Running an online business is all about grabbing the attention of the right people to your website, and converting that traffic (the readers and email subscribers) into loyal, buying customers.
A lack of website traffic is one of the most common yet most difficult challenges a business owner is faced with. In this fast-growing market where there are hundreds (even thousands) of similar websites competing for the same audience, standing out from the crowd and getting noticed by customers isn’t such an easy task. As such, marketers are constantly looking for new, more innovative, more creative ways to drive more traffic to their respective websites.
A lot of successful marketers have their own stash of secret weapons to keep them ahead of the competition. And by secret weapons, I mean marketing strategies that most people often overlook but work extremely well for those who know how to apply them in their campaign.
And like most marketers, I also have something up my sleeve.
As you read on, you will know exactly how these tricks worked out for me and how it will work out in your favor, too. This time, it’s all about leveraging on social media to increase traffic to your site. So no matter what niche or industry you’re in, or whether or not you’re new to online marketing, these useful tips and tricks will surely help you out along way.
Allow me to share some simple yet highly effective marketing tips on how you can use social media to drive more traffic to your website. Make sure to grab a cup of coffee, a pen, and a notepad!
Fancy up your blog posts by adding tweetable quotes
Have you ever wondered how some bloggers and marketers add a little Tweet This Quote or Click to Tweet link within their posts or articles that allows readers to tweet that quote and not the entire content? It’s a fairly new trend that’s not only cool but also useful!
For example, if you have a quote, comment or sentence that you think your readers would love to share, you can make it very easy for them to do so by making it tweetable. After reading an awesome quote, some people may be too lazy to open their Twitter account, type in the quote themselves, and then add your handle and the link to your post. These days, people want convenience.
Adding tweetable quotes all throughout your posts is a really awesome way to get more retweets on your blog because you’re giving your readers micro-opportunities to share your work. Doing this is easy and you’ll soon find that you’ll get more traffic from this than simply just adding a Twitter button below your posts. It’s a real time-saver and it brings some social love to your blog!
Here’s an example of a tweetable quote:
Every now and then, I add some interesting quotes in my posts so people who spot them can easily share them on social media.
So far, there are a couple of ways to adding a little Click to Tweet link to your blog posts.
If you have some basic HTML know-how, you can take on the challenge of adding code to your site. It takes a little bit of work, so this one is for the more adventurous:
First, you need to add this URL as the link for your quote: http://twitter.com/home/?status=
Then, you can add the quote, comment or any message you want your readers to tweet, including the text you want them to click.
If you want an easier way to do this, you can use a handy tool called Click to Tweet. Here, you can simply enter a tweetable quote in the box provided, and then click the Generate Link button.
The app will then generate a URL which you can use as the destination for your anchor text.
You can add these at any part of your blog post. It could be as simple as a little phrase that you can use to sum up a whole paragraph or article. Keep it short and sweet! And if possible, make sure to add a tiny URL of the post where the quote came from.
Set up a LinkedIn group to gain traffic and exposure
If you write amazing articles and blog posts, you’ll want more people to read them. If you’re a B2B, then LinkedIn is the perfect place to connect with your market, establish rapport, and increase traffic to your website or blog. LinkedIn boasts more than 225 million users from all over the world, and is the go-to social media site for business networking.
LinkedIn is one of our top source of traffic. Why? Because for every 5,000 members you have within your LinkedIn group, you can have as many as 10,000 visitors – perhaps more!
But some of you may ask: How can I get started? What should I do?
Of course, you must first create a LinkedIn profile. When creating a business profile, make sure it’s welcoming; one that builds trust. Make a concise description that tells who you are. You also need to complete your personal profile, which should be friendly and professional at the same time. Don’t forget to add a link to your website and blog in your business and personal profiles.
Once you’re done, you need to build your LinkedIn connections. You can do this by searching and connecting with people at work, people you’ve gone to school with, your business partners, email contacts, previous and current customers, acquaintances, your connections from other social media sites, and the people you know from other LinkedIn groups.
Like a rolodex, you need to connect people on LinkedIn when you network with them in person. Remember, the more connections you establish, the more people will see your status updates on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve established connections, you need to stay active. Make status updates on a daily or weekly basis so you can build trust and increase your click-through rates (CTR). Stick to a schedule by making a calendar reminder. If you think you can’t commit to posting two or more articles in a week, consider posting links to other articles. For instance, you can post news articles that are related to your industry, or informative content from well-known industry leaders.
Use LinkedIn as a channel to further nurture relationships. Invite your contacts to connect with you on your website and blog.
Another key feature on LinkedIn are the groups. There are more than 1.5 million groups for you to join in, and roughly 80% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one or two groups. Joining targeted LinkedIn groups offer incredible networking opportunities. That said, you need to find out which of these groups would provide value for your business. Make sure to join LinkedIn groups that have real engagement, ones that could reach your niche.
If you can’t find your niche from these 1.5-something million choices or you want a specific group for your customers or partners, why not make your own? You can make a theme specifically for your targeted group of people. Create clear guidelines and invite the right people into the group. To reduce or avoid spam, make your LinkedIn group truly a place for networking and discussions.
With a successful LinkedIn group, you will gain trust and your business will be seen as a leader in your chosen industry or niche, where like-minded people can freely share and exchange ideas, tips, and connections.
And just like on any social media site (and in person too) – the more engaging you are on LinkedIn, the stronger your relationship will be with your connections. Networking on LinkedIn is a lot like offline networking in that you have to be conversational and engaging. You can do this simply by asking questions and responding to comments. You can even use LinkedIn tools such as polls to create interactive content about your website or blog.
Give people a reason to comment, like or share your post. Additionally, you need to engage in your groups so you can become a top influencer. And when you become a top influencer, more and more people will read your posts.
Besides engaging in groups, you also need to keep your readership interested by consistently writing unique and interesting content; ones that are within your niche or industry. Create high-impact, attention-grabbing headlines and make use of images and other media that will pique the interest of your target audience.
If you’re a B2B company, why not run a sweepstakes like giving away one of your products or services for free? You can also host promos and contests if that’s your thing. Take note that LinkedIn Groups has a Promotions section where you can share amazing deals, discounts, as well as giveaways. Use it to your advantage.
Last but definitely not the least, don’t forget to include a LinkedIn share button on all your blog posts. A share button makes it easy for readers to share your posts with their own network. What’s more, those who might be interested to share your content likely have a LinkedIn network who may also be interested in your posts. The share button also lets you post your own articles in your groups.
Just make sure to check in to LinkedIn for updates throughout the day so you can respond to comments and answer questions regarding your articles.
You can even use the share button for sending direct LinkedIn mails. How cool is that?
Repost interesting, trending infographics
The World Wide Web is a visual platform, so it makes a lot of sense that infographics can reach out to millions of people and keep them engaged.
According to an infographic about infographics, the number of infographic search volumes have increased by an impressive 800% in the last couple of years. With stats like that, who wouldn’t consider infographics as a great online marketing tool?
Looking for good infographics from around the Web and reposting them on your blog isn’t a new tactic, but the way you promote them should make a difference.
If you’re considering doing this as part of your marketing strategy, make sure to add unique content above and/or below the infographics, take all of the statistics from that particular infographic, and then make them tweetable. This is a unique way to add fresh information that has a potential to become viral.
All you need to do is to tweet the infographic from your account. This would typically generate about 25 or more re-tweets, and those re-tweets would generate further tweets. It’s like a chain reaction that will give you an extra 200 tweets or more!
This may not be an entirely new marketing strategy (in fact, a lot of people have been doing this for years), but it’s been so effective that we’re considering applying it more often on our articles. Remember that Google’s algorithms tend to index infographics quickly and this will help your page rank higher. On the flipside, Google is always tweaking its algorithm. This is why you need to present useful, top-notch information that engages your readers.
Encourage your staff to promote your social media profiles
Whether you’re running your own company or you work for one, there’s a huge chance you’re working with other people. It may be tempting to do everything yourself, including social media, but hey, why not make it a collaborative effort instead?
You might not realize it, but your employees may already be using a number of social media sites that could be well-placed to help manage your online networking.
Get your employees who are using social media to your advantage. However, you need to make sure you provide them with guidelines and support to ensure that their time is used wisely and your company’s reputation is not put at risk.
For example, you can ask your partners and/or employees to mention your company’s @username within their Twitter profiles. You can also do the same with your Facebook Pages. If it’s not too much to ask, let every person in your team or company join them. Besides, they’re more likely to Like a Page that comes from the company they work for instead of liking a random Page or a piece of content.
Doing so can help increase your engagement-per-fan ratio, allowing more people to see your company’s content within their News Feed. It’s so effective that it could generate more than 15% more visits from Facebook, which is already great, especially if you’re managing a small team or running a small business.
You can also consider letting your employees handle your company’s social profiles. You can start by assessing their social media skills. Some of them may already have a vast network of contacts and are already familiar with particular websites.
However, allowing them to mix their personal and professional profiles inappropriately could be detrimental to your business. For that, you can request your employees to set up new social profiles or nominate someone from your team to set up and manage a profile for your company or business. As mentioned earlier, you need to provide your employees with clear guidelines and a set of objectives like monitoring customer feedback. But as much as possible, you have to avoid unnecessarily restricting them with a formal social media policy.
Personality is important in online business networking, so your employees should be able to use their social media experience to define your company’s style and approach. Having clear objectives will also allow your employees to give out the right information to the right people in their contacts list.
On the other hand, not everyone has sufficient expertise in social networking. In this case, you might consider providing basic training to your staff. Keep in mind, however, that a day’s worth of external workshop on using social media could cost you between $300 and $600 per person.
As an employer, you need to understand the skills each of your employees already possess. You can then guide them towards engaging in a way that matches your brand.
Once the whole team is set to promote your brand through social media, make sure to review your staff’s social media use on a regular basis. Take note that the time an employee spends using social media at work should have value for your business. So depending on your objective, you need to closely monitor the speed of the company’s response to customers. You can also use analytics to assess the number of people who click through your site.
Nowadays, a lot of business tasks can be done through social media. Small businesses use them to network and to get referrals. On top of these, social media can be used to monitor their brand, optimize website visits, generate sales, and set themselves up as industry leaders.
If spending a lot of time on social media is not working out for your team, you should at least have a presence in various social media sites so you and your team can monitor risks to your company’s reputation or take advantage of any PR opportunities.
Use influencers to reach out to your brand’s owned audience
A lot of companies don’t spend a lot of time reaching out to top influencers in their niche or industry for marketing purposes. However, these individuals (usually bloggers or social media users with greater reach among consumers) still have a significant presence in the marketplace. Influencers are important to bloggers and marketers because they have the ability to spread the word about products or services they believe in.
Okay, so let’s say you’re good at creating high-quality content that’s worth sharing. The sad part is that it could be hard to attract attention based on content alone, especially when there are millions of new pieces of online content that pop up every single day. A good piece of content could even take you a couple of years to gain a large audience, and most of us don’t have the luxury of waiting. This is where influencers come into play.
The most talented influencers can have a huge impact on brand loyalty. With social media, it’s becoming a lot easier for companies, businesses, and individuals to find and work with influencers who can help create and share branded content on their behalf. They even come with their own audiences!
If you’re interested in playing this game, you must find the right influencers first. While there are a lot of agencies that specialize in pairing influencers with brands (i.e. Traackr and Followerwonk), Googling, combined with a good gut feeling, can also provide desirable results.
Influencers are those with the most popular blogs and the most followers on social media sites. While the numbers are important, you need common sense to decide if this or that particular influencer feels like the perfect partner for you. He may have lots of followers, but is he actually interacting with the community consistently? Does he share the same passion as you do? Will his voice fit your brand?
Really, there are a lot of things to consider.
Once you’ve found “The One”, you need to do a little bit of romancing. A personalized email will do the trick, but for some people, it could take weeks or months of wooing. You can start introducing yourself by scheduling an interview for a future article or ask the person to speak at an event in your company. Others would organize an informal influencer-only event, like a blogger soiree for a product launch. You can also drop comments and compliments on their posts and retweet their content. For some, it might take a bit of monetary compensation. You just have to be friendly and creative.
But the best strategy is quite simple. You just need to have a clear strategy. Invite the influencer on a conversation and decide together how the partnership can benefit both parties. Setting goals should also be part of your strategy. Do you want to boost your brand’s online presence? Do you want to promote and sell a product? Decide how you can best reach this goal together.
Once you’ve gained the influencer’s trust, it’s time for a one-on-one interview. Get their feedback on an issue, and then publish a powerful, game-changing blog post or article complete with their opinions, suggestions, advice, etc. Watch as you get more social shares than ever before.
Once you’ve published your post, make sure you email the influencer or all of the participants, and then ask them to share your post on various social media sites. Make it easy for them by providing suggestions on what to tweet or share on Facebook.
If you have money to spare, consider buying StumbleUpon ads, which is at around $100. This will help you generate more traffic to your post and cause people to click through to the influencer’s website. Your site will also show up as a “referrer” in their analytics. This will prompt influencers to share your post on social media further.
Leveraging influencers is not rocket science, although it really is time consuming. The good news is that a top influencer with thousands of followers may not cost you anything at all.
These simple tips and tricks to driving more website traffic have helped me in many different ways. I hope they’ll also become part of your marketing strategy because they do work. As you can see, these strategies don’t require you to hire a professional (i.e. a web developer), so you should be able to do them on your own (or perhaps with the help of your employees).
Give them a shot, and let me know how you’re doing. If you’re having a difficult time getting the results you want, feel free to drop a comment below, and we’ll be glad to help you out.
What other social media tricks do you have up your sleeve?