The 5 Best Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website

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Today competition for traffic is fierce. Every day new bloggers join the flow of information competing to be found. Even if you have the advantage of already enjoying lots of visitors and page views, it is a brave web site owner that assumes that the success of yesterday will be automatically replayed forward into tomorrow. Audiences are smarter, and demand new, exciting insightful information in return for their attention. Since the ultimate goal is to secure their loyalty and custom a single visit can never be enough. To get a real return on your online investment in traffic generation you need to see increased sales or at the very least, lower bounce rates and a higher percentage of repeat visitors.

Fortunately, social media unlike SEO offers the versatility you need to keep your engagement fresh and alluring. However, it is important not to fall into the trap of believing that having a presence on social media is all that is required. To effectively use social media to drive traffic to your website it is important to consider the following:

1. Comments

If your online presence includes a website it is important that it provides a facility for capturing your users experiences. You will be surprised how many websites I come across that do not include the facility to leave comments. Perhaps the site owners are too scared of what might be said. Apart from the fact that you can moderate comments before they appear, even controversial comments are helpful as they will encourage others to leave their own opinions. If you are using WordPress, make the most of the available plugins where you can send an email notification to people who have registered with your site if they leave comments, thus encouraging them to come back. You can optimise this by using plugins that show alternative content on your site below comments so that your visitors will have the opportunity to explore more of your website, stay longer and get to know you better.

2. Expand your reach

Whilst it is important to be clear about which social media networks you have a presence on and why; you should also ensure that you do not unnecessarily limit your engagement to Facebook and Twitter. There are hundreds of social media networks leaving aside the big five (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Google+). If your audience is online, expanding your footprint to include more social media networks means that you can use your community to amplify your reach. However many social media platforms you decide to use, to get optimum traffic benefits they should be linked together. That is your community should be able to share your content between social media networks without leaving the platform they are on.

3. Be active and engaged

The operative word in the term social media is social. If you want to get people interested in you enough to visit your main online real estate, ie your website, you have to be first interested in them! The one thing that most business owners using social media don’t do is listen. When you listen you get insights into what your community’s concerns and worries are. You understand their problems better, which means you can be extremely accurate when it comes to providing the sort of information that will engage them and build strong lasting relationships. Remember you don’t want briefing encounters – i.e. a quick trip to your website and then off. You want long love affairs so that your community becomes your voice in the places where they are and you are not. That is they are amplifying your message and like the Pied Piper, they bring new followers back to your lair to share the experience.

4. Make Influential links

In the same way building solid relationships with your community members turns them into raving fans; building good mutually beneficial relationships with influential people helps convert them into your advocates. Everyone likes to be admired and complimented on their good work. Often we make the assumption that this is either not true of more influential, high profile people or that they hear it so often that they are unlikely to be interested in any feedback from you. In my experience this is not the case. Therefore identify a list of key influential people in your industry and engage with them. If you are genuine in your praise they will naturally want to find out about you too. Once you have built a relationship don’t be afraid to ask them to share your content with their community. They are unlikely to refuse if you have built genuine bonds and extra exposure will have a significant impact on your traffic.

5. Social media tools

There are a plethora of social media tools designed to make the job or spreading your content, connecting to the right people and driving traffic to your website easier. The one I want to mention at present is the RSS feed because it is often overlooked. RSS is a “set it and forget it way” to keep your community informed. Given that you have to be reasonably active online to sign up for a RSS feed, providing this facility on your website and using your social media to encourage your community to subscribe to it means that you can drive your more active users to your website whenever you have new information. Your more active community members are more likely to share your content.

Social media is a two way street. Traffic will only come to you if you first provide something of incredible value to your audience. Therefore create great content that has the viral effect and gets shared. Be creative and have a mixture of images/videos/podcasts/blogs etc. so that you appeal to a wider spectrum of tastes. Evidence shows that if you provide information that is useful, creates value and share your knowledge/expertise your audience are more likely to connect with you. However, above all be yourself and be likable and that way people will be attracted to you like a magnet.

About the Author:

Lilach Bullock

This monthly Social Media Traffic Generation column is contributed by Lilach Bullock. Lilach is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit and has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street with her presence. In a nutshell, she’s a hugely connected and highly influential serial entrepreneur – the embodiment of Digital Intelligence. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market, she actively leverages ethical online marketing for her clients and for Comms Axis. A business owner, social media consultant, internet mentor and genuine digital guru, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines. +Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock
This monthly Social Media Traffic Generation column is contributed by Lilach Bullock. Lilach is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit and has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street with her presence. In a nutshell, she’s a hugely connected and highly influential serial entrepreneur – the embodiment of Digital Intelligence. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market, she actively leverages ethical online marketing for her clients and for Comms Axis. A business owner, social media consultant, internet mentor and genuine digital guru, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines. +Lilach Bullock
Lilach Bullock
Social Fresh West

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Lilach !

    I see this a lot where new (and existing) bloggers try to emulate the Seth Godin blogging/social media model, by turning off comments etc.

    When you dont allow people to comment/share their views, then you are basically not allowing your content to go anywhere. For some reason people believe that starting a online brand/business is somehow different from building a offline one. In a offline business we seek people/customers who could be interested in our brand/business etc, we engage with those people and we try to be as authentically helpful as we can.

    • says

      Thanks Yaseen, appreciate your great feedback.

      I completely agree and it really saddens me when people turn of their comments or don’t approve your comment.

      I’m always surprised when people don’t apply the same approach in their online marketing as they’re offline marketing. The same principals apply, engaging, being transparent, offering value, being authentic etc. so why suddenly change tactics?

  2. says

    Thanks for the summary. I think many don’t want to approach it this way because certain steps cannot be automated. The problem is when did anybody ever “make it” without some actual effort.

    • says

      Thanks Joe:)

      There are a lot of automation tools in the marketplace and I’m a fan of many of them, the key is getting the balance right – so make sure that you also have the “real live” engagement too and not just rely on automation tools.

      You’re quite right, people don’t “make it” without hard work. It’s not easy out there, there is a lot of noise and you need to be heard. But then life wouldn’t be as interesting or fun if it was too easy:)

  3. says

    That was a good read.

    Indeed Social Media is often used in the wrong way. Most want to receive without giving but as you mentioned it is a two way traffic. I will keep your tips in mind when promoting my website.

    • says

      Thanks Inayat, pleased you found it useful.

      Social media is really a very subtle form of selling, in fact the less actual selling you do (via your updates/blogs etc.) the better results you will have. The more you give, the more you get back :)

  4. Pete Bohanna says

    I see that how I think of social media needs to change after reading ‘You want long love affairs so that your community becomes your voice in the places where they are and you are not.’

    Your writing is passionate and engaging… I like it.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your comment, much appreciated.

      If you’re looking for quality targeted traffic where people visit your site time and time again then building a community of loyal visitors who not only visit your site (and ultimately buy from you) but they in turn become your “marketing army” where they will recommend and share your content – which of course means even more traffic :)

  5. says

    I love what you say!

    Blogging, posting and responding on social media all takes time. Lots of it.

    Thankfully outsourcing tasks to freelancers works for many.

    How about you? What are your stories about outsourcing social media tasks?

    For me … three cheers for freelancers!

    • says

      Thanks Michael – you’re not wrong, social media does take a huge amount of time!

      To be honest I don’t outsource my own social media, although I do provide social media marketing for clients so basically provide an outsourcing service!

      I’m huge fan of outsourcing tasks though – I guess it’s all about working smarter not harder:)

    • says

      Thanks Kent – I agree :) Social media is about creating real relationships with your target audience online so that they know, like and trust you enough to find out how you can solve their problems.

      • says

        Hi Lilach, that’s the reason why I totally change the books that I read. Previously, I read a lot of books about social media. But now, I changed to read how to build relationship and most important how to communicate. One of the best book is Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People.

        One of the biggest changes is on Linkedin. Dale Carnegie tells that we need to talk to other people interest rather our interest. When I used this strategy, in very short time, I am able to develop a lot of genuine and long term relationship on Linkedin.

        When you have the right communication and relationship building skills, you don’t have to worry about social media marketing. :)

  6. Cata Marius says

    In the last hour i looked at more than 30 blogs about traffic and almost all of them have same techniques…..really no one can come with something new ?

  7. says

    I must say that I love that comment about outsourcing social media! To me, that is like sending another girl to date my husband on my behalf. Joking aside … You can outsource, as long as you have input into your social media content to ensure that it is personal and authentic to you and that it is congruent and consistent with your existing business exposure plans … .

    On the subject of driving traffic, here are a few additional suggestions:

    I think its important to think about the key words people would use when putting search terms into google, and then create a title around that, so that your URL string has the key words in it.

    As co-founder of Property Tribes, the U.K.’s busiest landlord and investor community (http://propertytribes.com), we also run themed months and ask people to write guest content for us with a link back to their website. When we publish it, they then distribute it into their networks.

    We also interview anyone and everyone in the world of property and these people share the videos into their networks and provide links back to our site.

    Stange but true … Many people do not know how to “share” content from social sites, so if you have a forum or blog, why not produce a short video or explanation showing people how to use the share buttons?

    Create strategic alliances with other non-conflicting sites of the shared interest, and link to each other.

    Create lots of one page “splash” pages with links back to your site.

    Use a free app like “CloudFlood” where people “pay” for an ebook or download with a ready made FaceBook or Twitter up-date linking back to your site.

    Run a competition on twitter with a ready made tweet to be sent as entry into a draw. The tweet contains a link back to your site.

    Such as:

    I’ve just entered a competition to win a year’s coaching with XXXXX.(link to website).

    I ran one recently where I got over 500 tweets sent out into lots of different people’s networks.

    I know these strategies deliver a tangible ROI because Property Tribes has become the busiest property community in the U.K. with a zero marketing budget. We built it solely through social interaction.

    I am sure I will think of some more …. ! :)

    • says

      Thanks for the comment and further advice Vanessa! The moderators usually don’t approve of links in comments, but you provided so much invaluable advice that yours got through ;-)

  8. says

    @nealSchaffer

    Thank you for the kind comment. :)

    If a link is used to illustrate a topic, validate a comment, or link to further relevant information then I believe it should be allowed.

    I personally respect that people are free to go wherever they like on the social web.

    If you liken it to a pub – people patronise various different pubs depending on their mood, who they want to social with etc.

    If you went into the pub, and they locked the doors and told you that you were not allowed to go anywhere else, then you might kick against that.

    The social web is, in its purest form, sharing stuff that gave value to you , that you hope others will get value from. I will often link to other forums if I think there is relevant information on them for our community.

  9. says

    Social media is a great way to drive traffic to a new or established website. But with so many social media outlets available, it is important to choose the platforms that best suit your business needs.

  10. says

    You first need to put in time and effort to build your following by providing relevant content on social media and not think too much about the benefits. In time, the benefits will become evident. But it is important to have realistic expectations and know that the ROI can take time.

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