Using Social Media to Grow Your Website Traffic
Updated: Sep 16
Social media is a wonderful inexpensive traffic generator. But, before you waste your time doing things without reason, it’s a good idea to try to sit down and understand what it takes to use social media as a real traffic generator.
Imagine a traffic generator that sends you, day after day, inexpensive but loyal and targeted traffic, where all you have to do is be social, engage, and share. If you want to be successful using social media as a traffic generator then it’s important to separate messing around on social media to truly using it as a way to grow your website traffic.
Know Who You Want to Visit Your Website
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 1000 times; know your audience. It’s imperative that you learn who your audience is before you even begin trying to attract them to your networks plus send them to your website. Otherwise, you’re seriously wasting your time. People who aren’t in your market don’t want what you’re selling.
Spy On Them – Follow people who you think are in your audience and observe them. What do they share? What do they like? What do they tell their connections on social media? This is a great way to find out what they read, what they do in their free time, and really, who they are.
Get To Know Them – Get to know them in a more intimate way via engagement on social media. Social media is first and foremost a social thing – a way to connect and communicate using technology.
Find Out What They Want – By following them and “spying” you can find out what they want in many areas of their life. Likely, if you’ve done well picking audience members to spy on you’ll learn a lot that you can use to build products that solve their issues.
Find Out Who They Know – When you find out who they follow and know, you can use that information to connect with those people that they trust. If influencers are friends with you and share your information, that will make an impact on your audience because it will build trust.
When you know for sure who you want to visit your website you can ensure that your content and information is focused on that audience. After all, how can you deliver something to your audience that they want if you don’t know who the audience is?
Try to Be Interesting (Hint: It’s about them)
In order to be interesting and share attention-grabbing information that resonates with your audience. If you ever go to live events, you know that the more other people talk about themselves, the more they look highly on the person they were talking to.
Post Images & Video – When you post images, people are a lot more likely to look at it and share it. Images can help make a serious subject less painful, as well as help explain complicated topics in fewer words.
Use Humor – Anytime you can make a point with humor you’ll get attention. If you can turn that attention into clicks, that’s even better. This is why knowing your audience is the number one thing you need to do in your business no matter what.
Ask Questions – If you’re not sure what to say to get attention ask an important question that needs to be answered. Give them some choices and try to incentive them to answer, perhaps link to a form on your website for them to use to answer.
Be Active in Your Life – This might seem odd, but if you don’t have an interesting life, then you can’t really be that interesting on social media. Get away from the computer and live your life, you’ll be happier and it’ll show and people will be drawn to you.
Show your results. If you are using a product and have final results, snap a photo and show everyone how it turned out. Recipes are great for this. Before and after photos are also popular.
It’s OK to be Imperfect – The truth is no one is perfect. But, there is only one you. You are the only one that can add you to the picture. Therefore, always be yourself because if you’re not, it’ll eventually show.
The more you can turn all these things around to be about your audience, the better. When your audience feels listened to understood, and thought about they’ll be much more likely to click through and go to your website, sign up for your email lists, and become part of your inner circle.
Actively Participate-After All Social Media is Social
Read that again. Social media is social. Therefore, while automation is awesome, it’s not everything. Find time each day to go through your social accounts (maybe one per day) and look for questions that need to be answered. The more you can answer questions the more people will notice and trust you.
Stick to a Schedule – If you have no plan you may waste time. After all, there is no better time sucker than social media. If you want to be super productive, set up a schedule and stick to it for posting, sharing, and engaging. This is one of the things I preach the most. If you post once a month and then it's crickets, you will not have many followers. This is where a free social media scheduling program (or someone like me) can be of assistance.
Don’t be a Spammer – Each social network has its own unspoken rules when it comes to how often you share a post. The trick is to share it in a different way. It can be the same link, but you can describe it differently in your blurb.
Optimize Your Content – Everything that you publish, no matter where, should be optimized. That means it should have the right words that get the attention of your audience (keywords), and a call to action. Plus the page should load fast and everything should work. Also, each network has its own way to show content, ensure that you understand the image's sizes and the rules. If you want to post once and forget it, just be sure what you post works on all the channels. Remember, Twitter still limits the characters.
Engage With Your Audience – You want to post regularly, plus you want to engage with others on their pages as well as answer comments on your posts. If you post something and it gets even 1 comment, be sure to comment back.
Check Your Metrics – Nothing is complete until the data is checked. You never know what is working if you don’t check the numbers. You need to know where all the clicks come from that go to your website so that you know that what you’re doing on social media is working. Otherwise, why do it?
As an active participant, you’ll also learn how to use the network better. After all, each network has its own special flavor that you’ll need to get to know in order to use it to its utmost traffic generating level.
Cross-Promote Networks & Your Blog
You have a lot of ability to cross-promote your blog and your social media so that the traffic runs both ways. The reason you want to do that is that those who already love your offerings and are fans will, once they follow you on social media will share your info with their friends.
Help Your Audience Promote You -- There is a lot of technology that helps you automate some things. Help your audience automate how they can share throughout all your blog posts, articles, and other content. For example, you can add the ability to Tweet out various quotes from your content right from WordPress.
Create Groups – On LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com, you can create your very own group that you are in charge of. This is a great way to build a loyal, social-media audience that takes action on your content. But don't do this unless you plan to work it and be present. An empty group is a sad group.
Collect Email Addresses— On Facebook, you can now create a way for your audience to sign up for your email list right from social media. Then, you can send them messages in email that send them back to your website.
Create a New Email Signature – When you send out emails, there is a great opportunity to let your audience know about your social networks and other things you’re doing at the end of your message in the signature line.
Cross-promote on multiple channels. You’ll be glad you did. It might seem redundant but it’s a great way to help expand your brand and reach without a lot of extra work.
Get People with Clout on Your Side
You know it’s true. People who have good connections will make more money and get more jobs than those who don’t. This is true whether you’re online or not. You’ve heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Well, perhaps that is an exaggeration but it is true. If you know more people, you’ll be more likely to get hired and get paid more money too. The cool thing is that you can get to know those movers and shakers and leverage them to expand your reach on social media.
Interview Them – You can do a video or podcast of the interview and then share it on social media with a blurb. You can also open up Q & A on a Facebook group with the video as the start of the conversation to get people to pay attention.
Call Them Out – This can be dangerous but if there is a guru that you really like you can write about them in articles, blog posts, and even social media posts. Tag them in the work. You may bring some of their audience to your page by doing this.
Take Pics With Them – Go to a live event, and take a selfie with them. Wait a bit and remind them before your next launch about the fun you had by posting the picture. That way you get back on their radar.
By bringing your social network to the attention of an influencer (or influencers), you can then get the attention of their audience (who of course should be the same type of audience). This is a great way to give your social media networks a boost, which will help bring traffic to your website as long as you’re linking to your website with new posts.
The Traffic Generation Cycle When Using Social Media
When it comes to using social media to generate website traffic is there is a cycle to it all that will help you get more traffic. So, try to do these things every single time.
Follow these steps:
Create Content for Your Website – Your website is the center of your marketing. It’s your business, it’s your storefront, and this is what you’re trying to get traffic to. You need to make it a priority to create relevant content that speaks to your audience.
Share That Content to Social Media – When you post something on your blog, someone else’s blog, or have any type of news about yourself -- share it to social media. Optimize the share for each network and share as many times as is common with that network using a different blurb each time.
Share to Your Email List – Likewise, share the link to the post within the email list that you have for that website. People who have signed up can be reminded about the content and they’ll come back.
Engage with Comments – When you share things on social media people will comment on it, ensure that you comment back. You want your audience to know you’re available and ready to interact with them. This builds trust, and due to that trust, they’re more likely to click through to your site.
Repeat – Don’t spam people, but you may want to repeat more than once and change it up a little to ensure that it works well for your goals. After all, not everyone will see your Tweet at 10 am. You may need to send it at 10, 2, and 6 pm for maximum exposure.
When you do this for every bit of content that you create, you’ll find that you build up more traffic to your website so that you can get them to convert to buyers and become your customer and not just your follower or friend.
The great thing about using social media to build traffic is that you can start now by simply opening up social accounts. Your website link will usually be included in your profile set up. But, you will of course have to do more. The best thing to do is to create a plan of action for generating traffic to your website. If you stick to it, you will be successful.
I know I tossed out a lot of information up there. If you need help deciphering it, get in touch. I'm happy to help.
Rebecca Paciorek is an Online Business Manager specializing in assisting in the growth of your business through traditional and digital means.
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