Using social media to bring people to your website (2009)

The most aesthetically pleasing web site in the world won’t bring people to your web site.

Social media can help bridge that gap between your great looking website that is seen by a few, and some of the top social media sites that are visited by many (see Alexa.com).

I got into a brief discussion today with someone about product placement. My point in this discussion was that if I took some information and placed it on our organizations web site, and then took the same information and placed it on a blog site, the information on the blog site could reach more people. He initially disagreed, but we did an experiment using our website and a WordPress blog site placing the same information on both, but I was able to include multiple tags and hyperlinks on WordPress, and after a quick search in Google the information on the blog came up as one of the top results.

The reason this is true is because blog sites and other social media sites are better built for search engines than most web sites are (like the one my organization has).

When creating your website if you aren’t going to have a web designer build it, you can go to a site like Template Monster and buy a nice looking web site template for around $50. They can also be built on WordPress to help with reaching search engines.

The next thing you need to do is understand your analytics.

Lots of organizations get stuck thinking because their site looks great, they are communicating to the world. Placing a snippet of Google’s Analytic code in your site may help provide the data you need to show that your site may not necessarily be doing what you think it is. Google analytics can show you all kinds of data about who is coming to your site, from where, how frequently, if they are returning, what pages are being viewed most, etc.

In addition to those things built into blog sites, social media is something that can help bridge the gap between all those sites that people are already going to (Facebook, Youtube, Flickr), and your great-looking web site that no one is going to.

The more you can interconnect your site into social media sites, the more likely people are going to find your site.

Place links on your Facebook page, use Twitter to provide updates on your web postings, and use Flickr for photos and include information on your actual web site.

Use all these sites as a ‘for more information go to my main site’ kind of tool.

If you are trying to reach people that don’t already know where your site is, go to where the conversations are going on.

By participating in the various networks, you not only reach people that may find your main site through that network, but you’ll also improve your search engine rankings by creating more action related to your brand name.

Finally, choose how you are going to represent yourself on these sites (ex. as an organization or as an individual).

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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