How are you driving people to your social media presence?

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What are you planning to do to drive people to your social media presence? And do you have the money to do it? I read this question this morning and thought, boom, dude you nailed it. It was a post in Clickz by Sean Carton. Though he didn’t really answer it.

So lets talk about that. What are your plans? You have gotten the gig, but now you are tasked with driving traffic to all of the social media properties that you have set up for the client.

Quick question though. Is that really a function of social media managers? To drive traffic? Or is that a pure marketing function? A search function? Something you pay for? Something you outsource?

I digress. So what are you going to do get these communities/social media personas jammin?

I think first and foremost, as Jason Falls has so aptly put it,

To be effective in social media, whether as a marketer or just an ordinary participant, you must, first and foremost, communicate well.

Ok so you have that down, you can communicate with the best of them, now what?

Well if we’re to look at social media as a messaging and communications type of activity, wouldn’t that responsibility ultimately sit on the shoulders of PR? Should PR pros be responsible for driving traffic to social media networks?

Or is it something a marketing department should do? Does a community manager do that?

Wait, I’m blurring the message here. Let’s go back.

What are you going to do to drive traffic? I don’t care if you’re in marketing, PR, or IT, you have been tasked with making this social media thing work, so wutcha got? And don’t go telling me we need to define our objectives and align them with our strategies. We get that. Yea I know numbers don’t truly define success but they certainly are going to determine a lot of things going forward. So pick your poison.

  • We have blogs-what’s your plan to drive readers?
  • You’ve created a Facebook fan page or group page, how many friends are you going to get and then what will you do with them?
  • You’ve create a social network on Ning now what?
  • What is your plan to grow your Ning group or your community?
  • You’ve got that Twitter profile rolling, what’s your goal? Do numbers even mean anything anymore? How many conversations are you looking for?
  • Now that you have that podcast where are you going to find that audience? What is going to compel them to tune in every week?
  • Wikis are a cool collaborative tool if people know about them and feel compelled to contribute. So why should they do anything with yours? Out of some benevolent stroke of contributing for contribution’s sake?
  • Is a big budget going to make it easier for you to create these communities? You know once your PPC campaign ends, your traffic might leave to..
  • What if you do suck at communicating? Then what?
  • Who should be responsible for the success or failure?

What I keep coming back to, is that with each bullet point, it still helps to define the purpose of why you are doing it in the first place. Here’s the problem though. There are a lot of hours involved in any of these activities, and if any company or person is going to work on these, then we or you need to see something on the back end that is justifiable. Is that ROI? Could be. Is it return on engagement? Well…

Try selling the story that because of social media, you had one killer conversation or engagement per blog post. Or you have 30 really awesome friends on that Facebook fan page. Or you helped 1 customer out who found you through Twitter…

I’m not sure those type of numbers can justify the time suck and investment of resources.

So I ask you again, what is your plan of action for driving traffic to your social sites and communities.

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9 Responses to “How are you driving people to your social media presence?”


  1. 1 Sue Spaight September 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Marc,

    Nice post. Anyone responsible for social media should absolutely consider themselves responsible for driving traffic, in my opinion. Collaborate with whoever you need to collaborate with, but don’t just build whatever the community is and wait for people to come. Not going to happen. You are dead on – so many people slap up a FB page or whatever with no clue what a huge time and resource suck it is trying to get and keep people engaged. Any social media/marketing/business consultant worth his or her salt should be making their client aware of that on Day One, and presenting a plan for building traffic as part of the deal.

    Sue

  2. 2 marc meyer September 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    @Sue, Absolutely. I’m finding more and more that there is no clear cut definition by many of how they are going to drive the traffic and even sustain it. Sorta critical…Thanks Sue.

  3. 3 Cyndee Woolley September 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Social Media is a tool in the overall communications strategy. It ties in with marketing, public relations (relationship building), and overall corporate branding.

    I have often seen ‘social media experts’ – and we all know how loosely that term is thrown around – who have no sense of purpose. Whether their misguided attempts to use social media as a traditional advertising medium or an over-emphasis on the holy grail of conversation.

    Let’s be realistic here… For a business to invest time and resources, there has to be a measureable ROI. The metrics that measure that ROI will be different by company – depending on the communications strategy

    Because it is a communication tool, I believe it should fall in the department of PR / Marketing / Communications as a sub-specialty.

  4. 4 Mary Ann Johnson September 15, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Driving visitors to blogs, social media networks etc is no mean feat. There are ways to achieve this depending on the channels you choose to interact with your consumers. Engaging them is the next step. But how to do you do it? This article gives a few pointers on how to effectively connect with your consumers. http://blogs.position2.com/how-to-effectively-connect-with-your-target-audience-through-social-media Give them a reason to visit again. It’s one of the ways of making your present felt in Social Media Marketing.

  5. 5 Allie Herzog September 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Social media is a TOOL for communications, marketing and public relations executives.

    As a publicist, if I had written a press release a few years ago, it was my responsibility to drive media’s attention to this news. If it is more strategic today to post my “press release relevant” news on a facebook fan page or through a twitter feed (read the IF), it is still my responsibility to drive that audience, although now a more direct-to-consumer form of communication and different type of audience, to that same relevant information.

  6. 6 marc meyer September 15, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    @allie I agree with the tool assertion. But in the past what were your tools that you used to drive eyeballs to the release? Nowadays, do you think that there is a false assumption in the effectiveness in the tools that some people are using?

  7. 7 marc meyer September 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    @Mary Ann, so what should be the reasons to visit again. You still have to give them a really compelling reason to visit the first time right?

  8. 8 marc meyer September 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    @cyndee not sure its as much about roi as it is about how are you going to get me to visit and stay and then after that I can measure the effectiveness of what I’m doing. It’s pretty easy to measure nothing.

  9. 9 Allie Herzog September 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    @marc its really all the same. you develop real relationships with your audiences by providing them with authentic, compelling, information.

    contact them how they want to be contacted (takes research!) and provide them with a link to your site with your information. if you already are in trust with them, and can build on that trust by providing OUTSTANDING info in an easy-to-read and understand format, you’ve won their attention and they will come back for more.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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