Social Media and Your Site

The popular trend on the web right now is social media.  Seems like every week there is a new social media site that shows up and is ready to take over the one the came on the market last week.   A lot of websites are using social media sites to market their own site, but how?

One of the first and more well know social media giants is Digg.com.  Digg allows users to submit articles they like to the site, and other users can digg or bury the article.   The more Diggs the article has the better chances it has to show up on the front page of the website.  Co-founder of Digg, Kevin Rose, and his friend, Alex Albrecht, also host a show on Revision 3, which they talk about popular stories that they found interesting on Digg.  With millions of fans watching their show, this is a great chance to reach a new audience with your own site.

The first thing you want to do is be part of the community.   Digg has a few features which allow you to increase the chances that your submission will be Dugg more often.  To take advantage of these features, you need to be part of the community.  One feature allows you to “Shout” to your friends about articles you posted.   If you are not taking part in the community and you are not active, then you can’t shout to other people who may be intrested in your submissions.  Also, being part of the community makes for sure you are not invading the site.   If you only come to the site and submit stories every few days or weeks, but you don’t comment on other stories, or have friends you seem more like someone who is there to spam or advertise your site.  This can come across as being a bad Digg user, and more people burying your story, and hurting the reputation of your site rather then helping it.

Another thing you can do is find out what is popular on Digg, and how can you apply or adapte your article to the site.  Digg has a lot of tech based followers, who most people would define as geeks and nerds.  This is slowly changing as Digg expands it’s market and users, but these are the original users of the site.  Posting a story on how to take care of a baby won’t go that far, but you do know that list do well on Digg.   Alter your article so that you can make a list of the Top 10 Babysitting horror stories.  Now you have something that can get some attention.

Your submission title is very important believe it or not.   Digg tries to make for sure duplicate stories aren’t submitted to the site, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.  Some users have noticed that some titles doe better then others.  There are even submissions that have the same title, but one may have Yahoo! Answers in the title.  The latter title got hundreds (if not thousands) of more diggs then the title without Yahoo! Answers in it.

Another gaint in the social media is Twitter.   Twitter’s concept is that users would rather post multiple micro blogs rather than blog articles.  Twitter is designed so that you can tell the world what you are doing at any time, and almost anywhere.  Most people who tweet, what Twitter called a user’s entry, can do so from almost any mobile device that can connect to the internet.

Like Digg, to be successful in marketing your site you have to be part of the community.  With Twitter, it can be a little easier then with Digg.   Twitter allows the community to follow you.  Instead of you having to go look for people who will be your friend, users look for you.   The more followers you have the more people will see your tweets.  There are some other things you can do to increase your followers.

One of the more popular ways to gain followers is via hashtags. Hash tagging is a way of indexing your tweets. Users can then “search” for other tweets with the same hash tags. A way to use hashtags in your post is very simple. Say you are trying to get people to read an article on your site about Doctor Who. In your tweet, you can just add #DoctorWho at the end. Users can search for Doctor Who using Twitter’s search tool and find all tweets with hashtags that are similar to their search term. Now users can find your tweet via other user’s tweets that have the same hashtag. (You can find more information about hashtags here.)

One of the more popular ways to gain followers is via hashtags.  Hash tagging is a way of indexing your tweets.  Users can then “search” for other tweets with the same hash tags.  A way to use hashtags in your post is very simple.   Say you are trying to get people to read an article on your site about Doctor Who.  In your tweet, you can just add #DoctorWho at the end.    Users can search for Doctor Who using Twitter’s search tool and find all tweets with hashtags that are similar to their search term.  Now users can find your tweet via other user’s tweets that have the same hashtag. (Youcan find more information about hashtags here.)

Another way to get followers is by retweets.  Retweets are something you can directly effect, but it is up to the members of the community to actually retweet.  The idea behind retweeting is that someone found your tweet intresting so they choose to tweet it also.  Retweeting allows you to spread your account across the community without doing much, just make for sure your tweets will make people want to retweet them.  You can use Retweetist to track who is retweeting you.

There are other communities like Twellow which allow you to find similar users who are in the same professional field that you are in.   By following those people, there is a chance that you can pick up a few followers who share something in common with you.

Social media can be a great way to market your website, but you have to be apart of the community also.  The key in using social media as a marketing tool is to become popular in those media areas.  As you can tell from Digg and Twitter, the more popular you are the more chances you have at getting more traffic to your site.   Using a social media site to drive traffic to your site isn’t easy, it takes research and just as much time as the conventinal means of advertising the only difference is the price.

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