Using Social Media To Find New Readers
Google is likely the number-one source of visitors to your website, and typically accounts for up to 60 to 70 per cent of your total visitors.That’s great, but depending on one single traffic source for your website is never a good thing, so it’s time to add other traffic sources. Investing some time in social-media marketing is a very good way of achieving this.
- How to increase sources of traffic via social media
- Best practice for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more
- How to automate tasks
Facebook.com is the biggest social network worldwide, with more than a billion users using it daily, or at least a few times a week. That offers you a great potential target audience for particular subject area of your blog. Try creating a fan page (or at least a profile), and then publish news and interesting information around your site’s topic.
This needs to be done regularly to be effective. It is important not only to share your own content, though, and the 5-3-2 rule is a good clue. From 10 publications on Facebook, five should be submitted by other users – in the form of posts that you share.
Then you should share three of your own posts – for example, one containing news from your own website and then two more personal posts. This keeps your page form looking like an advert and builds a more personal connection, which can then help build a good community.
Another possibility is the use of Facebook Groups, which exist for almost any topic. In these groups, people with the same interests meet and discuss issues. Never try and spam these groups by over-promoting your own website or blog.
Instead, actively participate, socialise, help people in the group and only mention your own website when the opportunity arises and is appropriate.
When Google Plus was released, many viewed it as Google’s answer to Facebook. So does it make sense to use it? Well, Google+ can be a useful resource for certain topics and in certain sectors. Research exactly where your own target audience primarily goes – if they use it, then it’s worth joining and repeating the 5-3-2 rule there.
Also special networks, such as the working professional-focused XING, can be interesting if your website is relevant to their audience.
Not everyone uses it, although many do – check in advance whether your target audience is active on Twitter. If so, you should be active and publish tweets regularly. This also means that, as with the 5-3-2 rule, you should retweet the tweets of other users.
There’s a tricky tightrope to walk between being friendly and corporate, and you’ll have to work hard on writing with a suitable tone of voice. Plus, you shouldn’t overdo it, because you quickly lose followers if you send too many tweets.
If you publish a lot of your own pictures on your website or blog, then Pinterest is a potentially useful extra traffic driver – after all, it’s a social network primarily for the sharing of photos and images, making it ideal for product-related blogs. Remember you must ask permission to share the copyright of images that you do not own.
Pinterest can bring a lot of traffic. As an example, food blogs have more visitors from Pinterest than from Google. Again, it’s very important to add photos from other users to your boards and not just publish your own.
Having to manually update all of these social networks is very time consuming and can be costly. So automate at least some of the mundane tasks. Some of these lend themselves to automation, such as the automatic publication of new or existing content in multiple social networks simultaneously.
So you can, for example, publish a new blog post with the help of WordPress plug-ins automatically in your various social network profiles. Check out the free plug-in Social Media Auto Publish. Older articles can be automatically shared.
This WordPress plugin Share Old Post Lite can do this for you. Alternatively, you can use an online tool such as Hootsuite to manage all of your network profiles in a single place. Though not 100 per cent automated, it still saves a lot of time.
You’ll still have to do a lot of work manually, though, of course. Social media is all about communicating with other people – be prepared to engage with it, always with your business goals in mind.
The various social-media platforms can bring a lot of traffic, even if this is unlikely to overtake traffic from search. Using the networks well will make your website a little less dependent on Google and attract new readers, but it is very time-consuming if you want to get it right.
Complete automation is neither possible nor sensible: social networks are primarily a communication medium. Consider whether it makes sense in terms of your website’s topic to engage with them, and decide how much engagement is appropriate.