With so many people on social media sites nowadays, it’s tempting to ask yourself if you should forget about driving traffic to your website and focus on marketing elsewhere. Why not go where people already are instead of making what can seem like a herculean effort to drive traffic to your site?
The answer to this question is that yes, you should go where people congregate, but yes, you should also invite, bribe, entice, and otherwise encourage others to your website. Here’s why:
- Social networking sites own your list of friends and followers. You don’t. If one of them goes out of business, it won’t matter that you have 4,000 followers. Every one of them will vanish into cyber space. By contrast, the list you build through your website belongs to you.
- People want to know where you live online. If you’re spread thin across social networks without a strong central hub, your brand will be ineffective at best. Branding is all about distilling your essence for others to grasp with minimal effort. If your online presence is scattered, you’ll have a hard time maintaining a brand.
- A neglected website reflects poorly on its owner. Those who connect with you on social sites will sometimes visit your website. A languishing website may make the casual visitor wonder what else you neglect in your writing business. The same can be said of a languishing social media account. You shouldn’t try to be everywhere, so pick and choose where you will and won’t maintain an online presence.
- Exclusivity. If your website becomes one of those places people gather, you won’t have to go out and haul people in to connect with you.This takes a great deal of thought and legwork up front, but after that it can pay off.
- Less competition. That’s usually not true on social sites where instant messages, notifications, advertisements, and the updates of others all compete for attention. You still need to have an interesting website, but at least visitors will have fewer interruptions while you try to maintain their interest.
- Higher search engine rankings. The more traffic your website generates, the higher it ranks in search engines. A higher search engine ranking means that those who enter keyword searches matching content on your website will find your site closer to the top of search results. This brings traffic to your site without any additional effort on your part.
- The ability to sell products. Once you give friends and followers a valid reason to come to your site, you can then offer products to them. This privilege can be abused, so be considerate. Remember that visitors to your site want an immediate takeaway, usually for free. Without one, they may not hang around long enough to buy anything.
Do all your social media accounts point to your website? If not, I suggest you change that as soon as possible.
What are your thoughts on this subject?