Though the face of business has changed immensely over the years, the practices of good business remain as solid as ever: good business depends on good relationships and no one will find out about you if you don’t let them know you exist. Years ago, it might have given your website a solid boost if you posted a blog or two about a topic relevant to your business. Nowadays, however, the internet has become a buzzing, crowded web where websites and blogs don’t stand out unless you tell people about them in the first place. So how do you get new readers onto your website and learning about your business? The same way you would have back in the pre-internet days: by getting out there and socializing.
Targeting your readers
Before jumping onto the first social media site you think of, consider who your target audience is. If you own a software company, you’re probably looking for small business owners, new tech fans, geeks, and anyone your technology would apply to. If you own a restaurant, you might want to reach out to foodies, local food movements, and even farm/homesteading groups. Take the time to think outside of the box, as well. If you’re a restaurant owner, you’ll definitely think of foodies, but what about the conservationist groups? They might support your efforts to buy local, sustainable foods. Or fishing fans? They might appreciate the fact that you’re experimenting with fresh-caught tilefish for the special menu that night. By keeping a running list of specific target groups, you can always look to it before posting your article so you can reach the most readers while still targeting relevant groups.
Reach out to your social circles
There are so many social media sites today it’s hard to keep track of all of them, but a few of the bigger sites will give you some great options in terms of target audiences.
Google+, for example, is constantly improving on their programming and actually allows you to streamline your efforts significantly. One extension, in fact, allows you to post from Google+ to Twitter and Facebook almost effortlessly. You can also follow other users or users can follow you, just as they would on Twitter, and you can create circles that allow you to send posts only to specific, customized groups of friends.
Pinterest is another popular site for those who enjoy using eye-catching imagery with their posts. By posting an image from your blog on Pinterest under a specific category — “Gardening” or “Food & Drink,” for example — you immediately target audiences with those interests. And if they think it’s a great picture, they can choose to comment on it, like it or re-pin it on their own pages. They can even follow the image back to its original page, your blog.
Another growing social site is StumbleUpon. Users submit pages to the site, filing them under a specific category or two, and users with interests in those categories will eventually “stumble” on that page as the program brings it up. The site allows users to set their interests and change them whenever they wish, so, in keeping with the restaurant owner example, your submitted post would pop up randomly for those interested in the categories you felt it would fit under, such as seafood or cooking or entrepreneurship.
Once you get the hang of the main social sites you might want to do some digging and find other sites that reach out even more specifically to your target audiences. If you have a Facebook page for your business, be sure to keep up with it, but don’t over-post just for the sake of quantity. For your posts, stick with advice or interesting things that happen at your business, as opposed to direct selling. In the end, it’s all about generating good relationships and good relationships are simply good for business.
What ways have you found to reach out to your target audiences? What are some target audiences that you never would have thought to include in your target audience list?
About the Author: Tim Eyre helps residential and business customers who use storage units when they don’t have enough storage space on their own property. Tim’s company – http://www.extraspace.com – has locations from coast to coast, including a Bloomington storage units location.