In the early days of Facebook, circa 2004, profiles were solely available to college students. Seven years later, the site is open to anyone, no longer discriminating against age or educational background, and of course, is open to businesses. Some national businesses have taken social networking and let it serve as a pathway to successful customer service.
Whole Foods and Talbots are two national businesses that use Facebook and Twitter well. Whole Foods responds to tweets from angry customers and provides a solution to their problem, anything ranging from a banana that rotted too soon or a rude cashier.
Talbots helps customers on Facebook find products their local store doesn’t carry.
These are obviously great business practices, but how do small businesses gain exposure from Facebook and Twitter? Let’s say your business has 200 fans and serves a small portion of your community…how can this help you? Here are a few tips that are sure to boost your site’s traffic:
Promote online sales
Small businesses can boost their link popularity by tweeting a link or posting it on Facebook. If your business is having a promotion offering 20% off all e-commerce, simply add the link into your message and your 200 followers are bound to see it. If the promotion is worthy of a click, you’ll see a difference in conversion rates and online sales.
Link to a landing page
Maybe your business doesn’t offer e-commerce, but you still want to promote a portion of your site. You can entice your fans or followers by linking a landing page. Because landing pages are often associated with specific products or services, this is a perfect opportunity to highlight a special aspect of your business.
Be creative with your social networking efforts
If the words leading up to your link sound fun, the odds are, a reader will want to learn more about you and what you’re selling. If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, your reader is sure to discover that with ho-hum words and a lack of excitement supporting the link.
Use a URL Shortener for Twitter
Although some social networking sites do not have a limit on the characters you may post, Twitter has a limit of 140 words. By using a URL shortener, such as ow.ly, bit.ly or tinyurl.com, you will have more room to sell the reasons why someone should visit your site. Each shortener has its own tracking system which will make it easy for you to see who’s clicking and how often.
Of course, there are always other ways to boost your site’s social media presence but like with all SEO commitments, don’t expect a boost in site traffic overnight. The more effort you put into social networking, the more business will start to come your way.