If you build it, will they come?

We at Whetstone love movies. And, living in Iowa we’re particularly fond of Field of Dreams. You remember Kevin Costner’s 1989 homage to baseball, family and the power of believing? Our CEO, Larry, even grew up in Dyersville — home of said Field. So, if anyone is likely to embrace the notion that — if you build it, they will come — it’s us.

Fortunately, that was the case for Kevin or it wouldn’t have been much of a movie. Unfortunately, when it comes to social media — not so much.

We’ve talked in previous posts about the importance of messaging, and making your communication personal. It’s a good first step in your social media efforts. But all that word-smithing can be for naught if no one reads what you’ve written. That’s why we thought it would be helpful to post the top five ways to drive traffic to your social media outlets:

  1. Include all outlets in your email signature. You can embed links to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, blog or any other social media outlet you use.
  2. Reference and link your outlets in your email newsletter. You can write an article for your email newsletter and include supplementary information on your LinkedIn page, Facebook page or blog.
  3. Format the homepage of your website to include links to all relevant firm social media channels. Individuals whose bios are posted on the site should also include links to their individual LinkedIn profiles in their bios.
  4. Ask your business partners or referral sources to feature links your blogs or LinkedIn posts in their email newsletters. If you do this make sure you have included some value-add information in your recent posts and explain to the referral source how that information benefits their clients.
  5. Issue media releases to online publications – local business journals, industry associations, chamber of commerce, etc.—and include links to your blog or LinkedIn profile in the release. Again, make sure that you’ve posted some additional value-add information that relates to the media release so that anyone who clicks receives additional benefit.

You don’t have to implement all these ideas at once. And it’s ok if you only use one social media tool if you’re just getting started. (We suggest you start by developing a profile on LinkedIn.) Experiment with one of the ideas above. You’ll know it’s working if you begin to see people subscribing to your blog, visitors leaving comments on your posts, an increase in invitations to connect on LinkedIn or if you receive feedback by word-of-mouth.

The bottom line is, it’s not enough to just build it.