Boost your client’s traffic with a solid social strategy

When it comes to getting traffic to client sites, you, as a designer/developer can only do so much. You can code the site to be better recognized by search engines by using standards compliant, semantic markup and high quality, relevant copy. You can also do your best to submit the site to as many search engines and directories as possible. What you can’t do, however is a lot of the social leg work that can prove really beneficial to a site’s traffic. After all, it’s not your business it’s the client’s. They have all the connections and they know all the players. What they most likely don’t know, however is how to best use these channels to get the most visitors possible. That’s where you come in.

We, as web-savvy individuals are perfectly positioned to look at a client’s business and draw conclusions on how they may go about boosting the amount of quality traffic to their sites by using an array of available social channels, both online and offline. Of course it is up to the designer if they wish to charge extra for this service and indeed how much, but it is definitely a worthwhile thing to talk about when dealing with clients who are new to the web as well as those who may already have a site that requires that extra boost. So here are some things to think about when forming a client’s social strategy.

1. Assess the existing community in the client’s field.

One of the most common untapped resources for web clients is the existing community in their field. Some industries have incredibly tight-knit and loyal communities associated with them. One such example is one I was asked to look at recently for a friend. They were part of a small tattoo studio with a small, but loyal client base and aspirations of expansion but unfortunately they were more or less unknown on the web.

A strong community is usually a great resource.

I advised that while a website would help, the most effective way of driving a continual flow of traffic to the site would be to take advantage of the amazingly active online and offline community that exists in the world of tattooing. Forums, blogs, social networking groups, trade shows and conventions are all present and very, very active within the field of tattooing. It would be here that they would find not only the most potential customers but also the most conductive environment for word-of-mouth advertising.

It is advisable before putting together your client’s social strategy to gauge just how active the community is in their field. Chances are there will be at least some places that the client could go about getting their name known and this could be the cornerstone to the whole strategy.

2. Make Use of Social Networks.

This is a phrase we hear so often that it seems almost played out. However, it’s surprising just how many web clients have no idea just how much a set of high quality social networking presences can improve traffic to their site.

Make use of the best social networks available

It is advisable on most projects to encourage the client to maintain a quality relevant presence on common social networks. A regularly updated Facebook page and an active, relevant and interesting Twitter stream can really help to push the name of the business out there.

The great part about doing this is that it allows the client to improve and even start a community based around their product or service. They can then use these social networking outlets to drive periodic surges of traffic to their sites through the use of things like special offers and promotional codes and of course updates regarding new products or site content that people may be interested in.

For an example of just how effective this can be, have a look at Graze, a snack box delivery service specialising in healthy snacking alternatives. Through their Twitter profile and Facebook group the company focus on bringing new customers to the service by publishing introductory promotional codes and I’ve seen, from just how many of my Twitter followers/followees have signed up, that it works.

3. Push the website in the real world.

When talking about social strategies you mustn’t forget to consider offline social channels as valid ways of the client publicising their nice new site. A lot of website owners, when communicating face to face with others, tend not to push the name or URL of the website. There are of course a number of ways of doing this (a number that can vary greatly depending on how active their community is – see point 1). The most common is by making sure that they update any physical advertising they may have such as newspaper or yellow pages adverts. Another way is with business cards.

MooCards can be a great way to spread the word about your new website

This is something we web designers have been doing for years in our own community. Every year there seems to be another big web design conference somewhere in the world and this is where many designers get their names out there. John O’Nolan recently took his first delivery of MooCards, mini business cards that are ideal for handing out at conferences, trade shows and other industry specific events. If the client has the ability to distribute these cards in relevant social situations then it is definitely worthwhile including it in their social strategy.

4. Don’t just talk shop

Chances are if your client is after a steady flow of traffic to a site they’re going to need to continually push out new content. This could be in the form of a news area or a company blog. One thing to consider, though is how much are people going to want to read about their products and services alone? Sure they might have a product or service that will make the visitor need to come to the site but do they have anything to make them want to visit?

A company blog is a fantastic way of communicating with the public but in order to really socially engage these visitors the blog is going to need more than just post after post after post about the company’s product or service. You need to have content that people will want to come back again and again to see.

Innocent Drinks make use of a great company blog

One example of how a company blog can be used as a social powerhouse stands out more than most; Innocent Drinks. Their company blog, is surprisingly very little to do with their product and consists far more of fun little stories of things that have happened around the office and special events the company is involved in. For this reason the blog has gained a massive following of people from all over who may or may not have even been aware of the brand or website before.

Encouraging your client to invest time in quality, interesting content may prove invaluable, not only to them but, if you’re a competent copywriter, may equal some more money in your pocket. Either way, non-product related blog posts are a tried and tested method of using social channels to attract extra traffic to a client site.

Moving forward.

We all know that every client is different. Not all will want to take social media as seriously as this and others may not even need to. What is important, though is making sure that a social strategy is something you have in mind whenever taking on a new project. If you have a rough idea what sort of strategy will be best for the client, that may even inspire you when designing their site. For example you may design it with a live twitter feed or you may choose to put more emphasis on the company blog. To that end, even if the client chooses not to follow your strategy, they will still benefit from the insight that forming one will give you, the designer.

4 Comments on "Boost your client’s traffic with a solid social strategy"

  1. JohnONolan says:

    Great post – and cheers for the mention Dan :)

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks John. I’m really happy with how this article turned out. It’s been a long time forming.

  3. Adam Bullock says:

    Nice article Dan :)

  4. Luiz says:

    A internet possui muitas opções para se cadastrar.

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