For the past years, search engines such as Google have been considered super stars when it came to delivering web traffic.
This phenomenon has brought about the rise of SEO of which companies are now more than willing to invest in just to get traffic to their websites.
However, there is another traffic referrer that is set to dethrone search engines: social media.
In a report by traffic research company Shareaholic, it seems that social referrals have made up a significant portion of traffic to websites. On December 2014, the top 8 social networks drove 31.24% of overall traffic to sites, up from 22.71% in 2013.
And according to the latest data from Business Insider, social traffic is driving increase in retail traffic than any other online channel.
The same as configuring one website’s SEO, there is no set formula for increasing social media referrals but there are general guidelines that can help you promote your content on social media.
The more famous social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, among others. Each platform has its own intricacies and here are some tips to better promote your content on them:
Apart from the being the most well-known social media platform, Facebook is also an immense source of information – whether it be news and posts about all the incidents that are happening all over the world or serving as junction for huge networks of people. Having a solid understanding of how to promote your content on it can have a very large impact on how your content is perceived and, eventually, referrals going your way.
Make Sure You Have a Steady Stream of Shareable Content on Your Website
New content you post on your site is important, not only for social media marketing, but also for search engine optimization. Fresh content is often times rewarded with higher ranking. Posting something new and helpful once a week or even once a month can benefit your website traffic.
Make it Easy to Share Your Content to Facebook on Your Website
Once you have fresh content, you need to make it shareable. Add a social share plugin and/or Facebook share buttons. People are also more likely to share something that is useful to them. Every time you create content always keep your customer’s benefit in mind.
Optimize Your Facebook Posts
Visuals have been shown to have the most engagement on Facebook so you should make sure to include them whenever possible. Also, check if your links are clearly defined. As such, there are a number of different ways you can post a link to your website. The more traditional way to post a link is to cut and paste the link into the status section and allow the link to pull in the photo and metadata. Another would be posting a photo and then adding the link into the status update with a little blurb about the link.
Optimize Other Places on Facebook to Add Links to Your Website
Aside from optimizing the post itself, you can also optimize your Facebook page to include links to your website. These parts would include the ‘About’ page, your milestones, your photo descriptions, and your custom tabs. The personal profile page is easily bypassed during editing as posts are too often thought of as the main attraction in a Facebook page but including your links here can also drive more traffic to your website.
If you have a budget, advertising on Facebook can be a great option to get targeted traffic. To drive traffic to your website, you can either create an ad from scratch with a link to your website, or boost content that you’ve already posted. When you boost content, remember to post something that doesn’t have a photo that has more than 20% text in it or it won’t get approved by Facebook. You can use this tool to measure the amount of text.
Twitter is ideal for short, attention-grabbing links where a ‘tweet‘ has a lifespan of about 30 seconds. But unlike Facebook where you can only share your post once at a time before it’s considered overkill, you can share post your tweets multiple times a day and still be seen as acceptable. But tackling the 140-word limit can be challenging. Here is list on how to best move your way around Twitter referrals:
Know your audience
This means that driving traffic starts with listening and observing. Get to know your target so you can most efficiently engage them.
Get the right followers
You would need to have followers that follow you because they are interested in your tweets and think they will get value from it.
Engage your followers. Reach out to those who ask questions and give them a link to the post in question. Also try to hold conversations and encourage feedback if necessary.
Tweet valuable links that people will be interested in and not just your own. You must be willing to retweet information from other people. When done correctly, you could get yourself followed by those very people, as well. Create a reputation where you are known to tweet interesting, if not useful, stuff.
It’s not only the link clicks that you’re getting, but the retweets and shares that really drive the traffic so it’s positively vital that you measure how well you’re doing in what way. There are tools like Google Analytics, TweetMeme and bit.ly that can cater to such needs.
Once in a while it doesn’t hurt to actually ask for retweets. Just don’t overdo it, though, as you will only annoy your followers.
Promoting your content on YouTube is entirely different than Facebook and Twitter as the social network revolves entirely around video. One of the functionalities of YouTube videos is the ability to link to other websites and videos directly in the original video. You can use this to your advantage by linking up videos — you could include 10-15 second endings on each video where you insert a prompt to check out other videos your viewers may like. Like a related content tool for blogs, linking to other videos directly in the YouTube video is a great way to help people discover more of your content.
For Pinterest, create a board for your blog and join group boards. Like Twitter, you’d do well promoting both your own and other people’s content through your Pinterest page. Share boards of people who are most likely to share your boards in return. Select carefully what content to pin as sharing too much can overwhelm your followers leading to them losing interest.
Instagram is a powerful social channel. With over 400 million users, an average of 80 million photos posted each day and 3.5 billion likes on any given day, it’s a valuable platform to include in your social media marketing mix. Here, hashtags are supreme. With hashtags, you can reach a wider audience and increase your followers. You can also do market research on your competitors and connect with people who have specific interests. Try to experiment with other hashtags to see which ones are the best fit for your business and target audience. Here are some ways to use them to increase your following and, consequently, to your website.
Leverage Established Trends
Popular(or trending) hashtags are a great way to develop an Instagram presence and build brand awareness.
Tap Into a Popular Theme
Themes can be a lot of fun, and Instagram has some popular themed hashtags that you can use with your Instagram posts. One popular example of this would be #throwbackthursday.
Share an Inspirational Quote
Quotes are a great way to get traction and interaction for visual content, and they work as well on Instagram as on your other social channels. Share quotes from authors and industry leaders, as well as from your blog posts. Quotes that reflect your brand and goal are typically good choices.
Tell People What You’re Doing Now
Telling people what you’re doing now is a great way to make your Instagram account fresh and inspiring to users. Plus, balancing business with fun is a great way to create a following on Instagram.
Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Promote a new blog post by demonstrating to your Instagram audience that you’re working on one. For example, while you’re writing a new blog post, snap a photo of your computer and keyboard, add an Instagram filter and share the image with your followers using a hashtag like #blogging or #newblog.
Experiment with other hashtags to see which ones are the best fit for your business and target audience.
Coming up with a successful social media strategy can be a daunting task when it comes to promoting your website and increasing web traffic. But really, the most important thing to remember is that in the end you would only need to think about the people themselves. After all, social media is just people interacting with other people. What drives them to respond to others would essentially be the same when responding to you so make sure to get your point across.
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