Information and Resources for Solopreneurs

The Hidden, and Best, Reason for Using Facebook and Twitter

Written By: SiteSell in Guest Blogs by SBIers | November 17, 2010

Guest Blogs by SBIers

By Nick Usborne from WebContentCafe.com

If you have a website, hopefully you also have Facebook and Twitter accounts for that site.

For example, I have both a dedicated Facebook page and a Twitter account for my CoffeeDetective.com website.

I use them slightly differently. I use Facebook to engage as many coffee lovers as I can. I use Twitter primarily as a means to reach out to others in the coffee industry – coffee roasters and retailers in particular.

Being active in social media – and by that I also include sites like YouTube, Flickr and others – has certainly helped me spread the word about CoffeeDetective.com.

But beyond all that, there is a hidden, but hugely valuable reason why I am so happy with my involvement in social media.


Social media is about the moment. It’s about now. It’s a constant, fast-flowing stream.

As a result, the most successful Twitter streams and Facebook walls are updated daily, sometimes several times a day.

And as a result of that, I have to remain engaged not only with social media, but also with my own website every single day.

For me, that’s a bit of a change.

For the first few months, back in 2006, I worked every day on CoffeeDetective.com. After that, I slowed down. Like everyone else, I get busy with other stuff.

Just prior to creating my Facebook page, and excluding the handling of Content 2.0 submissions (included in my SBI! subscription for CoffeeDetective.com), I was probably spending only a few minutes a week on the site.

—–SIDEBAR——
Content 2.0 is SBI!’s Web 2.0 proprietary
platform, which enables my visitors to add
full content web pages with text, images,
video, etc. to my site. These pages deliver
long-tail search traffic, build community and
spread virally.
—–SIDEBAR——

It was growing, so nothing was “wrong.”

But when I created the Facebook page, I realized I would have to start working on the page, and on my site, every day. If you want to do well with social media, you have to remain engaged daily.

The result? Traffic to my site has significantly increased over the last few months. A small part of that can be attributed to traffic coming in directly from my Facebook page. I imagine there have been some SEO benefits too.

But I believe most of that new traffic is arriving because I am doing a lot more with the site itself. I am adding a lot of new pages, updating old pages, and generally being more active with the site.

In other words, social media is working well for my site primarily because it is forcing me to work harder on the site.

There are plenty of good reasons to get involved with social media, but for me, this has been the most beneficial of them all.

This is a guest post by Nick Usborne. Nick is an industry expert on writing for the web, the proud owner of CoffeeDetective.com, and the founder of WebContentCafe.com. A special, discounted membership rate for Web Content Cafe is available to SBI! owners through the Resources HQ.

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  • I love to use RSS/Blog It! the same way I use my Facebook account, which is frequently. Quick updates about research in my field linked to pages deeper in my site, hopefully pages that the Search Engines have ignored, so I can get some traffic to them also.
    Mike

  • For me, this article is a very good reason NOT to get into social media.
    The whole attraction of SBI lies in the idea of creating a site that pretty much runs on its own steam, once you’ve invested a large amount of time and energy into creating it up front.
    What you describe here would make me feel like a slave to my site in much the same way I was a slave to my job.
    For me, RSS/BlogIt is the perfect way to keep my site fresh with minimal effort on my part. The social network stuff is for people who actually enjoy doing that kind of thing, rather than a priority for the typical SBI-er. And that ain’t me I’m afraid 😉
    Just my two cents.

  • What a brilliant concept! Facebook and Twitter to make you work harder, who’d have thought? I can totally see how that would happen. In fact, I think it has been that very reason as a niggling thought in the back of my head that is the cause of me putting off getting my sites connected into social media. Yes, more work. But I feel encouraged now. It’s worth it. Thanks for sharing, Nick.

  • Nick, that’s a great reason to use social media – it not only engages your audience/community – it engages you! Thanks.

  • I agree with Nick. Why would’nt you want to use Social Media to promote your web site. I have a friend who used a service to establish her fb social site as a storefront that links to her commercial website. She sells very high end designer clothing to friends and has built an international clientell and says she has done well. She did not use Site Sell but rather did this contracting w/a mkting agency to design her templates and individually farming out elements of her web site. I think she spent a lot more money and because she began that way continues to do business with the same vendors.

  • A two edged sword. I can see how being forced to work on the site(s) regularly has many benefits. Certainly prevents the rot from setting in.
    On the other hand I’d hate being tethered to my sites every single day of my life. Being able to put things on autopilot for months at a time is essential to me. ESSENTIAL.

  • Nick, my relatively recent experience with Twitter and Facebook have been very similar. Twitter has allowed me to connect easily with leaders in the backpacking and hiking community, resulting in landing an interview article for our site from a guy with over 16,000 followers and some free merchandise for review and for a contest giveaway from a major manufacturer — all of that accomplished within my first 40 Tweets!
    Our Facebook page, combined with some strategically targeted Facebook ads, has helped us direct focused traffic to specific pages on the site that had great potential for AdSense or affiliate income, as well as generating numerous new comments on existing C2 pages. This, along with Likes and comments on the Facebook page itself have begun building the beginnings of an interactive community of over 800 Facebook users so far, and another interview booked.
    But beyond all of that, my renewed focus on regularly updating the site, adding new material, and building a list of upcoming articles and projects has been greatly motivated by the fact that I now have people following or Liking my site who expect me to keep feeding them great material. People I would likely NOT have connected with otherwise, or at least in such an interactive way.
    Who knows how it will develop from here, but so far, engaging with social media for a couple of months has become a great motivator and has already produced some tangible results.

  • Love the idea ‘twist’ @ how adding FB & Twitter has gotten you more active.
    I have found the same thing — AND I’ve had the same frustrations @ running my consulting business and ‘not having enough time’ to stay engaged.
    Two very nice add-on solutions that have helped me (in addition to what has already been said here @ RSS Blogit being linked to your Twitter and FB accounts) are:
    1) TweetAdder – I use this to automate feeds into Twitter (which then go to FB). Sends @ 20 (you set the #) tweets a day, spread throughout the day. it rotates through 100’s of quotes, meaningful comments and links to pages throughout each day.
    This does not take the place of meaningful interaction — but when I simply cannot get online due to pressing projects for work — this keeps my feed active. I make sure the tweets are adding value — NOT selling things.
    Tweetadder does cost a one-time fee —forgot what it was – but it has really cut my stress and helped me stay active online, when I am not available.
    It does a bunch of other stuff too — but I don’t use them. Have not gotten that into it…
    2)second tool –HootSuite— is a free tool and my favorite online Twitter, FB and LinkedIn tool. You can easily review all feeds and add comments, links, etc. from this one place into 1 or 2 or 3.
    Nice tool and has made my viewing and using easy for all three accounts.
    Love, love, love SBI — the best tool and best investment I have made in my business ever.

  • Michael

    I was slow to get into Facebook. Twitter I have no time for, so I’ve set it up so that it automatically tweets my Facebook updates without me having to do a thing.
    But it is a problem finding the time to update. With three sites, all in various stages of development (plus a full-time day job) I can easily go days without updating any one of the FB pages. That then makes it look like the sites are not current and can cause more harm than good.

  • Always good to hear how others are using FaceBook and Twitter. My result with Twitter is similar to David’s – although not so dramatic!
    On Twitter I can communicate with others in the same niche and build relationships. By retweeting their content regularly I become “that nice lady at LoveThatBug” so that when I have a question about their product, chances are I get a prompt and full answer instead of the “that’s commercially sensitive information”!
    I hope that I sell something occasionally – impossible to know – but whether I do or not, the relationships I build are worth it.

  • As a result of this post, I’m creating a calendar in which I put things in every day I can do to add/update my sites:

    • Update an existing page (and auto-blog about it)
    • Add a Blog It! entry
    • Accept at least one C2 submission (and check and release comments)
    • Build a new page (and auto-blog about it)
    • Post a question I received in mail in FAQ section, with answer.

    That’s what I came up with so far. Thanks for planting the idea!

  • Nick, great guest post. Thanks so much for guesting and providing your original insights!
    David, great comment… http://bit.ly/ciHmmS
    For SBIers considering using Social Media Marketing to augment your SBI! businesses, it may seem like “more work” now. But you just may find that it engages YOU, and your readership, like never before.
    Niche-twittering is a powerful and easy way to reach out and into various leaders in your niche…
    http://sbitips.sitesell.com/twitter.html
    As for Facebook, you can get started simply at first. Read the TNT articles on that.
    Of course, for people who have limited time, focusing on building great content and developing a strong, quality inbound links program remains the core.
    The Theme-Based Content Site is the core of your business. Facebook, Twitter, adding a full blog, even adding an e-zine are optional.
    But they are all great ways to develop a strong following who you can reach out to. And THAT is a plus for your business.
    Sooner or later, the more connections you make, the more likely something BIG comes out of it. That’s when people tell you, “gee, that was lucky for you.”
    Nope… you make your own luck.
    All the best,
    Ken

  • There are many benefits to social media that several readers have already mentioned. The issue is time. Like some have said, the allure of SBI is the opportunity to have more time to one’s self.
    However, social media is becoming more and more useful to growing a business online and offline. But you don’t have to do it all yourself. If you find a great service that you can trust to take care of your social media tasks, you can still have all that time freedom you desire.
    Sorry, to add a plug, but I do offer these services. Many others also offer these services, you just have to search online and be sure to find out if they really are knowledgeable or just starting out. You should find someone that is good with communicating with people.
    Great post,
    Emily

  • Before reading this article, I’d been considering adding a Facebook fan page for my site since SBI has of late been lauding Facebook for its site promotion benefits. However, when I read this article and the following paragraph: “But when I created the Facebook page, I realized I would have to start working on the page, and on my site, every day. If you want to do well with social media, you have to remain engaged daily” — all for a small amount of traffic and questionable revenue — I realized that Facebook is not for me. This article saved me from getting sidetracked; it’s “The Hidden, and Best, Reason for Not Using Facebook and Twitter!”

  • Julie

    I’m a new SBI user, only starting my site in March of 2010. I have found that my facebook and twitter work have helped me tremendously! I’ve already developed a great affiliate contact through twitter (they contacted me and their product blends wonderfully with my site). I tweet regularly, and my blog posts (new pages & extra posts) auto tweet and post to facebook, so I am continually interacting with all three sites at the same time.
    I think that my social networking has gone a long way into building my traffic to over 600 uniques per day, as of this month. Of course, following the SBI Action Guide has helped the most, but twitter and facebook are great tools that bring visitors!
    Branding my tweets with the twitter software that I use has really helped add backlinks to my site also! A bonus with every tweet that I send out!

  • Some good ideas there, Nick! I’ll work on putting that into practice. Thanks! 🙂
    Christine

  • I too was slow to get into Twitter and Facebook, and eventually started to tweet which has helped traffic…..and I have a had a few C2 pages written.
    I am not a great fan of Facebook and quickly set up a new account for my websites as family and friends don’t want to be besieged by website info.
    I have 3 followers on each page having set up separate pages for each site.
    I have linked in so whenever I build a new page it shows on both Twitter and Facebook, and have also just linked Yahoo answers to Facebook. You can also link any comments in Trip Advisor, Zazzle and no doubt many more forums which means comments are being added regularly to Facebook.
    Personally I don’t plan to work too hard at Facebook apart from these automatic entries and I will add more as they become possible.
    Twitter works well for me but my efforts on Facebook so far have not brought much reward.

  • Bob Lawrason

    All the comments above have set the gears in motion and new ideas are coming to mind. Thank You! One of the valuable things I have found with FB personal is to make new friends and really find out what is important to them regarding the subject of my site on Solar Energy. This to me is valuable Public Relations and Marketing that leads to the sale. Key words are a great starting point but often questions more specific as to why “each” individual clicked on a link went to a page or what they expected to find when they did the search in the first place. Really finding out the specifics and why the clicks drives my content knowing that I am delivering soething of value. Creating a relationship with a vistor will keep them coming back and bringing their friends with them. People will buy from friends or people they like, so being friendly and delivering as a friend I will get higher and higher conversion on the clicks. This is something I watch as the statistics in this area tell me the success of my site. Once I have exhausted all of what I have found to be needed and wanted on the subject of solar will I know my site is complete. Only then will the new products and technology on the subject be the activity in my newsletters.

  • I am only in the early stages of my website (which is very part time) and I’m still creating basic content and links for it. Until I’ve done that I don’t see that I have time to carry out extra activity on Twitter and Facebook. I haven’t even added Content2.0 yet.
    I will look at it for the longer term, although I don’t like the idea of having to work at the social media thing every day. I wanted a streamlined business that will generate some income without spending all my time on it.
    However, we’ll see. It might be the best way to generate traffic and I might even enjoy it! (I’ve never used Twitter and I’ve only ever dabbled with a personal Facebook page rather than a business-type page so far).

  • Thank you for writing this, it totally validates my strategy!
    It wasn’t exactly a strategy more of a muddle through. But I use the two social media almost identically and I too am finding that I have to be more engaged with my site on a daily basis which is bringing benefits all around.
    I would point out though, that if you try to do this too early, I could see that the distraction factor of social media might detract from building the content for your site.
    Annie from Gold Coast Australia
    http://www.gold-coast-australia-travel-tips.com

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