Our BEAM formula is a methodology providing results in the post-social media era. Each step builds toward the goal - an interconnected online presence combining a homebase asset with outposts in communities you should be in.
Think of your website as a company asset. In order to maximize value of your asset, you need to focus on content. The more information on your website, the better chance you have of being found through search engines and social networks. Give people a resource that they will use and visit often. Remember, it is not about you, it is about them. They don't care how cute your design is or how well your brand is represented. They come for your information.
Start with the people you already know. These people could be customers, friends, employees - anyone you're already connected to. If they don't use it or see it as valuable, why would anyone else? Plus, these people will give you honest, unadulterated feedback on what they like and what they don't. Listen and don't overreact. These should be your biggest fans and if they are really blown away by the information on your website, they will be the ones to start spreading it.
Now that you have content and have proven that people will use it, you need to step out into the great big world of people you don't know. These people will come to you because you have information that THEY find valuable. Tip from Emily Post: be a good host/hostess. If all you do is talk about yourself, you'll be in a one-way conversation and you will be the only one hearing it. The good news is, there are many ways to reach people using search engines, social media and good 'ole word-of-mouth.
When you have your people talking and new people listening, watch what happens. Watch like a hawk! You will start to see how new content items affect traffic. You will find which referral sources send you the most traffic and what people are searching for when they find you. There are great tools that cost nothing to deliver this information. Don't keep it bottled up - share it with contributors, visitors and anyone that will listen. You will learn a lot from watching, sharing and listening. Then rinse and repeat.