Thursday, October 1, 2009

Social Media Tips

I attended a brown-bag lunch meeting today of a local LinkedIn group. Its aim is to share information and advice about social media and how it enhances business online.

Thought I would share a few of the tips I got out of the very informative session:

1) It's hard to know whether your marketing efforts are having any effect unless you measure things like traffic to your website or blog. The good news is that you can measure those things, quite precisely and inexpensively, with free tools such as Google Analytics.

2) Even if you know about Google Analytics and have it installed for your website, you may not really know what all the terms mean and which are most important. "Unique visitors" is what you want to notice. "Hits" apparently just describes how many unique pieces of code are downloaded each time someone calls up your site. Unless you're a programmer, the number of "hits" you get is not important.

3) To measure visitors' engagement with your company website or blog, look at the categories called "Page Views" and "Bounce Rate." You want to increase your page views (how many pages visitors to your site are looking at) and decrease your bounce rate (the number of people who click on your site but navigate away from it almost immediately). In order to keep people on your site, give them something to do (like "order now" or "click here") right up front.

4) You also want to encourage people to stay on your site longer and increase your subscribers. In order to do this, you need to build an interactive community - rather than think of your customers and potential customers as an audience you will be selling to.

The last point I think is very important, but it's not easy to grasp. As business has moved online, there's an interactive component to customer relations that is really quite revolutionary.

I've written a little about it here and here.

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