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Webinar Q&A: Following trends and driving blog traffic

social-media-q-and-aOccasionally we like to answer questions here that come up in our free Cision Social Media Webinars. Check out our webinars Understanding Social Media (for beginners) on Thursday, August 6 and Monitoring Social Media on Thursday, August 13. Engaging Social Media, a more advanced session, is coming up on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Christine: Once you have launched a blog and have a presense on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., how do you suggest promoting it and driving people to the blog?

Jay: Wherever you plant a presence on the social Web, it’s important to identify key influencers in your space who share your topics of interest. You may have thousands of followers on Twitter or oodles of friends on Facebook, but if you haven’t identified them as people with reason to be interested in what you’re talking about, they’re not worth much. Use search functions on social sites or a social media monitoring solution to determine who is discussing key terms and ideas relevant to your products and services. Once you’ve done so, use your presence on those sites to share to your blog posts with those influencers. Some evidence shows that this is a more potent way to drive traffic than search engine optimization: PerezHilton and the Huffington Post now get more referral traffic from Facebook than Google. Be sure to offer links to lots of content from elsewhere that’s not self-referential or promotional as well.

Catherine: What is the best way to stay on top of social media? How do you find the “latest trend” and is it important to always jump on the bandwagon?

Jay: Staying abreast of changes to features on social sites, as well as the launch of new social technologies, is worthwhile for any communications professional. Industry news blogs like Mashable can help with that. But the hotspot of the moment may not always help further your goals. We’ve often argued here that effective social media outreach means identifying your target community wherever it may be, including big, popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter; niche social sites devoted to particular topics; the comments section of a blog; virtual worlds; and Web 1.0 forums and groups.

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