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Your website deserves more than random acts of sharing

Posted by Malcolm Iliff, on 29th August 2014

Your website deserves more than random acts of sharing 

Is your website content worth sharing?

It doesn’t matter how great your website is, if nobody knows about it.

In our recent post ‘Is your site SEO prepared?’ we shared tips on how to improve your ranking in Google’s search results, so visitors can easily find your site. But you can also increase visibility of your site by driving traffic to it using social media networks.

Here are 3 simple habits you can start cultivating right now to encourage visitors to your site. 

Habit 1: Tweet all about it

Share links and images

Tweets that include links or images work best, so Twitter is ideal for sharing snippets of news and blog posts. The next time you create a new blog post or add an upcoming event to your site, share the link to that specific page via Twitter. Craft a compelling message of up to 140 characters that makes people want to click on the link. You can share the same link many times, but using different messages, to attract different audiences. The key is to regularly share relevant content to your Twitter followers.

Use Hashtags

A hashtag, represented by the # symbol, is used to identify keywords or topics in a tweet. If you use keywords to categorise your tweet, anyone can search and find it. For example, whenever we share content related to web design, we always include the key word #webdesign in the tweet. Simple! You can find out which key words are common in your market sector by performing your own searches before you tweet. Tweeter beware: It’s best practice to only include two or three hashtags in a tweet. 

Re-tweet. Repeat!

It’s perfectly okay to tweet the same link many times. We don’t recommend posting exactly the same tweet 10 times a day though! Find creative ways to serve up the same content in different formats to suit different audiences. This is also a great way to test which tweets get retweeted or favourited most. You can also mix things up al little by tweeting a link to your last month’s blog posts, to this month’s events or to blog posts tagged with a specific category.

Habit 2: Share an update via your LinkedIn profile

Most of your employees have a LinkedIn profile. Sharing updates via your LinkedIn profile is a quick, easy way to spread useful content about your industry and business. Your connections will be notified of your activity, and may ‘like’ or ‘comment’ or ‘share’ your update too, helping to spread the word further. We always make sure we read any content we share before we share it, so encourage your employees to do the same. They should be familiar with what you’re posting, so it’s a great way to keep them informed about what your marketing team is up to!

You have 3 options when you share an update on LinkedIn:

  • Share with Public + Twitter (if you’ve linked your Twitter account under Privacy & Settings)
  • Share with Public
  • Share with Connections

We don’t usually use the first option, because most links benefit from a different kind of description, depending on whether they’re being accessed via LinkedIn or Twitter. But we do tend to share our updates publicly, since we consider our content to be relevant to a wider audience, and not just to our immediate connections. 

When you include a link in your update, a summary version of that web page is displayed, together with a thumbnail image if available. Review the default title and description, and adapt it to your desired audience. You can include a more personal, powerful message to convince your readers to click and view the full content. You should also add some introductory text to the update. For example, you might highlight an interesting quote from the content or share your opinion about it.

Habit 3: Share in groups

LinkedIn makes it easy to share your content. You can share with anyone on LinkedIn, selected Groups or selected Individuals. Sometimes we start by just sharing our content with our group Making sense of the Web*. Then we share publicly. If we know the post may be of particularly interest to one of our connections, we share it with the individual.

The beauty of groups is that members choose to join a group. So the chances are, they’re especially interested in your content. It may take a few months before members join in the discussion, but gradually they will start to Like and Comment on your posts. And it’s great when they share them with their followers and connections too.

There’s also a lesser-known feature in LinkedIn groups called Manager’s Choice*. This allows the group owner, manager or moderator of a LinkedIn group to select up to 10 discussions, and feature them on the group’s Discussions page. It’s a great way to ensure that older discussions don’t perish at the bottom of the page. It also means that group members may contribute more, because they want to jump aboard the Manager’s Choice carousel!

Is your website shareable?

So far we’ve focused on easy ways for you to share your own content. But you can also make it easy for visitors to share your content too. Incorporate social sharing buttons into your site. Follow buttons allow visitors to quickly follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. And sharing buttons enable visitors to share a specific page or blog post. Your website design agency can guide you on the best social sharing buttons for your business.

Good habits deliver results

Traffic to your site doesn’t increase exponentially overnight. First you need to have content that is valuable to your target audience. Second, you need to make sharing a habit. It may take a month or two to develop your online presence, depending on your industry. Not everyone shares or likes. Some people are silent observers. They may be quiet, but they’re still ‘listening in’ and absorbing your content. If you stop creating content and sharing, they’ll be disappointed! So the key is to be consistent. If you only have time to blog once a month, just do that. But make sure there is a rhythm to your content. 

“Nothing is more powerful than habit” – Ovid

We haven’t even touched on LinkedIn Company pages and Showcase pages yet. Or Facebook! We recommend developing good habits slowly. Master the habit of sharing on at least two social channels first. Once you can sustain those, you can start with a third. And so on. Experience has taught us that it’s better to be ‘fully present’ on select social networks. That way, you can share your message in a disciplined, systematic way. Because we believe your website deserves more than random acts of sharing.

What else can we share?

If you’d like to know more about how CBJ Digital Ltd can develop a site for you that’s worth discovering and sharing, please contact questions_answered@cbjdigital.com or visit http://www.cbjdigital.com

We’re here to help!

*If you’d like to join our group, simply search for the group ‘Making sense of the Web’ in the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn screen. Then click the ‘Join’ button (top right) to become a member of the group.

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