Once you’ve got your website up and running, your web host is doing everything that a good web host should, and your SEO is refined to the nth degree, you’re still left with the problem that every webmaster has to face, sooner or later.  How do you bring in more visitors to your site, and keep them coming?  Social media, which can so often seem like a monumental waste of time, is actually one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase your web presence, as this article will demonstrate.

Social media and website traffic

To make the most of social media, it helps to understand the different types that are out there, and what they’re designed to do.  First of all, there are the social bookmarking sites, those sites which exist to distribute interesting information to the web browsing public at large.  Some of the larger ones are Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon.  Subscribers to these services “bookmark” interesting sites that they come across, and those bookmarks can be read by other subscribers, who might bookmark them in turn.

You can grab some of this social bookmarking action by putting an all-in-one bookmarking button from AddThis onto your site.  This allows visitors to bookmark your pages at the click of a button, instantly adding them to over 150 social bookmarking networks.  It also allows you to track performance, so that you can see where your extra visitors are coming from.

Micro Blogging like social media

Micro-blogging is another social media trend that you can turn to your advantage.    Services such as Tumblr or FriendFeed allow you to post bite-sized chunks about your website, with links back to your content, products and services, without having to write out full scale blog posts each time.  It also allows subscribers to those services to comment on your posts, so you can get a conversation going and generate a bit of buzz.

Twitter and Identi.ca are the next step up from micro-blogging.  Twitter is by far the most famous and popular micro-blogging service, and a Twitter presence will go a long way towards boosting your online credibility.  Big companies, such as Comcast and Chevrolet, use Twitter as a public relations tool with enormous success – it’s a way for their customers to get in touch, and for them to respond to concerns and feedback in a very public way.

Identi-ca is similar, but it’s purpose is really to allow experienced users to instal it as a micro-blogging platform on their own sites.  It can also be used to post to Twitter at the same time.

Far from being a waste of time, social media is worth your serious consideration.  Not only does it allow you to spread the word about your online business, it enables your visitors to engage with you and communicate with you directly.  By inviting that feedback and making a commitment to respond to it, you stop being a faceless internet entity, and you can truly start to give your visitors what they want.

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