When people ask about marketing their sites, one of the first things they want to know about is social media. How can they drive traffic to their site using Twitter and Facebook? Everyone else with a popular website seems to have this problem handled, but how can they cash in on the same phenomenon?
Well, if you’re already thinking about “cashing in,” you might be coming from the wrong perspective. There’s money to be made online for sure, but in order to get, you have to have something to give. These five ways to use social media to boost your traffic all focus on exactly that: finding ways to bring in more visitors when you start from a position of giving your audience a reason to show up in the first place. Here’s how to make sure they do in fact come – and actually stay.
1. Be sure that your content is “shareable.” What do we mean by shareable? It’s pretty simple, actually. If you’re running a blog, for example, you can easily upload an application that will place little social icons at the end of each post, encouraging your readers to share the link to Twitter, Facebook, and the like. This is one of the best ways to ensure that people really are sharing your content when they enjoy it – making it easier for them to do is all part of keeping things simple.
2. Keep your links simple. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of social sharing: you should have a simple link! Too many times you’ll come across newspaper websites, for example, that have a zillion folders before they get to the actual page title. This isn’t great-looking in a Facebook status update, and it just confuses the less web-ready amongst us. So ditch the long HTML addresses.
3. Create a place for your readers to follow your site socially. Don’t have a Twitter page? Then of course you aren’t going to get a lot of traffic from the Twitter-verse! You have to have a presence in the exact places you want to drive traffic from if you expect anyone there to find you. You’re not exactly going to attract a major Twitter following if no one can even find your page. Fan pages on Facebook work in similar ways.
4. Respond to your readers and customers from time to time. Interaction is at the heart of the modern social media craze, and people want to see interaction from you – or whoever’s running things at your site. Whether you have a blog or a store to run, be sure to interact with your customers on a regular basis so they know you’re thinking about them. They’ll also feel more important this way.
5. Optimize your content for social sharing. We talked about enabling the quick-click sharing of your articles and products, but what about smaller issues – like the thumbnail images that show up on Facebook when someone shares a link pointing at you? Try sharing one of your own links and seeing how it looks; if you notice any problems, fix them right away. This will make your site appear more professional.