Promoting your Drupal Site with Social Media

PART 2 of 2

The Wall Can Hold Itself Up! Here’s Why You Need to be Social

Introvert? It might be time for some social lubricant. There are at least a couple of good reasons why you should chat it up with social media:

Image is Everything

Develop a content strategy to help generate meaningful content that establishes your online image. At Chapter Three, we create Personas to determine who customers are, what problems they have, what products or services they need, and when and where they're online. These Personas can and should be used to target your audience through social media channels. Follow these basic guidelines on your site in social media:

  • Be real and be human.
  • Present a consistent image everywhere, on and off the web.
  • Offer valuable content: you get what you give.
  • Be gracious, not self-absorbed.
  • Join other people’s conversations.

Services such as Sproutsocial.com, Dlvr.it and SocialOomph.com can help you publish and schedule updates across social channels from one place. Listening tools like Google Alerts let you monitor your online buzz.

Cut to the Chase with Twitter

You don’t like having your ear chewed off by the big talker at the party, so don’t expect your customers to have that kind of patience either. Use Twitter to keep things short and to the point. It can be a great outreach tool for customer service. Here are some Tweeting tips:

  • Tweet links that you find interesting.
  • Intersperse regular conversation with business updates.
  • Follow influential people.
  • Use a service like Tweepi.com or SocialOomph.com to manage your Twitter account(s).
  • Use a service like Twiangulate.com and SocialBro.com to find people to follow.

You can also use the Twitter module to associate one or more Twitter accounts with your Drupal user account, list Tweets on your Drupal site, automate Tweets when new content is posted and more. If you simply want to embed Twitter content on your site, you can use the Twitter Pull module.

Hey Facebook, Wanna Dance?

Facebook is the big shot at the party — everyone wants to hang with him. Make sure you speak his language by using Open Graph meta tags on your site. Open Graph meta tags enable your web pages to show up in in the same way that Facebook pages do on Facebook, so you get much greater control over the presentation of your content. The Open Graph meta tags module makes it easy to add Open Graph meta tags to your nodes.

You can also use your Drupal site as a platform for Facebook applications, using the Drupal for Facebook module. We use this module to develop Facebook apps powered by Drupal sites for our clients.

Once you turn your website into a Facebook content generating machine, you’ll need to focus on engaging with your Fans by asking and responding to questions and sharing news and links. Your tone should be interesting, provocative and funny. Comment on comments, respond quickly and, above all, be honest. If it suits your business, offer a promotion.

Doing all these things will not only bolster your image, but also help improve your EdgeRank. Edgerank is Facebook’s algorithm that evaluates relationships, types of content and timeframes to determine what items make it through to the News Feed. In general, photos and videos are heavily weighted and more likely to make it through than text content.

Make sure you have a Facebook Like Button next to all content that you want users to engage with. Here a couple of common mistakes to avoid:

  • Make sure the Like URL is set to the URL of the page that the user is on when he or she clicks the button (rather than to the home page).
  • Confirm that your Like button points to the website, rather than to the Facebook page.

Networking with LinkedIn

Mature and sophisticated, LinkedIn is for the professional networkers at the table. LinkedIn is best for B2B communication and it’s a good forum to reach out to experts for advice. If you have events, you can promote them through LinkedIn events.

The LinkedIn module allows per-user OAuth authentication between LinkedIn and Drupal, posts LinkedIn status from node edit forms, and synchronization of LinkedIn user profiles with a user profile tab in Drupal.

Google+ is Making an Impression

Setup a Google+ account and post to it regularly, focusing on videos and photos. You can now set up a brand page to connect with your fans and customers. Adding yourself to Find People on Plus will help get your name out there and build a following. The Google + Plus One and Badge module adds the icon to your nodes or as a block.

Email, the Old Standby

Use your email list to update people about new blog posts and other new content. Continue to build and maintain your list. You can also use it to invite all your contacts to Like your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to use a mailing service like Constant Contact so that you can track your opens and clicks and avoid having your domain blacklisted.

You can learn more about SEO and social media by taking workshops with companies like SEOmoz, High Rankings and Planet Ocean Communications.