9 step guide for using Social Media to increase Traffic
Any blog or website’s traffic stats reflect the importance of social media. Social media is the strongest traffic source for most of the blogs, more important than the traffic from search engines and direct traffic. A well-written, structured post determines how much your post will be shared on the social platform.
So let’s dig in to learn the tricks of the trade. We won’t talk about how Facebook or Twitter would generate traffic for your posts and website (Nope… We won’t discuss individual social networks). That has been discussed by experts long ago and things change as time lapses (Well!). New subjects and strategies trend every day and have their peaks and plateaus. Here, we are going to discuss the core factors and the ultimate dot-points that are THE elementary reason to generate traffic. Elements that don’t change according to time or trends. Elements that can be applicable to any and every social network you use.
1. HOW DO I BEGIN?
Of course, the first step is to sign up with the top current social networking sites. Open accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Linkedin. Now, here’s the catch. Don’t forget to widen the circle. Make sure you are a part of multiple diverse platforms. So the next step is to sign up for other important mediums like Quora, Reddit, Pinterest and Stumbleupon. Why? Well, most of the professionals have their own network and build-up base on platforms other than the leading social networks. In order to be visible, you need to be omnipresent to more and more people. Most of these platforms have strong-allied communities and forums that work as a unit. There are also lesser known sites like DIGG and Goodreads which have a following of loyal members. Be a part of them too. Minimum 5 different social networking sites to be precise. Each of these platforms can be used in a specific way.
2. WHAT TO DO TO STAND-OUT?
For others to notice you, you don’t have to be too loud about what you do. A simple yet concise profile with few catchy elements will surely grab attention. I had once come across a profile of 32 year old man on Ask.fm where the he had described himself as a smart phone-ditcher. This unique profile ID immediately made me click for his details. Another important aspect is that your profile needs to be complete and has the right information. If you are using a tweaked name or a fun name instead, make sure you put up a correct ID or display picture or anything that reveals your true identity. This will be the first step in building trust among your followers. Link your website or blog to your social network profiles. And yes, an easy-to-access website always has better viewership. Your Page Load speed should be good. Your domain name should be easy to remember. Make your sites smartphone friendly so that sharing on social media becomes a one-step process.
3. MAKE SEO MANAGEMENT GAME HIGH
Your content must focus on keywords. High-conversion keywords will increase your visibility and will place you at a better rank on Google search. Certain keywords are an instant catch on social media (The catch varies from site to site). Use hashtags to reach beyond your immediate followers. Your tags will connect you to new readers and will gain you loyalty. The tags should be relevant to your post, yet should cover a broad spectrum of your sector. It is a good way to get noticed. Anything between 2 to 4 hashtags (not more) per post is a good idea. You can even start a topic that can potentially trend later (Remember Harambe and the whole NFL row). Social media is a good platform for GDs and self-promotion (but don’t be crass).
4. SPIKE YOUR ENGAGEMENT METRICS WITH VISUALS
By nature, visual content drives more attraction. So, it’s no surprise that image based content has more engagement on social media. Yes, good single text content is important, but adding an appropriate image to support your lines will surely add more followers to your account. Hence, it’s important to regularly include visual content like images, videos, vines, and GIFs in your post. Add plugins and links on your site, for example, “You may also like” links to the relevant subject. This will keep the readers busy on your site and will gain you internal links.
5. BREW CATCHY CONTENT
Apart from having a catchy headline (Learn that from Buzzfeed’s excellent strategy to gain shares through creative headlines), your content needs to be fresh and crisp. More concise is your content, more it will be shared. Millennials rule most of the social networks and they don’t usually have the time or patience to read a stretchy post. Include a lot of tweetable lines in your post. It is surely a good way to increase your page views. Make references to trendy topics in a subtle way. These days, content tends to backfire and trigger controversies among the social networkers. Media being an open space creates a tendency to receive flak. All these factors need to be kept in consideration before you post or publish anything.
6. SHARING & CARING
Make sure your content is worth sharing. Provide minimum 10 options of sharing (but not too many as it may affect your Page Speed) through plugins like AddThis. Search Optimization Tools like Google Analytics and TrenDemon will update you on what content has been shared on which social network and what’s trending. Hire a professional if needed. Also, you must share posts other than yours. That will exposure you to a new arena. Here’s a tip. Sharing the content of top social networkers or trending subjects will surely get you noticed among higher ranking circles. You should even provide your expertise to help others on your network. The social network is all about being there for each other. If you focus more on solving someone’s problem than generating back-links, it would automatically bring you page views. Be part of communities, discussions, and forums on various platforms. Share your knowledge. It will hint others about your thought process and they will follow you. Build relationships with your followers and those you follow.
7. BE RESPONSIVE
Once you are on a social network, be active on it for at least 4 times a week. Top sites like Twitter and Instagram demand more. Hence, being active on them at least twice a day is a must in order to gain loyal followers. For personal blogs, make space for suggestion box with Disqus or IntenseDebate. Initiate healthy discussions. Always reply to the comments even if someone has criticized you. You need to be witty and mellowed, yet impactful with your responses. And remember, you can block anyone offensive and can even report it. Always keep a tab of trending subjects. In case, you have written something earlier which started trending later, do re-post it. Your far-fetched vision will surely be noticed. You can even ask pertinent questions on someone else’s post. There you can get numerous opportunities to share your insights.
8. THE FREE STUFF STRATEGY
Who doesn’t like free stuff, right? Give your readers free demo, softwares, 30-days trials, etc on your social network. Yes, I know… Most of them won’t buy the paid version. But then, you will achieve your ulterior motto, which is to generate traffic. Sooner or later, conversions will occur. You can piggyback on other networks and links in order to gain traffic. You can even hold quizzes and competitions, and then display the results on your social networks to gain internal-link viewership. This will even improve the user experience.
9. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
Always keep a track of what your competitors are up to. Be vigilant about their posts and observe what works for them. What you will read next will surprise you, but do mention in your post about the good work they are doing. The reverse psychology here lies in the fact that you are not here to grab each other’s opportunities, but to help each other grow. Think about a cross-over to gain readership of both the parties. Good gestures will be appreciated by your followers too.
Social Media is a tool – use it wisely!
To wrap the topic, I would like to say that not every point mentioned here would work in your favor. But there are certain protocols when followed along with one’s trial and error methodology and close observation will slowly, yet surely benefit you. Trends keep changing from time to time, but the ethics that rule the industry don’t. There is always a right way and the wrong way to do it. Choose wisely.