Social media is an awesome yet inexpensive way to generate traffic to your website.
But before you get stuck into using this method, it’s smart to sit down, study and understand what it takes to get the best out of using social media as a traffic generation platform.
Imagine generating loyal and targeted traffic by simply being social, engaging and sharing your knowledge and opinions.
For one to use social media successfully, you need to distinguish between messing about on social media and using it as a tool to grow your business and website traffic.
Determine Where Your Targeted Audience Is
You have probably heard this a thousand times; you need to study and know your audience.
It is vital that you establish who your targeted audience is before you even try turning them into social media followers and sending them to your website. To do this you need to develop what is known as a "Customer Avatar."
Here is a great article from Georgina El Morshdy describing what a customer avatar is and how to build one. It comes with a free template you can download which makes building avatars easy.
If you do not first learn about your audience, you will end up wasting a lot of time. There is no point in engaging with people who are not interested in what you are selling.
- Spy on Your Audience – Look for and follow people who you think might be interested in your product or services and observe them. Find out what they share, what they like and if possible their opinions, by checking comments they make on social media. This is an awesome way of finding out what they are interested in, what sort of stuff they read, what they get up to in their free time and most importantly who they are.
- Get to Know Who They Are – Get to know your audience more intimately by engaging with them on social media. After all, it is all about being social and engaging with people using technology.
- Find out What Your Audience Wants – By following and spying on people, you can learn a lot about what they want in different areas of their life. If you have done a good job following the right people, you will learn a whole lot about what issues they have which will help you build products that solve those issues.
- Find out Who Their Acquaintances Are – Once you have found out who they follow and know, you can then use that information to reach out to and connect with those people whom they trust. If the people that influence them become your friends and go on to share your information it will make a great deal of impact on your audience as you will gain their trust.
Once you have found out who the targeted audience for your website is you can then start to produce content and information that targets that audience. After all your goal is to deliver products and services that your audience wants. How do you expect to do this if you do not know who they are?
Here is a blog post i wrote that will help you create content that your audience wants to read.
Make Sure You Are Interesting (Hint: it’s all about your audience)
It is vital your audience finds you interesting and look forward to consuming the content and information you provide. You have to make sure everything you share is attention grabbing and resonates with your targeted audience.
- Post Interesting Images and Videos – People view and engage with images and videos more than they do with written words. Images and videos can help to make a serious topic easier to consume as well as explain it in fewer words.
- Utilize Humor – whenever you attempt to get a point across using humor, you will always get more attention. If you can go a step further and turn the attention you get into clicks, you are moving in the right direction. This is the reason why knowing your audience is very important for your business.
Hubspot has a great blog post showing how 17 diffrent brands use humor to promote themselves.
- Ask questions – if you are not sure of exactly what to say to get the attention of your audience, ask important questions that need answering. Incentivise them by giving choices you can do this by linking to a form on your website where they can provide answers. This can be thought of as a survey and is a great way to find out what your audience wants.
A good tool for carrying out surveys is SurveyMonkey, it's free and designed for use on social media.
- Show Your Results – when promoting something that helps you to achieve results, tell your audience about the results you achieved. You can do this by using images of yourself or ask part of your audience who have used the product to provide you images of their results.
- You Do Not Have To Be Perfect Every Time – truth be told nobody’s perfect. But, we are all unique. You are the only one who can get your unique message across. Therefore try to always be yourself as people can always tell if you’re trying to be something you are not. This can lead to you losing the attention of your audience very quickly.
Ensure You Are Active on Social Media
Social media is meant to be social. While the use of automation can save you time and a lot of work it should not be your only strategy. Make time to go through your various social media accounts and look for questions that need answering. Try to do this on a daily basis. The more questions you answer the more you will get noticed and trusted. This will help you grab the attention of your audience.
Check out this post on why it is vital to be active on social media
- Stick to a Schedule – If you do not have a plan you will surely waste time. I am sure you are aware that social media is a big time waster. If you want to be streamlined and productive create a schedule and try your best to stick to it. This applies to posting, sharing and engaging.
- Do Not Spam – Social networks have unspoken rules when it comes to what type of posts you share. Try not to share the same link over and over again. If you have to do this, come up with creative ways of making it look different. You can share the same link using different images and description.
- Content Optimisation Is Essential – Try to optimize everything you publish regardless of what platform you publish it on. You should always use the right keywords that grab the attention of your audience and always add a call to action. You need a strong call to action as it is essential you tell your audience what it is you need them to do. Different networks have different ways of displaying content it is essential you understand things like the number of characters allowed and image sizes you can use.
Here is a great article by James Scherer a content strategist at Wishpond showing 5 ways to optimize your social media content.
- Always Engage Your Audience – Post regularly, you also need to engage with people on other pages and on their profiles. Make sure you comment on other posts and respond to all comments made on your posts.
- Keep Track Of Your Metrics and Data – You are operating blind if you do not collect and analyze data generated by your audience. It is essential you know where your traffic and clicks are coming from. This way you can tell if your social media efforts are getting results or not.
Being an active participant will help you learn how to use social network better. Each network has its own unique flavor that you will need to understand. Understanding how the different networks operate will help you to squeeze the maximum amount of traffic out of them.
Cross Promote Your Networks As Well As Your Blogs
You should cross promote your blogs and you social media accounts so that traffic runs both ways. A good reason for doing this is it allows your audience to share information you post with their friends.
- Make It Easy for Your Audience to Promote You – Nowadays there are a lot of tools that will make it easy for your audience to promote you. Add share buttons and other technology that will make it easy for your audience to share your content with their friends and followers.
My preferred tool for social sharing is Monarch, a wordpress plugin from elegant themes.
- Create groups – Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to create your own communities called groups. You are in charge of these groups and it is a great way to build a loyal following on social media. In terms of reach, Facebook groups are known to perform better than pages. If you are using Facebook to promote your business it is essential you start a Facebook group.
- Build a Subscriber List – Facebook now allows you to collect email addresses from your targeted audience. Doing this allows you to send messages to them which could either contain information about your products and services or tell your subscribers to check your latest blog post.
Learn more about Facebook lead ads
- Create An Email Signature – The emails you send out are a great way of letting your subscribers know about social networks you are a part of, as well as your other products and services. It’s a great idea to add this information to the end of every email you send out. Cross promotion on different channels might seem redundant, but it’s a great way to get your brand out there without doing a lot of extra work.
Get Influencers on Your Side
People with good connections usually make a lot more money and get more business than people without. This is a fact of life whether your business is online or off-line. There is a popular saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” The more people you know the easier it is for you to get your business out there and get people buying your products and services. The great thing about social media is it makes it easy for you to form connections with the movers and shakers in your industry and use this to your advantage by leveraging them to get more exposure for your brand.
Learn how to easily find influencers
- Interview Influencers – you can interview known experts in your field using either video or by creating a podcast.Share the interview via social media. You can start Q&A sessions with the interview and get a conversation going this is an easy way to get people’s attention.
- Call Influencers out – if there is an influencer you like you can write articles and blog posts about them, and post on your social media accounts. Make sure the articles are good and objective. Tag the influencer you have written about on social media with the post attached. If they like it and share it this can bring you a ton of traffic and will eventually help you grow your audience.
- Take Pictures with Them – attend as many live events as you can, and take photos and selfies with as many influencers as possible. Next time you are launching a product, post the picture on social media and tag them. Remind them of how much fun you had together, this will help to get you back on their radar.
Getting the attention of influencers on social media will help you get the attention of their audience. This is an awesome way to give your efforts on social media a boost which in turn will help generate traffic to your website. Just make sure you always link to your website in the appropriate social media posts.
Social Media Traffic Generation Cycle
When generating traffic through social media there is a cycle you can follow that will make things easy and help you get your desired results every time.
Follow the steps:
- Create good and compelling content for your website – your website is the heart and nerve center of your marketing efforts. It is your store-front, and getting traffic to it is vital to your success. You absolutely have to create content that engages your audience.
- Share Your Content on Social Media – whenever you post something on your blog or website or find any type of news about yourself online share it on all relevant social networks. Share it as many times as you can using different descriptions and images this will help maximize your reach.
- Share Your Content With Your Email List – you should also share your articles and posts with your email subscribers. People who have signed up to your email list should constantly be reminded about content you post to keep them going back to your website.
- Always Reply to Comments – People will comment on things you share on social media ensure that you reply to these comments. You want your audience to know you care about them and you are available to help them solve their issues. Interacting with your audience helps to build trust and when you gain their trust, they are more likely to visit your website and eventually buy your products and services.
- Repost – without spamming, you want to post your content more than once, change it up a little and make sure you still get your message across. Not everyone will see your post when you put it up as people are on social media at different times. You may need to post the same information a few times a day. Remember to make each post look different so you don’t come across as a spammer.
When you follow these steps you will build up more traffic to your website which in turn will help you sell more of your products and services.
How to Start
the awesome thing about using social media to build your traffic is that you can get started immediately by simply signing up to the relevant social media networks. That is if you’re not on them already. Include a link to your website when creating your profile. Create an action plan for generating traffic, if you stick to that plan your chances of success are a lot higher than doing things randomly.
Using social media to generate inexpensive traffic is a great way to market your website. If you want to get more traffic to your website download this handy checklist by filling out the form below.