Thursday, November 17, 2011

The One Question I Get Asked Most Often.

Jewish Learning
I get asked all the time, what's with social media, and why should I join the Facebook/Twitter/Tumbler bandwagon? Moreover, the question really is, how do I get members to my website, and why aren't they coming when I do try?

The answer to these question is simple: most websites don't have the content that these social media sites are using to make them seem interesting.  Let's take Facebook for example.  Why is it that over 50 million people are on it?  What makes this simple, no content website appealing? That's the problem; there is lots of content on the site, just not what you think of, when you think 'content'.  Facebook's content comes from the users.  In this day and age, people are interested in what others are doing, or what others think.  It's the natural evolution of the internet.  

When the internet first started it was about information being transferred only one way.  You might go online to find out what constellations are visible where you live, or 'how much wood, would a woodchuck, chuck, if a woodchuck, could chuck wood?'  But now people are interested in the personal lives of others; they are interested in peoples personal thoughts and opinions.  It's still about information, just a different kind of information.

This brings me back to my point of 'why can't I get my members to visit my website?'  The answer is, your site lacks the content that people find new and interesting.  A great example of an interesting website, with lots of information, is Reddit.  Reddit is a site where people can post anything they want, from articles, to YouTube videos, and even comics that make fun of life situations.  This site has grown from a small community, to having over a million daily hits.  The content on the site is new and interesting; people want to know about it.

But what can you do to make your website more viable?  The answer is new and relevant content.  An example might be having students post short blogs about their daily life, or maybe a weekly Shabbat recipe brought to you by the sisterhood.  Some other great ideas might be to offer 'Groupons' (group/website sponsored coupons).  Also don't forget to notify your members about your website and these updates, Constant Contact is great for this type of thing.  These ideas don't have to be long; in fact, the shorter the better (remember twitter is only 140 character posts).  Try new things, update your site regularly, make it easy to navigate.  All these things contribute to getting people to visit your site, and all these things will effect whether or not these people come back again and again.  

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