After working hard and investing on a killer website for your products and services, social media is the next step. One of the most effective ways to drive traffic is by properly managing social media campaigns. Other marketing tactics are important as well but not always as effective, or free.
Below are 11 guidelines to follow when looking to increase traffic through social sharing:
- When – and how often – to share: Tweet often, as tweets have a short shelf-life. Facebook posts last somewhat longer, but similarly get lost in the shuffle after only 4-5 hours. Blog posts provided longer-lasting, searchable content – more on that later.
- Use the limited space of social postings effectively: You want customers to do something with what you share – you want them to act and continue the viral spread of your content. Opportunities for action and engagement include questions, contests, requests (“please RT”), hashtags, and even a simple link. Give your customers a way to interact productively without ever leaving your post.
- Maximize the size and visibility of your posts: Preliminary research shows that these new link-preview posts dominate photos on engagement metrics. Considering that clicking on the picture, link or caption all direct readers to your linked website, this is no surprise. Don’t send your customers clicking away to a jpeg – post links and send them to your site.
- Get to know your customer: Think backwards from your customer: is the person who will click on what you’re sharing a person you want visiting your site? Is that person going to be pleased to end up on your site? If you can answer ‘Yes’ to those 2 questions, share freely and prepare to welcome additional traffic to your site.
- Benefits of (regular) blogging: So, do it. Blog regularly. Current research indicates that blogging 15 or more times per month can increase traffic by 5X. Even if you’re a small organization, make this a part of someone’s job description. If you’re part of an even smaller enterprise, then find a way to make blogging work for you – the same research shows your business stands to benefit the most in terms of traffic increase.
- Make your site share-friendly: Add share buttons (links to share instantly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) to your website and blog, and make them readily accessible. Some tools and plugins even make these buttons ‘float’ or follow the customer’s scroll.
- Make your social profiles represent you well: Since you’re actively promoting and sharing your content through social channels, let’s make sure you’re funneling customers to and through well-polished extensions of your website. Complete, fleshed-out profiles convey legitimacy and professionalism, while also providing more information that could lead someone to your profile via search.
- Share and share alike: You’re reading this because you want to promote what you’re doing and boost your web traffic. That gives you something in common with just about everyone else using the Internet. Helping others meet their goals in social sharing ultimately furthers your message as well. Highlight resources, companies and persons that create value for the customers you want to meet and to serve.
- Use groups to meet and interact with customers: Become a contributor to the discussions in these settings. Build trust in here, and you can interact with your customers like never before. Turn this group into a tribe that believes in what you’re doing, and you’ll enjoy the endless benefits of having like-minded people promoting your work and also sharing content that interests you. And don’t just show and tell – ask questions too. Ask your customers for their input and feedback. Get them in the habit of interacting with you, and show them you value their opinion.
- Search Engine Optimization: You’re probably not reading this for advice on how to challenge Anheuser-Busch’s Google PageRank on searches for “beer”. But you might be selling a craft Belgian-style amber ale that a beer aficionado would go crazy over. So, when you’re building page descriptions, post titles, and hashtags, choose those specific, long-tail keywords that bring in the customers you want – those that will be most excited to have found you. Let disinterested crowds get their “beer” elsewhere.
- Quality Content: This isn’t in addition to the ten strategies you read above – it comes before all of them. With all these strategies, there’s no substitute for making worthwhile products. A well-timed, expertly-linked, meaningless tweet is still just a meaningless tweet. If you want customers to find, engage with, and share your content, then give them something worth sharing.
What other guidelines can you share that should be followed when using social sharing to drive more traffic?