You may write some of the best blog posts under the sun, but not many people are going to read them if you just post the articles and walk away. It’s a consequence of the increasingly rapid growth of the internet. Whereas you might have been able to post an article about “at-home water conservation” a few years ago and received a good number of views, that same post today will easily become lost in the mire of similar topics, leaving your post on the back pages of search engine results.
If you want to drive readership on your website, you need to start reaching out to your readers. It doesn’t take much and even a little outreach can go a long way.
Step 1: Identify your target market
The internet population is now just about as diverse as it is in the real world. Pretty much everyone from ages seven to 70 are out there browsing the web, so instead of trying to cast your net over the masses, narrow down your ideal readership first and then get them hooked with some creative posting.
Let’s keep with the at-home water conservation topic and imagine that you’re an eco-entrepreneur with a growing green products business. Your audience is pretty well defined on the surface, but instead of just targeting the green crew, take a moment and think about who else might be interested in what you have to say. Green products might also appeal to the thrifty crowd, as well as the crafty crowd. Young families and moms-to-be might be interested in products that protect their children from chemical exposure, and people who enjoy new tech might enjoy some of the more innovative green products that are coming out. Take a moment and identify all of the possible target groups that you want to reach with your business and keep a list around for reference.
Step 2: Identify the best social media approach
Now that you’ve narrowed down (or expanded on) your target audience types, it’s time to start looking into social media sites. The number of social media options is growing by the day and picking the ones that will work best for you will take a little initial research, but after that you’ll know exactly where to go to start your mini marketing campaign. Here are a few to get you going:
- Pinterest.com — Pinterest is a great way to reach out to a specific audience, especially if you have good product pictures or are handy with a camera. By pinning an image from your blog post on Pinterest and categorizing it — say under “Gardening” or “Technology” or “DIY & Crafts” — viewers will be able to follow the image right back to your original post. And if they enjoy it, they might like it, comment on it or re-pin it on their own pages.
- Google+ — Though Google+ has had its ups and downs in the social media market, it is constantly improving on its processes. One of the pluses of the program is that it allows users to streamline their posts by permitting the use of extensions that will also send your posts to Facebook and Twitter. Through Google+ you can build circles of friends and send posts only to specific groups, allowing you to further target your audiences, and people can follow your posts much as they would on Twitter. You can even post and tag pictures and follow status updates as you would on Facebook.
- StumbleUpon.com — StumbleUpon adheres to the concept of allowing users to identify their interests when they sign up and update them whenever they wish. Every time users click on “stumble,” the website lands them on a page that falls within their interests. Pages are added to the site by user submission. By adding your post and defining who would find the topic interesting, you increase the chances of people “stumbling” on it and reading it.
Step 3: Keep up with Facebook
Posting to a myriad of social media sites is good for increasing the number of visitors to your site and your overall search engine optimization, but it’s just as important to keep up with your business’ Facebook page. While Facebook pages shouldn’t be used for selling products to people directly, visitors and friends are always interested in the latest news, helpful hints, and generally socializing with you, the owner of the business. Before wrapping up your reposting for the day, make sure you’ve added a link to your blog article on your Facebook page.
There are a number of ways to reach target audience members on the web, but the number one rule to walk away with is that you should always be vigilant and always be on the lookout for new ways to reach out to your target audiences. If people post responses to your article, do your best to follow up with them. Good business is about good relationships; it’s a fact that’s as true today as it has been throughout history.
What are some other social media sites that seem to be on the rise with your target audience? What are some ways you’ve found to identify your ideal target markets?
Tim Eyre works in the storage units industry, often visiting locations like this Baltimore storage units yard. Tim is part of Extra Space Storage which has locations across the U.S., which are listed at http://www.extraspace.com/Storage/Facilities/.