic for you.

Creating Your Facebook Business Page

Facebook allows you to post far more content, a bit like mini articles. To create a Facebook Business Page, you need to have a personal page first. Head over to facebook.com and sign up for your account. With a Facebook account, you can start to find friends and make new acquaintances if you wish. The important part here is setting up you Business Page. When logged in you should see a small settings gear to the right of your profile picture at the top of the window. Clicking on that will reveal a small menu with the option to ‘Create a Page’.

Facebook Login

There are several different options for Facebook pages so you just need to select the most appropriate one that fits the bill. You can add a lot of information about your business including links to your website and other contact details, so make good use of those. When you have everything set up, including adding a suitable banner image to represent your business, you can start building content worthy of promoting.

You can add news stories, pictures and other media as ‘posts’ to your Facebook page. If you add the url of an article you want to share, Facebook will pull in an excerpt of the content and allow you to choose an image, if there are any. Once again this makes it very easy to share content from your own website and drive more traffic back. It also allows for social interaction as readers can comment and drive conversation. Ensure you add links from your website to your Facebook page and allow others to ‘Like’ your page directly from your site.

Keeping Tabs On Your Social Media

Monitoring all this Social Media stuff can seem rather daunting, but fortunately there are a number of applications that make the job easy. You can monitor most of the social networks in one place with the likes of Hootsuite, or use the individual apps produced by each network.

One of the major benefits of Social Media, is the importance placed upon it by the major search giants. Having a buoyant Social profile with a growing band of followers will greatly improve your websites credibility and see it rising in the natural organs listings.

Don’t put it off any longer – Get Social.

About Alan Herbert

Alan is a Web Designer focused on creating websites that deliver a great user experience through clear design structure. Working in the web industry for well over a decade and constantly evolving with new technologies and frameworks, Alan has helped to transform the web into a responsive environment, delivering a better experience on all devices.Proud to be part of a community of designers and developers that share their knowledge and enthusiasm, with others.

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