Tuesday, 6 August 2013

10 ways to increase social media traffic




Social media can be an incredible source of traffic. And best of all, it is traffic that you can count on, day after day. However, it also requires lots of constant hard work and usually it can take some time before you can actually see the results.
One of the best things about social media is that you get lots of different results. By following the tips in this article, you will not just increase your traffic, but you will also get more fans and followers, get more social media engagement, build relationships with your audience, you will reach a wider audience and you will be able to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
One of the great things about social media is that you can apply very similar techniques between different social networks. Twitter and Facebook, for example, might not have anything in common except the social aspect, but in the end, posting great, valuable content is one of the best ways of increasing your traffic.
Here are some of the ways that you can increase your social media traffic:

1. Profile

It all starts with the profile – no matter the social network, a complete profile is a must-have. Spend some time to make sure you complete all the relevant categories and fields, and most importantly, that you provide links to all your websites. On Twitter, I would also recommend you write down your website address in your description so that people can easily see it. On LinkedIn, you have the option to personalize your links. It’s very easy to do, and can make a big difference, as seeing “company website” might not entice lots of people to click on it:

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When you go to “edit contact info”, you can choose “other” and write down what the website is – for example, instead of just saying “blog”, I wrote “social media blog”, which makes it clear what I write about.

2. Join Different Social Networks

Social media traffic is at its best when you use more than one social network. I personally believe it is best to try out several social networks, in order to figure out which ones bring you the most traffic. Over the years, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the traffic I started getting from some social networks (such as LinkedIn and Google+), even surpassing some of the most popular social platforms (i.e. Facebook in my case).

3. Post Regularly

Once you start posting on social media, it’s very important to keep it up regularly. You won’t keep getting traffic from social media unless you keep posting and engaging constantly (preferably daily, or at least during weekdays). It also important to be human on social media – don’t just post links all the time, but also images, videos, text only posts and even posts that don’t have anything to do with your business. It might not get you traffic, but by only posting links you will put most people off by being too sales-y.

4. Post links to your blog posts

Posting links to valuable resources is one of the top ways of getting traffic from social media.  Whenever you write a new blog post, article or have a new valuable resource on your website, make sure you post it on your social media profiles. However, don’t just post the link and the title of the article/resource – rather, try to write a short introduction that will make people want to click on the link and read more. You could also ask a question within the post, so that you can also attract some more engagement to the post – more engagement often times leads to more traffic!

 5. Engage!

The ‘secret’ to social media success is lots of engagement. By engaging regularly with other people on social networks, you will drive more people to your profile and updates, and therefore ultimately increase your traffic. Engaging means:
-       Commenting
-       Liking (+1’s etc.)
-       Sharing other people’s posts and updates
-       Asking and answering questions

6. Join some of the lesser-known social networks

Facebook, Twitter and the like might be the top social media traffic generators, but sometimes the smaller and niche social networks can also be great sources of traffic. First of all, try to find out if there are any social networks that deal directly with your niche (Like GoodReads for book authors) and join them. This is where you can find lots of people that could genuinely be interested in what you have to offer – which results in more traffic. I would also recommend trying out some of the smaller social networks, like Tumblr – you can simply share your content on these types of social networks, which wouldn’t take too much time and can still bring in some extra traffic.

7. Create and join groups/communities etc.

Groups and communities on social networks can be great sources of traffic. If possible, start by creating your own group and then join other groups that relate to your niche. Make sure you join groups that are active – meaning people are engaging constantly.
You can then post your link updates in these groups, but make sure you also check out the rules and regulations of each group. It’s very important not to focus on sales updates, but rather engage with other group members. This way, you won’t be too sales-y and people will be more inclined to read your updates and eventually click on your links.

8. Use hashtags

Hashtags are now present on most major social networks – Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc. Hashtags can help grow your traffic by making your social updates more easily discoverable. I recommend using no more than two hashtags per update, as too many of them will put off some people.
Try to also look at which hashtags are trending for the day and use them in your updates wherever possible. There will be more people searching for those hashtags, so your updates have better chances of being seen.

9. Post at the right time

The time when you post a new update can have a huge influence on its success. If you post at the right time, more people will see it – and therefore, you will get more traffic and more engagement.
Unfortunately, there is no right time there works for everybody across all social networks. And one of the main characteristics of social networks is that they have no geographical barriers, meaning that you can have fans and followers everywhere in the world.
Although there are different studies that show when people are most active on the different social networks, the best way to find out the best hours to post updates is by trial and error. Try posting at different times during the day and night and see at what times you get the most engagement and clicks. You can then use scheduling tools to schedule your updates so that they go at those exact times, even if you are not available.

10. Add social sharing buttons to each of your blog posts

By adding social sharing buttons to each of your blog posts, you make it much easier for your readers to share your posts to their own friends and followers. This way, you increase your reach within social media with minimal efforts on your part and more people will be able to see your link and therefore, drive more traffic.