By: Hadassah Levy
There are plenty of articles online about how to promote your business through social media, but there don’t seem to be too many on how to promote a content website with Facebook and Twitter. Of course, some of the advice is relevant to both businesses and content websites but a lot of the ideas for businesses are just not relevant for content sites. Since I focus most of my efforts these days on promoting content, I have put together a list of tips which are useful for getting as many as people as possible to a website.
- Be Everywhere: Publicize your social media presence everywhere. That means that your e-mail signature, homepage (or even all webpages) and newsletter should contain links to your Twitter, Facebook, blog etc.
- You Already Have Fans, Don’t You? Gain more fans or followers by harnessing your personal network. This works especially well if many of your online friends are interested in the topic of your website. Once your Facebook page or group contains a decent amount of content, send invitations to all your friends to join. You can ask friends or niche celebrities to invite their friends as well.
- Make it Pretty: Pay attention to graphic design. It is worth investing some time and/or money in making a blog look unique and user-friendly. Even a Facebook page should look inviting. You may want to hire a developer to create a custom Facebook page using FBML. A lot of organizations have a special landing page for potential fans explaining what the website is about. On a simpler level, uploading pictures and videos to the page will help make it look more exciting.
- Go Hollywood: Videos are extremely viral. When you post videos people are more likely to share them with their friends. You can sign up for a YouTube channel and stream the videos into your Facebook page using Involver (it’s free). Post videos on your blog and link to them via Twitter. They don’t have to be your own: if people retweet or share videos and credit you, you have gained more exposure.
- Big Brother: Keep track of mentions. Set up a Google Alert for the name of your website and for your URL and pay attention to who is saying what about you. Twitter has a search button where you can search for recent tweets mentioning your website and Facebook has an option to “Search Posts by Everyone.” You can use your social media platforms to thank people for sharing your content and comment on blogs where you are mentioned.
- Don’t Bug People: Don’t overwhelm your followers or fans with too much information at once. It’s a good idea to space your updates so that they don’t take over anyone’s feed. Free programs that allow you to schedule your updates in advance are CoTweet for Twitter and Sendible for Facebook. WordPress also has an option to publish later.
- But you Can still Butt in: Ask and answer questions. Questions are more likely to elicit interaction than informative updates. Intersperse your updates with questions that relate to your content. Answering questions is a way to engage people that might not know about you. Look for questions you can answer on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers.
- Give them a Vote: A fun way to ask questions is by creating a poll. Facebook has a Polls application which allows you to easily create a poll and provides you with results in percentages.Announce the results of your poll to your network and send out a communal thank you to everyone who voted.
- Pay it Forward: When other users post interesting information, retweet or repost their links and give them credit. On Facebook, if the users are your friends on your personal profile or you are a fan of their page, you can make their name a link by typing @ and waiting a few seconds before typing in their name. For Twitter, if you use a software like Tweetdeck, you can retweet with the click of a button. Of course, you don’t always want to copy the tweet word for word. Sometimes you want to add your commentary and put “via @so-and-so” at the end.
- Tap into People’s Competitive Side: Run a contest to gain more followers and fans. Since you are not selling a product, you have to put some thought into the prize. This should be either something related to your content (such as a relevant book, ebook or DVD) or a really great prize like an ipad. Another way to promote your social media accounts is by offering a small prize to anyone who signs up (a recipe, an article or a screensaver). You could do this for your newsletter, Facebook or Twitter. If you have the budget, you can combine the two: everyone gets a freebie and one lucky winner gets the big prize.
Have you tried any of these tips? What strategies have worked for you? Please share your ideas with us.