When it comes to social media, there's more to life than what I call the "Royal Three" especially for finding business to business leads.
Your first thought should be, find other places where your audience hangs out online:
If you're having difficulty finding "niche" sites, try searching for "niche social sites" plus whatever industry you're in. You could also do some research to see what your competitors are doing. Once you've found sites to contribute to, you can start commenting on blogs, answering questions, joining a discussion, adding events to a calendar, or any other social activity available on the site. For example, I'm getting traction with startups on Quora, a Q&A type social site.
Many of these sites allow you to add your name to a directory as well. I wouldn't ordinarily recommend paying for a directory listing unless you start seeing a fair amount of traffic from it. This idea is applicable to the social activities as well. If you start getting traction, you could consider advertising or paid sponsorship and closely track the results.
The benefits of this social strategy include:
Anything you do socially will be a longer term play and take more effort than advertising. Paid sponsorship may speed up the process. No matter what your approach, you'll need to determine whether the time and financial investment is warranted in terms of results you're getting from other promotional tactics.
Keeping a website up to date and running smoothly is no easy task, but it's essential if you want one that will help your business succeed. Here are some ideas for getting your site primed for the New Year.
1. Guide Visitors to Your Happy Conclusion
A website needs to compel visitors to do something -- make contact, buy products, engage. Knowing what you want yours to do is the end game. The challenge is to figure out the steps that will lead them to that happy conclusion.
Put yourself in their shoes. If you were buying a product or service like yours, what would you want to know first, second, third, etc. before making a decision? Make sure the order of your menu is in line with those steps. Use benefit written content, links and calls to action to drive visitors down that road. Respond to anticipated questions and respond to objections. To increase engagement and sharing, write useful information, or posts that warrant an emotional response: controversial, funny, strange, etc. Think about what they would want to share with their networks.
3. Don't Lead Visitors Down a Blind Alley
When was the last time you took a good look at your website, from home page to contact page?
4. Out with the Old, In with the New
Grab a big cup of coffee and take the time to reread all your content to make sure it's current with any changes you've made, such as:
5. Google is Becoming More Human
It's essential that your site work for visitors first, especially with the recent Google Hummingbird update, but it also needs to be readable by the little "bots" sent out by all search engines. Simple changes can help, like naming images with "alt tags" and adding titles to pages. It's the behind the scenes stuff that visitors can't see, but search engines can. Learn about changes you can make in this presentation we gave on how to increase website traffic.
If you're more technical, you may find David Portney's SEO makeover article helpful.
6. The Year of Your Mobile Website
More people are accessing websites with their mobile devices. See if this is true for your site by checking your stats. Then, access it via a mobile device to see for yourself if it's mobile friendly. Is the experience a good one? Are pages getting cut off? Is it easy to navigate? If not, it's time to convert to one that's "responsive" -- one that looks good and functions well, whether the visitor is on their laptops, smartphone or tablet. Try using one of the many website builders that have mobile options, such as Weebly or Wordpress.
Take the time to make these changes, and your site and your business will be soon be humming. Tell us about the changes you're making to your website. What are some of your favorite tools?
Find Customers and Determine Seasonal Demand