Why go to the trouble of having a Facebook fan page for a business? The truth is that social media has become an incredibly important driver of website traffic. Large search engines like Google frequently list sites such as YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn among the top organic results for a business name or organization. Even if a business owner has spent tremendous amounts of money on paid advertising, they are more likely to see results by creating free and popular listings on the major social media sites.
Facebook and Twitter in particular have become excellent social signals for what is popular or respected. A business without these sites will have difficulty attracting respect or bolstering their SEO. Although Facebook may seem like a giant distracting waste of time, its ubiquitous nature makes it easy for people to share and find sites they like across a much wider platform than traditional advertising. People tend to trust the recommendations of their “friends” more than they trust random advertising. When they see their friends “like” a business on Facebook or “follow” a particular business on Twitter, they are more likely to rate that business as being worthy of further notice.
Produce Content With Value
There is an art to attracting visitors and creating a following. Each of the popular social sites have certain unwritten rules that business owners should observe when trying to boost their overall web traffic. The first is that blatant “salesy” techniques are abhorred. The business owner must entice people to a sale or special offer without being condescending or overly promotional of his particular business. Secondly, content placed on the sites must be of some inherent value. Jamming any channel with low quality filler material will only alienate visitors, and may in fact result in the loss of “likes” or followers. Finally, learning how to interact with visitors is key to maintaining a good public face and keeping web traffic high.
The Value of Social Interaction
Business owners should set aside a time each day to respond to any comments, messages, or other responses they receive from the social sites. Google ranks pages not only by their SEO, but also by visitor interaction. If a page receives a higher number of page hits, and the average page view time is high, the search engine will subsequently classify that site as having greater relevance and boost it in the search rankings, which will only lead to more page visits. Responding to user commentary is one way to keep page visits high. A business that never interacts with its customers will lose valuable momentum. People won’t want to visit nearly as often, and the comment thread will grow dusty. A business that interacts with its customers will only encourage more visits and longer page views.
Sending out positive social signals is increasingly an important part of every business. In the past, there were receptionists whose entire job consisted of interacting with the public. Now, social media has become the new public face of a business. It’s time to learn how to smile, digitally.
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Social Media Manager
President, Bee Social, Inc