Sunday, July 5, 2009

Using Social Networking Websites to Promote Your Online Presence

Do you own or operate your own website? With the popularity of the Internet constantly growing across all demographics there is a good chance that you do. A large number of Internet users run their own personal websites, but others run their websites as a way to make money. Of course, any website owner wishes to promote their online presence, but those who rely on their websites for income are more willing for obvious reasons. Irrespective of the type of website you have, did you know that you can help to promote it with online social networking websites, and through social media optimisation. More on the latter in another article.

If you are wondering how and why you should use social networking websites and the more recently emerging web 3.0 technologies to promote your online presence, you are not alone. A fairly large numbers of Internet users aren’t even sure what social networking sites are or how they work, let alone the web 3.0 technologies, including activities such as micro-blogging on sites like Twitter.

Online social networking websites are like online communities. They give internet users an easy and fairly safe way to come together. Many social networking websites are designed to make it easier for you to search for and make contact with other Internet users, especially those with whom you have something in common.

With a fairly large number of social networking websites, including Ecademy, Xing, LinkedIn, and Facebook, all with several millions users each, there is a good chance that you could not only make new friends, but find Internet users that would be interested in visiting your website or other online presence, especially if that website is your personal website. When joining an online networking community, you are normally given your own profile page with a unique or personalised URL for people to find you on the social network. On this page you can describe yourself, your business (if applicable) and your other online presences including your website. By mentioning what your personal online webpage(s) is/are all about and providing a link, you increase the chance for new visitors to seek you out and read what you have to say, sell, or promote.

As previously mentioned, social networking websites can benefit all website owners, but especially those who are looking to make a profit with their websites. This can be done one of two ways, by selling a product or service, and/or by relying on revenue from advertising. If you have a website that sells products or services, you may find it a little bit easier to use social networking sites to your advantage. This is because, if you wish, you can do product or service spotlights. Each day, week, or month, you can showcase one of the products or services that your website sells. This can either be done right on your profile page or on a blog page. In addition to some of the more popular blogging sites such as, most social networking websites provide a blog capability for you to post information.

If you are using your online website to make money with advertising programs, such as affiliate programs or Google Adsense, you will most likely need to approach social networking websites in a different matter. Since you will not necessarily have a particular product or service to focus on, you will need to approach these websites as if they were personal websites. If your website discusses being a dog owner, it may be a good idea to state your love for dogs in your profile. After doing so, it would be acceptable and not necessarily considered spam to add a link to your online website. As with all other types of online websites, social networking websites should help to increase the number of page views your website receives. In most cases, more page views mean more clicks which means money for you. However this advertising focused approach to social networking is not the recommended way of interacting with others online. It is quite often frowned upon and once you have a reputation for it, it will be hard to break free from the perception that has been created of you.

As you can easily see, there are a number of different ways that you can promote your online website, no matter what type of website you have or what you use it for. By keeping the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to see an increase in your page views, in no time at all.

This however only starts to scratch at the surface of what is possible with promotion of your online presence and website through social networking websites. It also does not even begin to address the benefits of implementing social media optimisation as a part of your (digital/online) marketing strategy. These will be topics for future posts so come back soon and read further.

The writer is recognised internationally as an expert in the field of online and viral marketing, and continues to support the strategic efforts of several small to medium businesses, large corporations, and private individuals to enhance their online image and increase sales.

I hope this was helpful.


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