Many people struggle to get a considerable amount of traffic from social media even if they invest a lot of time (and sometimes money) into this marketing channel. Clearly some of what seems obvious once you figured out how driving social traffic works is not so obvious when you are just starting out.
While situations differ, most of the time the main reasons are the same for most of them. And changing some of these errors may even be easy for you if you just knew about them.
Your traffic from social media is probably not going sky high from one day to the other, but the chances are good that if you sort out the basics that you will at least see some success – and a goal to work towards at the horizon.
1. You need an audience
This is easier said than done. And it may sound weird to start this list with this – if you had an audience you would not be reading this, would you? An audience is not going to guarantee you traffic. But if you share your posts with no one, no one will see what you are doing and certainly not be turning into traffic back to your site.
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I have written about attracting an audience before, so in this article, I am going to be very brief about this.
Finding the initial audience is the hardest. There are no followers who can help you spread the word, and you have to work to get noticed. That means you have to be active, comment on other people’s post, like their updates and follow some interesting people.
You can also pay some of the networks to get yourself and your updates in front of an audience – but be careful, without the right targeting this money can easily result in totally useless followers.
2. You need to connect
When you are starting out, no one knows you. You want yourself to become recognized, and you want to build your brand. And it is hard to connect and build a brand if all you are doing is talking to yourself on your social channels. There are multiple ways of actively getting on people’s radar and joining the conversation within your field of interest: Comment on other people’s posts, join chats, guest post. Simply keep in mind that your efforts should add value to the conversation; commenting on every blog post or social update you can find with “great post” is not going to help you. You need to invest a little more thought to make people want to talk to you and connect.
Many beginners struggle to find enough stuff to post about on social media. And that certainly is a challenge. And even if you spend hours per day to curate the best content to share with your audience, you will not gain traffic from that.
To get traffic from social media, you need to have a ton of valuable and helpful content on your website that you can share on your social media channels. One product description that you mix into your curated content is simply not going to cut it. Product descriptions and promotional content is not the best driver of traffic anyway. Still, many beginners wonder why they cannot attract a ton of visitors from social media by sharing their sales page over and over again.
4. You need the right content
I have seen Twitter accounts tweeting about soccer, beauty or family outings all day long while the owner of the account desperately tries to get the word out about his newfound consulting business. Even if a picture of your family gets more likes on Facebook than a coaching tip for your potential clients – it is not going to get you traffic to your site, and it is also not going to get you an audience from your target group.
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Social Media success is all about providing value to your target group. Only if you excel at that will that target group start listening to you and eventually visit the content you provide on your site.
5. You need to repurpose content
This is a misunderstanding that is easily made. You may even have a blog with a ton of great information on it. And you did share your posts on various social channels – once. That’s it.
Most of the time valuable content stays valuable for some time. If you are not writing about news all the time, your target audience will be interested in your information tomorrow, too. So why not share your content again?
There is nothing wrong with that.
The only thing you need to consider is that different social networks have different best practices concerning the re-posting of already posted content:
- Twitter is the best network for re-posting content. Most of the time only a small fraction of your followers will see your tweet. If you tweet the same content a few hours later a totally different part of your audience will see the tweet. Now, you should not repeat the same tweet every few hours and share nothing else. But if you share a large variety of updates it is acceptable to re-post your content after a few days.
- Facebook is a little more picky about re-posted content. The Facebook algorithm will notice that you already shared the content. Still, there is no problem with re-posting content a couple of days or weeks later.
- Pinterest tolerates repins and re-posts of content – if your audience reacts to your pins. If you do not get any likes or repins, you should not, again and again, repin the same stuff. But still, there is no problem in repinning some older content a couple of weeks later.
6. You need Share Buttons
Surprisingly enough this is one of the most common mistakes I see from rather advanced bloggers. The problem with this is, that even if you manage to get some readers to your content, these are highly unlikely to share your content with their network. This robs you of all chances of making your content spread.
Do you really expect your audience to copy the headline (or worse think of a post headline for themselves), copy the link, upload an image and share the content? I admit I rarely do that – no share buttons, no share from me.
7. You need Images
Apart from there being some social networks which have the ability to drive huge amounts of traffic which simply do not work at all without images (think of Pinterest), every other social network also will work much better for any content if you have an image to go with your post.
Tweets with images get 150% more retweets (According to Buffer)
It is easy enough to understand why this is so: Go to your Twitter feed and watch yourself: Which posts do you notice? The ones with images or the ones without?
8. You need to measure what works – and what does not
Many newbies to online marketing seem to believe that the need to monitor their efforts start when they have more traction. That is wrong. Every situation is different, and every target audience behaves in their own way. You need to monitor carefully what works and what does not, try out things and tweak them until they fit your needs.
If you do not measure your results – how can you even know what you should do or should not? How can you know where to put more effort (and money)? How can you ever scale if you have no clue what your results are?
Believe me, you do not want to go flying blind in social media marketing.
Far too often when once we figure out something we forget all the trials we faced and all the mistakes we made. When I started out on Twitter I had no clue – and I had it all wrong. Do not make the same fatal mistakes and wonder why all your efforts never get you anywhere near success. Get your basics right – it will pay off!
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