I am sure you’ve heard a lot about the social media traffic. But you’ve never managed to actually accomplish the results that you desired. Perhaps you gave your Twitter account to your intern or cousin, but he didn’t really get the results you’ve expected from him.
So now you’ve decided to take the matter in your own hands, and learn a thing or two on how to become more popular on the social web. Here is a step by step process, that will guide you towards the increased social media popularity, and will explain you all the necessary steps required to get there.
Social Media Traffic Is Not An Auto Pilot Activity
There are numerous ways to attract visitors to newly found website or blog. But in order to attract the qualified visitors who will want to buy your products or sign up to mailing lists, you will actually need to drive contextually targeted visitors. People are actively out there, discussing the topics they feel passionate about. All of this communication is enabling your business to tap into the massive audience that is specifically interested in what you have to offer in terms of your expertise, knowledge potential and finally your products.
Being successful on social media means much more than putting your content in front of the people. It means creating relationships and moving your business fast forward from passively pushing content to actively engaging your audience. It’s a publisher paradigm in the business world. Our CORE business might not be publishing. But we as advertisers are immensely dependent on it.
Owning your niche
First step – Understanding and listening to your audience
In order to drive targeted traffic you need to understand your niche completely. As the saying would go: “You gotta be in it, to win it.” There are no shortcuts to this. You have to understand your potential client in order to win their hearts and attention.
The specialized term for listening is Social Media Monitoring. We as an agency use a range of free and paid tools to listen to what is going on on the web. Different platforms are monitored with different tools, such as: Google Alerts, Feedly, Trendy Buzz, Mention… There are numerous tools out there, but we just shared a popular few to give you an idea. When monitoring your audience, the first questions that you need to answer are:
- Where (is your audience spending their time on the web)?
- Who (is your audience)?
- How (are they interacting)?
- When (are they the most active)?
This process will enable you to understand the language that your niche is using, and identify who are the key players in your niche.
Second step – Where is your niche hanging out?
Once you know the fundamentals of the lingo, you can move on to the next step: going to the places where your targeted audience is hanging out. There are communities out there, that are facilitating the conversation around your topic of interest. Usually these places can be forums, blogs and social networks. Finding all these places is sometimes challenging. Here are some basic ideas.
- Active Facebook groups – When I say active, I mean that there is actual conversation going on there, not just URL link spam echo. If there is no conversation, you can be sure that there is no influence to be made.
- Google communities – These groups are still in it’s infant stages. From my experience groups up till 1000 members provide the most conversation and engagement value. They are also a bit easier to find, than Facebook groups.
- Twitter – Unlike groups, the conversation of Twitter model is vastly different and with it’s own set of rules. You will actually have to located non-spammed hashtags that facilitate the conversation. Most usual hashtags drive no traffic, as they are over flooded with URL’s and have 0 engagement.
- Niche social networks – There are numerous networks out there that are revolving around communities that relate to smaller audience. These can be valuable sources of traffic.
Third step – Working the groups
Now that you listen to your audience and talk their language, you spend time with them, you have to build the following. **The first DON’T is sharing your links religiously. This will categorize you as a marketer, and not a genuine member of the community.
Even though you might be a marketer, you need to facilitate interest in your content, before you can successfully promote it. You are there to showcase your expertise, build connections and generate trust. Once you do all of these, you will be able to drive some traffic, but never over-do it.
Instead of sharing your own links, make sure to share content from your peer bloggers. This way you get on their radar, and increase the likeliness of them sharing your stuff.
Once you acquire your audience, instead of just building your content, you also need to curate the content that other influencers are sharing. Finding what your readership finds most relevant is extremely important factor. For this purpose I’ve been using Google Reader. But since it’s going dead, now I am looking into RSS Alternatives. RSS is still the most viable option when it comes to content curation. This way you’re creating your own viable feed that helps you find interesting articles.
This way you’re providing a valuable service to the community. You’re giving them yet another reason to follow you. Also you’re increasing the likelihood of facilitating the conversation on your own platform, in return creating a community and increasing the value of your personal brand.
Social media takes work, and doesn’t let you automate things. Listening, communicating and building the audience is just a begging of moving towards integrating social media as a part of your social media efforts. Your business is about to compete with companies that have armies at their disposal. Luckily for you, this is an endless field in which we can leverage the gap created by new conversation venues.
You need to get engaged, your business depends on it.