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by Tom Howlett on 14th November 2012
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Hi, my name is Tom, and I’m here to talk about establishing you site socially. Social is much more important nowadays, and the amount of content that’s shared on social media platforms has rocketed. So it’s much more important to have that initial presence online. So here’s a few things to help you do that.
So firstly, why do people share? They share because they want to endorse something. If they’re particularly fond of a brand and they like a brand, they’re more than happy to share that with their followers online.
Useful content, if you’re creating useful content online, people are more than happy to share that useful content with other people that they might think would be interested in that, and that’s a great way of growing your brand online. They share things because they’re humorous. So if you’re creating funny content, you could create content related to your industry, but it could still be funny. So people are happy to share that. That’s something that people love sharing within their social circles.
Authority, as you continue to grow your brand online, grow your personal brand and grow the brand of your company, then you’re going to gain that authority as you continue to post useful content. This could be really useful, because then if you establish that authority within your industry, people are much more likely to share your content. You could get so many more shares if you have that initial authority in the industry.
Then next is design and experience. Not necessarily relevant content as much, but if you have a unique design, a unique experience, this could be a great way of sharing, to get people to share your content online, because if it’s really useful, interesting to use, then people love sharing these.
Social presence, it’s really important to have that initial presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, any of the other top social networks, and then also on the industry relevant ones. So for example, if you’re in the design industry, you might want a presence on Dribble to share you content. That could be a great way of finding your audience, finding people that are likely to follow you on other social platforms. Having a presence on all of these platforms gives you space to push your content too, and it’s a great way of just growing your brand online and gaining those fans and followers.
Then there’s sharing buttons. So, once you have these profiles, it’s important to link to them from your website. So I would recommend adding a link to the top social profiles from every page of your site so people know where to find you. Then also if you are creating content, on this content you could add social sharing buttons so people could easily share your content on their own social profiles. So this could be a great way you could use plugins, such as AddThis. That’s a good way of adding one element to each of your content pages, and people could click that and share on any platform they like.
Blogging, that’s a really good way of creating fresh content for your website, fresh content that could be found by other people. It could be shared by other people. It would be a really good way of gathering that initial presence. It’s also content that you could push out via your social profiles, and then more people will find you that way.
So if you’re working in say a slightly boring industry or something you would regard as being slightly boring, at least from a social perspective, then that’s a really good way of creating useful content that you could push out to these profiles and to gain that initial sharing momentum.
Then there’s alternatives. So alternatives, what I mean is ideas that are slightly creative. So, for example, microsites, a brand called Compare the Market, they created a microsite for Compare the Meerkat. So that’s helped them gain lots and lots of fans socially. It’s improved their social awareness hugely. I believe that the Compare the Meerkat Facebook page has now roughly 800,000 followers or more than that. So that could work really well for some brands, creating that microsite, creating that external tool, external site that people could use to grow your awareness online.
There’s also unique products and services. If what you offer in terms of products and services is unique, e.g. a unique product, unique service, then people are much more likely to share that. You could get in touch with industry related blogs about that. They could talk about it to their followers which will also grow your brand. It could be a good way of basically establishing that initial presence, and then you’re likely to gather more followers. So think about what you’re offering people, and then maybe you could work with that to then grow your online presence.
Then lastly I wanted to talk about design influence. It’s not necessarily strictly relevant to content. You obviously want to make sure you’re creating good content, but also design could be a great way of establishing that initial presence. People are more than happy to share interesting designs and interesting experiences if you’re doing something new.
There are lots of sites which are purely for sharing unique and different experiences. One example I could think of is Ben the Bodyguard, where he initially created a website which was really interesting and engaged their users. There’s lots of buzz surrounding the product. So when it did actually launch, it was really successful for them.
Then also Pinterest, that’s a site which has been really, really successful lately. I think part of that success was down to a really nice design. They obviously thought through their design really well. They made sure they created something which is really engaging and really useful to look at and easy to use. I think that if they hadn’t have had that, maybe they wouldn’t have been as successful today.
So there’s a number of things you could do to help establish your site socially and grow that online presence. I also wrote a blog post about this. So if you want more information, you can read my blog post about this topic.
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