Social traffic strategy is a very important component of any online marketing strategy. Many newcomers to online marketing spend a great deal of time worrying about their website not getting traffic. Instead of utilizing free, powerful social platforms where their niche audience hang out, they’re frantically attempting to outrank their competitors with SEO (search engine optimization). There’s an easier way to get traffic to a business website.
Building a Social Traffic Strategy
Instead of ignoring social media sites teaming with consumers, make sure you add social media marketing to your website traffic generation strategy. It’s okay (and very smart) to ensure your website is optimized to compete, but keep in mind that social marketing has become one of the easiest, most cost effective and fastest ways to build an online business.
I don’t know about you, but I can barely remember what the Internet was like before social sites took root. Early on there were forums, but while forums were great for sharing tips, they limited how much marketers could build trust and gain the loyalty of their audience. Consumers like to feel they know you, and when you letting them engage with you on social media, it helps you overcome the automatic skepticism some people have to anyone selling to them online.
Social media has evolved to the point where you can share a mix of your personal life (whatever you feel comfortable with) with your business dealings and you can do it in a wide variety of media formats – including text, images, audio and video. Social media platforms are built specifically to network with friends and family, share photos and opinions – and get to know people on a whole different level. Take advantage of this network to build a social traffic strategy.
Basic Benefits of Social Media
- What you share on social media has the potential to go viral, and that can be anything from being shared among your immediate circle of friends to being publicly shared with thousands of people you don’t even know.
- You can engage with individuals you’re connected to or lead entire groups on these social networks. This is a great alternative to more sterile threads on forums that used to be your only option. These are great benefits.
- Another great aspect of social media platforms is that they often have a way for you to level up with your usage of them. You can become a verified user, you can use a variety of types of tools on the platform, like live streams or pages and groups – and you can also invest in some of their paid programs, like advertising in the stream of your target audience.
Cautions of Social Media
- What you share on social media also has the potential to go viral, and that can be anything from being shared among your immediate circle of friends to being publicly shared with thousands of people you don’t even know. Sound familiar? Just be careful about what you share.
- Be cautious that you don’t rely on social media sites to do all of your online business. Keep in mind that while you may have a presence there, you don’t own the virtual real estate. At any moment you could be banned, the site could go down, or the entire company could get sold or go under, as has happened in the past.
Find the Right Social Sites for Your Business’ Social Traffic Strategy
There are so many different social sites right now with more launching every day, so this poses an important question: Which one(s) should your business be on?
Obviously, you don’t want to choose sites that have very few potential buyers and subscribers for your products or services – even if those are sites or apps you typically enjoy for your personal life. It would be a waste of time trying to implement a social traffic strategy where there is little to no interest in your products or services. The solution is to find out where your potential customers are spending their spare time and be there.
When you go on any social site, look for groups or people who are discussing topics that are relevant to what you offer. Whether it’s weight loss or kitchen gadgets or even golf – you should be able to get an idea of how popular the topic is on that platform.
Facebook is great for a variety of posting and media formats. You can share text-based posts, images, videos, live stream and even post a different link (or even more than one link) in each post.
You have personal profiles, pages, and groups. When you’re using sites like Facebook, you may want to join groups and participate (that does not mean spamming links to your site, but being helpful for branding and being known as an expert). You might even want to start your own group as well.
These platforms have people interested in all sorts of topics, from golf to weight loss to gardening and more. However, many of the younger people don’t use the site, even if they have a presence on it. So if you’re targeting a 30+ age group, you’ll find it better here.
Instagram is a site that was primarily rooted in images, but you get to post some text with it and now you can get great social traffic by posting videos or live stream from the site, too. The drawback for this site is that you can’t include live links, just one in your bio, so make sure you’re sending followers to a lead magnet page so you can market to them later. (Sept 2021 Update: Instagram just rolled out some live link capability for accounts!)
This is a site that’s popular with younger crowds, and there are all kinds of niches on it – from beauty and anti-aging to fashion, weight loss and more. You’ll want to master your visual skills to entice people to follow you here.
Twitter and Parler
Twitter and Parler are similar in terms of their layout and how they’re used. While they’re not great for many niche markets, one thing people do share are links to informative products, so if you have a lead magnet, you can generate traffic to it here and you can use text, images and video on these sites.
Snapchat is one of the more youth-driven social platforms, but it’s not reserved for just that demographic. This is a site where you can use images and videos to build a rapport with your audience, and people can search according to topic to find your business or may be shown your account on their stories page as suggestions for them to follow.
Tik Tok is similar to Snapchat, but with much more viral ability. Users have a “for you” page where they’re shown content that they’ve proven to show an interest in. There are all kinds of topics here, like weight loss, gardening, making money, cooking, arts and crafts and more.
YouTube, Vimeo or Rumble
YouTube, Vimeo or Rumble have almost every niche you can imaging shown on them. These are video sites, so you can grab an account (and later level up to paid options if you want).
With video sites, not only can you generate social traffic to your own site, but you can build a subscriber base right there and you can embed the content back on your own blog, to add a multilayered approach to your media formats.
Anchor is an audio podcast site. It’s free, and not only will they share your podcast with their users, but they will go out and spread your recordings on other podcasting platforms if you want them to.
VSCO is an aesthetic type of image-based site. If you have a niche like self care, fashion, beauty, anti aging or something like this, VSCO is a great viral way to brand your site. Make sure you have your URL on the images that you share there.
Pinterest is a highly popular image site that is used for all kinds of niches. Many marketers join group boards to increase their free traffic abilities, but you can even do it solo using simple templates you get free on Canva to make your Pins stand out.
Social Media Profile Tips to Help You Stand Out
Some small business owners get on social media and never understand why it’s not working for them. Often, part of the reason is because they overlooked properly setting up their profile. Your profile is what represents you on these platforms, so make sure you do it right from the very beginning.
- First, make sure you fill it out fully. If there’s a spot for a website, add your lead magnet page there. If it asks what books you like to read, put a few in there – preferably those related to your niche topic. Whenever you start networking in online groups or engaging with people on social media platforms, one of the first things they’ll do is click on your profile page to see what you’re all about. If it’s empty, it doesn’t go far to establish trust.
- Add links wherever possible to your lead page – not only in your profile, but also in your About section, branded on your images and in your videos, and more. You always want to be driving traffic to where you’re building your business’s mailing list.
- Have a personal profile picture. Don’t make the mistake of using something like an object or even a cartoon picture of yourself. That may make you feel more comfortable, but it does nothing to inspire trust with your audience. And cats, as cute as they are, don’t belong here either. If you want to be taken seriously, include a head shot. People do business with people they know and recognize. Customers want to put a face to the name and know who they’re dealing with when it comes to spending money online. There’s an extra level of trust required for Internet sales that is easier to overcome when you’re standing in an offline store interacting with people who represent the company.
- Consider keeping some things private. If you’re using social media for business, then you may not want to include groups that you belong to which might be controversial or alienate your followers. Avoid public posts on politics, religion and controversial topics – keep those for your inner circle. You also may want to make your friends list hidden so your competitors can’t siphon off your target audience.
Engage Your Audience with Value and Teasers
As a consumer yourself, when you’re given something amazing for free, you’re shocked. You start imagining what that person or company sells, if their freebie is incredibly valuable.
That’s why it’s important for you to always show up to serve your audience for free on social media platforms and over-deliver when you do it.
Let’s say someone asks a question about your niche. Many marketers will simply reply to the person with a link to their product. Instead of looking for opportunities to make a quick buck, give a thoughtful answer and then send them to a free download you have that might help them (and subsequently get them on your mailing list).
If you’re worried about wasting time on social sites, understand that when you go onto these platforms with an intention to help, it means you stay focused and look for opportunities to engage. You’re not scrolling through a feed arguing with someone about politics or getting sidetracked by a discussion on whether heirloom tomatoes are really more healthy. You’re intentional with your time, and it helps you make significant progress with your list building efforts.
The key is to have a goal – maybe to engage with and help 2-5 people, and then do that and exit the site to complete your work for the day. You can always go back to immerse yourself in the tomato talk when the day is done, but not before then.
Teasers are a smart way to drive traffic to your site using social media. They are very popular posts that pique the curiosity of an audience without giving everything away, but instead giving people a link to discover the secret or truth.
What works so well with this approach is that engagement hypes up your audience. When people start sharing and commenting, others do the same. The social proof gains momentum and your traffic increases.
Make sure you’re participating on competitors’ accounts, too. You can add comments and tips, and respond to their posts. On YouTube, people make response videos. On TikTok, they do what’s called a Duet, where the screen splits and the person responds to the other, original person and it tags them in it. Never go after the competition’s customers by offering products or services; but answer or augment a response with useful information. If the customer is interested, they will seek you or your business out themselves.
Leveraging Multi Media on Social Sites for your Social Traffic Strategy
- Text is an amazing and the most common way of sharing information on social media sites. Even on YouTube videos, text is strategically placed on the screen as well as in the description area.
- You want to work on making sure your text-based content is written almost like copy – short and to the point, with a call to action at the end. Don’t ramble because the attention span of your readers is short, and you’re competing with others right above or below you in their feed.
- Images work very well on social platforms. They stand out in a feed full of text. You can use static images or gifs that are animated, depending on the niche. Try to brand your images with your URL and/or name.
- Audio files aren’t shared as often on some social platforms, but they do work and more people should utilize them as part of a social traffic strategy. Again, brand your name and URL in them and keep them short – to 10 minutes or so in length.
- People like to listen to things like tips or strategy when they’re multitasking. For example, maybe they need to pick their kids up from school or clean house and they know they need to be working. This helps them feel productive if they can listen to something helpful while doing a mindless task.
- Video (including live stream) is a powerful tool on social media. It helps people get to know you better, even if you’re not shooting a headshot and are only using a PowerPoint or Canva presentation and screen recording instead.
- Whenever possible, allow others to have the ability to embed your videos into their site or share them on social media sites. As long as you’re branding your name and URL, you won’t be losing followers – you’ll be gaining them.
For someone who is new to the online world of marketing, expenses can add up really quickly. Knowing that social media gives you a level playing field where you can compete with top experts all around the world is comforting and should motivate and inspire you to use it consistently for generating traffic and building a list of loyal followers.
Social Media Marketing