Marketing Basics and Social Networking
Search engines are very useful for bringing people to your site, but there are many other ways to attract visitors. One of the basic steps of marketing your Web site is to reach out to people offline. There are lots of avenues to market your new Web site in the offline world, such as with direct mailing, real-life social gatherings, meetings, conferences and expositions, and the like. Utilizing the resources in your community such as local papers, targeted mailings, and local organizations will help expand the reach of your Web site into your community. Real-life networking is just as important as online social networking to spread the word of your site. Join local business associations or groups, and attend their meetings to make contacts that can help you bring visitors to your Web site and business. In a world of inboxes full of e-mails, taking the time to reach out offline and sometimes spending the funds to target your audience outside of the online world can give you an advantage of not being lost in the sea of e-mails that everyone receives. Place a small advertisement in a magazine or periodical that relates to your target audience or send postcards, thank-you notes, and flyers with coupons and discounts to turn people into online visitors you may not have reached otherwise. This can be especially helpful to Web sites that have a specific geographical reach.
Social network through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz. New social networking sites are always appearing on the horizon, but be careful to not get social network burnout; concentrate your time on the social network that works best for you. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and over-extended. The plus side of social networking is its ability to exponentially increase your Web site's visibility as you reach out to people who you know and they in turn expand that reach to people they know. The interconnectivity of people and interest groups makes it much easier to reach thousands of people at any given time.
The important part of social networking is the "social" part. It is about creating relationships with people and nurturing that relationship. You want to create fans and loyalty to your brand, which is usually accomplished by cultivating relationships with people who may be interested in what you are offering.