I have never doubted the power of social media, but personal experience over the past 24 hours has provided more than adequate proof that there is an enormous latent force waiting for business communicators to tap into.
In yesterday’s blog post (see below) I encouraged the use of Twitter for gathering business information, as well as disseminating it. I posted links to the blog on Twitter and LinkedIn, to alert my followers and contacts.
I’d also mentioned a Twitter service provider in the text, so I sent a personal courtesy message to its founder. He generously Tweeted his huge following with a link to my blog.
The effect of this expanded social media exposure (plus any other links that may have been posted without my knowledge) was to produce the largest number of hits my website has seen in a single day so far. It also led to some very positive comments, public and private.
This confirms the view that social media hold the key to increased website traffic. I believe people generally search for and visit websites to satisfy their immediate needs, but they can be tempted to click elsewhere if a sufficiently strong artificial need is created – in this case, an ‘authority’s’ suggestion that they could benefit from reading my blog.
Many companies spend large sums to maintain a presence on the web, even if their business is not dependent on e-commerce. A website is a ‘must’ these days – as is optimising it for better performance on the search engines. Even if the site is only there to showcase the company and its expertise it can be a costly drain unless there is an all-out effort to drive people to it.
A good social media following of customers and prospects is the solution – coupled with enticing Tweets linking to fresh, informative and thought-provoking content. And once they’re on your site, invite people to bookmark it and view the rest of your content.
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David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.