With the advent of Web 2.0, social media has become an integral part of daily online life. It has become so powerful with its viral nature that succeeding in this arena may become a make or break deal for your website. If you plan to harness it, you might as well do it properly. Here are just a few tips.
1. Link Bait – The content on your site should be stuff that’s interesting and/or useful, the type that other people would want to link to and share with their friends. There are many ways to do this: having a blog on your site, offering free white papers, gathering breaking news, how-to articles, pictures, videos, statistics, and collections of multiple resources and tools.
2. Others First Policy – A common mistake rookies commit (including myself when I was starting out), is that they submit their own content to social media sites exclusively, right from the start. That’s a no-no. Build your reputation first as a source of great sites within the communities of these sites. Digg or Stumble other people’s content. Only when you get yourself a sizeable following should you start submitting your own.
3. Presentation – Now when you send other people to your site, make sure they’ll like what they see. Great content badly presented will not be terribly effective, negating all your hard work. So, make sure your ads, if any, don’t clutter up your pages. Check for the site design’s compatibility to major browsers and screen sizes. Add life to your pages by including relevant images. To make reading easier for your visitors, break the content down to sections and highlight the titles.
4. Buttons – All the popular social bookmarking sites have their own little buttons you could put at either the top or bottom of your post. If you’re using WordPress or some other CMS, make them part of your template.
5. Discuss – Social media sites have their own groups and forums. Try to join the discussions on topics related to your site. If there are questions you can answer, by all means offer your take on things. This helps to boost your ranking among the community. In forums that permit it, you can put a link to your site on your signature.
6. Reciprocate – If someone Diggs your article or posts it on a forum, write a thank you note to that person. If he or she has a blog, try to see if you like any of the entries and return the favor. You can also ask if this person wants to exchange links, which is mutually beneficial for climbing the search engine rankings.