LJWorld.com weblogs Social Media Blog

Facebook, Twitter are an online amuse-bouche

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When I'm consulting with all types of businesses, I often hear two concerns about integrating social media:

1) I already have a wonderful Web site (which can be true)
2) How can social media bring me more "eyeballs" (aka customers, viewers, people)

We have the same concerns for all of the World Company divisions. How can social media grow what we already have going (some of our sites are already Web traffic behemoths) and how can it bring us more pageviews (which plays into relationships with advertisers)?

What I've found is these two concerns are more related than I initially thought.

Chris Brogan, one of our Free State Social speakers, summed up social networks back in February at the KCIABC Business Communications Summit, saying your Web site should function as a home base, and Facebook and Twitter accounts are like outposts that bring business back to your main destination.

For our purposes, we began treating each outpost as an amuse-bouche -- a bite-size appetizer that offers a glimpse of the main course. The social media content satisfies a certain amount of hunger for information, but we hope that it makes people want the full meal available on our Web sites. This is done via all forms of media (creating photo galleries, uploading videos and embedding audio clips).

We were initially pretty bad at this. Our philosophy of sharing content was only posting links back to our site, but the graph below shows that as we increased multimedia posts - often duplicating content from KUSports.com - this year on the KUSports.com Facebook page, it drove more traffic back to the actual Web site.

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2010/Mar/28/Screen_shot_2010-03-28_at_12.52.07_PM.png

We're only three months into this approach, but it addresses both initial concerns. We're sharing bits of our good content and it's resulting in more referrals.

Additionally, I can't emphasize enough that keeping track of statistics is the only way to know if what we're doing is working. I may not be a jack-of-all-trades, but I can make a mean spreadsheet... so that's just what I did. I have a Google Doc that tracks a variety of social media statistics for our sites like LJWorld.com, KUSports.com, Sunflower Broadband, Lawrence.com and the Free State Social. I keep track of this vital info:

  • Total Facebook fans, new Facebook fans
  • Facebook interactions
  • Facebook pageviews (and unique pageviews)
  • Facebook media consumption (views on photos and videos)
  • Total Twitter followers, new Twitter followers
  • Visitor referrals to sites and % of total site visitors from Facebook & Twitter (via Google Analytics)

It also includes the amount of traffic both Facebook and Twitter are driving back to these Web sites and compares the stats over time. By updating the spreadsheet once each week, I know exactly how our networks are growing and can set goals based on that progress. I also know quickly if something is failing miserably.

And it really helps to be able to have this information handy when your boss asks "how is that Twitter thing going?"

I know there are plenty of local businesses involved in social media - how do you guys monitor your progress?

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