If you’re looking to increase your number of regular visitors then social media is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. There are many things that make social media so useful for increasing traffic. The first of course is that any social media platform will instantly provide a large captive audience – for instance, Facebook alone has more users than most countries have residents.
What’s more important still though, is the way that social media sites leverage social networks in order to allow content to spread and even go viral. If you share something on Facebook or Twitter for instance, there is a ton of ways that your followers, fans and friends can share it with their extended network.
Finally, social media is powerful because it allows for communication. This means you don’t just share the content you want people to see – you can comment on it and add context and discussion to drive even more attention there.
So how do you take advantage of all these benefits of social media and get your account to start growing?
The best place to start with a social media campaign is with your branding. When you first create your accounts, it’s crucial to ensure that you create a consistent presence with a strong unifying identity. This is what will allow your various social media accounts to work synergistically together and with each of your other marketing strategies.
Essentially then, this means having a strong logo that you can incorporate into your profile images and your cover images and it means having the same recognizable brand name on every account as well.
The more consistent you are graphically and with regards to your ‘message’, the more each interaction with one of your accounts will strengthen your visibility. What’s more, this consistency will help to make your brand appear professional and well thought out.
Likewise, you also need to connect your various social media accounts and your website – think of them as interconnected aspects of the same strategy. This means that you should have buttons on your website making it easy for visitors to start following you on social media and it means that your website should be linked on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
You need to share a content you create. Why? For starters, when someone clicks on a link you share and get taken to your site, they stay engaged with your brand and you create more opportunities to get them to sign up to a mailing list or to buy something. Your objective here is to get traffic.
The key then is to know how to create content that will attract clicks and shares. This is what a lot of people struggle with and why they will often rely on third-party content. If you understand the psychology of sharing and liking though, then you can get around this problem and create your own content that will spread like wildfire.
How clickbait works
When you think of content that gets clicks, you might be tempted to think of “clickbait”. This is content designed especially to get people to click at all costs. Often the quality of this content is very poor because all the creators literally care about is getting clicks. This is short sighted though in the long run as people who feel they’ve been tricked into reading low quality content are hardly likely to share that content and they’re hardly likely to go out of their way to visit that website again.
The object here instead then should be to create content that gets clicked and then delivers. This way, those people who clicked will be more likely to come back to your website and more likely to share with their networks – creating lots of new visitors for you.
When you’re not sharing content, you’ll be updating your status with comments and thoughts and perhaps with the occasional image to sell the lifestyle. Just make sure that all your posts are providing value in the form of entertainment, information, inspiration or deals. If all you’re doing is promoting your brand, then people will simply leave you.
Putting it altogether
Now, you might be wondering how all this can help you to get more traffic to your website. All we’ve seen is how to set up a social media profile on multiple accounts and then share good content on it. Where are those new visitors coming from?
While it might seem a little circular, repeating this process over and over can actually help you to slowly gain momentum and to build more and more visitors. It works a little like this:
First time visitor comes to your site ⇒ First time visitor signs up to your social media and becomes follower ⇒ Follower sees one of your engaging articles posted on Facebook ⇒ Follower clicks to return to your site ⇒ Follower shares your content creating a new first time visitor ⇒ Return to start.
Then multiply this by all the different social media accounts you’re going to be on and suddenly you have a self-perpetuating cycle that is bringing in more and more visitors all the time.
Tip #1 – use communities
Share your content in specific communities like Facebook Pages and G+ communities to reach specific niches. You can use this to target people who will likely be interested in your site who aren’t already followers and you can also use it to cross pollinate. For instance, if you have a martial arts website/business, then writing about free running for martial artists and posting in a free running community is a great way to reach a wider audience.
Tip #2 – use tools
Use tools to get even more from social media. They can automate process of content sharing letting you save the time.
One of these tools is ‘IF’ which used to be known as ‘IFTTT’. IFTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and allows you to link your different social media accounts so that posting to Facebook also posts to Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. You can set up more complex relationships too, so that only certain types of content are shared in certain places. If you want to get really advanced then IFTTT will let you do things like read from spreadsheets or ‘auto share’ content that has been curated from the web by algorithms.
Other tools can do similar things if you’re looking for something simpler. Buffer is one example that links accounts and also lets you ‘schedule’ your posts. That means you can set aside a single day to write all your Tweets and then see them get published on a regular basis at set times.
HootSuite has similar functions to Buffer and also lets you see feeds from multiple social media accounts.
All these things are highly useful because they save you time and ensure that your social accounts stay looking active. This is very important – a quiet social media account is worse than not having a social media account at all. Just make sure the content you’re sharing automatically is still high quality!
Finally, consider using ShareAHolic to let your visitors easily share your content to their social media accounts.