You know that thing that always stays the back of your mind that you know you should do but you never quite get around to doing it? That is social media for most Internet marketers. Many of us know there are lots of cool things you can do with it, we just don’t see how it directly translates into dollars.
Everybody seems to know that it’s important, everybody seems to know that there are incredible things that you can do with it. But, beyond paid advertisement and posting links to subscribers, rarely do you see someone who has successfully monetized it.
Today I’m going to discuss a couple of things that you can do to improve your social media presence and get some fresh social media traffic.
While sponsored posts, story promotion and tireless sharing has benefited many people with lots of clicks it seems that no one has created an equation on how that translates into dollars or, if it even gives a return on investment. I am sure there are a few of you out there, that have figured this out for their page or business, but chances are that doesn’t work across the board.
Many people who have experimented with social sharing have quickly abandoned it for more traditional traffic sources. Since the resulting flood of clicks that they got from social properties devastated their bounce rate. Some of our readers have reported this as well. While keeping your bounce rate below 45% is imperative to your SEO success as I outlined in the bounce rate article there is one exception to the rule.
That exception is traffic from social media sites.
While people who been busy browsing sites like Facebook, twitter, and reddit tend to bounce off your page faster than direct traffic to your site, it does illustrative a very important point to the search engines. It shows search engines like Google that your content is relevant to humans, instead of being just another spun article, keyword loaded nonsense, or boring editorial.
This is a very important concept and one that Google certainly takes note of. If a piece of content is being shared heavily from social media sites, chances are other people will need to search for that piece of content they heard about while standing around the water cooler. So, while social media traffic might bump up your bounce rate, don’t worry. Ideally you can make some changes to lower it, but that is just the nature of that type of traffic.
Another concept to keep in mind is the importance of engagement with your visitors and users. Everybody knows that there isn’t much longevity for a company that gains a customer and never sees that customer return (for another purchase). By engaging customers and being involved in the feedback process, you are able to better refine your processes, products, and get ideas for future products. In addition to that, your customers and visitors will feel more important and they will not see your business as a faceless entity. Everyone wants to feel important, or that their voice is being heard. Engaging your visitors and customers with a simple “thanks” can go a long way.
At this point you’re probably saying, “well conceptually that’s great, but what do I do with this information and how do I translate that into dollars”
First and foremost you need to be present on social media. It isn’t really an option anymore for most types of online businesses.
And, if you sell a product you need to have a good support base of some sort, otherwise your social media property will turn into a support forum or place to bitch about your products & services. Which will obviously end up hurting you.
There’s no good rule of thumb for the amount of social media properties you have to have, in most cases that will be dictated by the size of your company or the amount of time you have at your disposal.
As far as content distribution goes there really isn’t a much better place to put a teaser of your article or the full content of your article. Than a social media site. The more heavily “like”d, shared, retweeted, the more you should promote the post. Expirement with writing a post for your blog, and putting a portion of the post in facebook, linked back to the blog post. If you notice a lot of “like”s, experiment with the sponsored story or promoted post function of facebook. For 7 bucks it a great way to potentially snag more subscribers, and get more eyes on your content. If you have any experience with using either of those features, please share the results below in the comments section…
If you are a DigitalMarketer Lab member, I would suggest you check out Luis Miguel’s “Tool Time” webinar. In that webinar he goes on to tell you about how you can use Instagram as a social media command center that will post to all of your social media properties with one single action. This is a good quick and free way to get your presence out there and not spend a lot of time. Ideally you would create unique content for each social property, but extra time is a sought after luxury for most small businesses.
An often-overlooked social media platform and source for getting traffic to your content is StumbleUpon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the service, StumbleUpon is an addictive website suggestion tool, where users click the “stumble” button to proceed to another site suggested to them based on their interests.The good thing about StumbleUpon is that there are many categories and subcategories so it’s easy to rank or show up in a particular niche.
All it entails is first going in creating an account at StumbleUpon.com
And then start liking or giving a thumbs up to your content, in order for you to be recognized and rotated through the stumble upon choices, you will need to “like” (or thumbs up) content other than content on your own domain within your niche. But don’t worry, during this process you will also be collecting content to share on your other social media properties, highlight on your blog, or use for inspiration for your own articles and products.
Remember to like your content pieces, NOT your sales letters (there are exceptions to this but they are rare). The idea is to pique someone’s interest who is arriving on your site by accident. Link to your sales page on a sidebar, or at the bottom of the content. The only way to create sustained traffic from this method, is if it is unique and “shareable”. But even if it isn’t, you should still see a noticeable bump in traffic, provided you are liking content other than your own, and you can get some additional “likes”.
This method takes a relatively small amount of time, no money, and provided you select a low competition category, you should see results within a week or two. While the initial flood of traffic from stumble upon might have a high bounce rate. Again, this is ok.
Regardless of where you are with social media, I hope this article has given you some ideas on what to experiment with next. Social media is soon becoming the necessity that you cannot ignore, so it is time to learn how to use it to your advantage.
P.S. In closing, when you are creating content you intend on sharing (or in hopes of it will be shared) think along the lines of keeping it:
- Directed to your target audience
- New / Interesting
- Use direct response marketing tricks in headlines
- Use hashtags (on twitter)