Why You’re Not Getting Traffic From Social Media

Why-Youre-Not-Getting-Traffic-From-Social-Media-V1 copy Many people are very quick to dismiss social media as a viable source of website traffic. There are lots of debates among marketers and business owners alike regarding the success of social media from this point of view. But social media works. It’s just a matter of doing it right and having the right content.

What does social media do for businesses?

Social media is not just about driving traffic to your website/blog, it has many other benefits: it builds your brands’ awareness (and reputation), it’s a great customer service management tool and it’s one of the easiest ways to engage with your customers. But lots of businesses, small or large, are mostly interested in traffic and some of them can’t always get it using social media. So why are you not seeing significant boosts in traffic from your social networks? Some people expect to see results instantly, but that is not what social media does. Social networking is a long-term endeavor, that brings results over time and with constant use – but once it does start bringing in traffic, it will do it on a constant basis. Your business will then be able to rely on social media as a constant source of traffic, so long as the other parameters involved are not changing, i.e. quality of content, frequency of engagement and other factors that are making your social networking successful.

Targeted following

One aspect of social media that people often disregard is the amount of time that it takes to build up a targeted list of followers and friends on their accounts. The key word here is targeted: building up large numbers of followers on Twitter, for example, is not very hard and can be done relatively quickly. But unless these followers are actually interested in your business and your content, they will not bring you in the traffic that you want and they will probably not turn into any strong leads, which after all is the goal of every business. It’s better to have 1000 followers that are genuinely interested in your business, than 15,000 “vanity” followers that don’t care about what you have to offer, and are only interested in raising their own numbers. There are so many Twitter users that have thousands of followers and that are following thousands in return, yet they have never tweeted at all! It’s very important to steer clear of these types of users, as they will not help you get better results. When people are interested, they will not only visit your website more often, but also engage more with you, ask you more questions and share your posts more often.

Content is king and consistency queen

Success on social media is all about content. Unless you are a constant provider of great content, you will not see any significant boosts in traffic from social networks. Great content can be anything – images, video or text, so long as it is interesting, relevant and preferably educational. There is so much content on the Internet, on any given subject, that without some stand-out content it is very hard to capture people’s imaginations and stand out from the crowd. But the hardest part is that you have to produce great content on a constant basis – and quite often, because people can move on very quickly. Some choose to produce as much content as they possibly can, often disregarding the quality. But this isn’t the best strategy - people will eventually catch on to the fact that you are not a constant source of relevant and interesting information. And they can very easily find someone else and stop checking your website altogether. Just like in classic marketing, in content marketing retaining a customer is better for business then looking for a new one.

How do you know your content is not really working?

  • Your posts get very few comments, or even none at all
  • Your posts only get few shares and retweets
  • You don’t get any messages from your readers saying how much they enjoyed your posts
  • It takes you a long time to come up with new blog post ideas
  • You look at others for inspiration, and find it hard to come up with original ideas.

So how can this be remedied?

  • Start by doing some market research, and find out what your audience really wants to learn more about. Not just what you think they might be interested in, but what they really want.
  • Make a content calendar. Write down the future dates when you want your posts to be up and think about possible blog post ideas and titles. This can be a real time saver!
  • Include calls-to-action and questions for your readers in every blog post. You can ask them politely to comment and share their opinions. This will help you get more comments on your blog, and this in turn brings in more traffic!
  • Look at other similar websites to see what type of content they have to get some inspiration, but don’t copy. Your readers will want to hear your voice and your opinions!

Have you made it easy for your readers?

An easy way to be more successful on social media and get more traffic is to install social sharing buttons for all the major social networks on every page of your blog. It’s very easy to do and requires minimal effort on your part – yet it can yield great results. Make sure you install them on every page of your website, as well as for every blog post, image or video so that people can follow and friend you and share your content on their profiles with the click of a button.

Are you paying enough attention to your website’s analytics?

Monitoring your website’s analytics can be a very powerful asset. With careful monitoring, you can find out what social network brings in the most traffic to your website, what content is most successful among your readers and generally learn more about your audience. With this information, you will then know what type of content your readers enjoy the most and what social network you should spend more time engaging on. You can also take a look at your competition to see what is working best for them. Since you are sharing mainly the same audience, you will be able to find out more about their readers and what they like and then apply that knowledge to your own social media strategies. Have you encountered difficulties with getting social media traffic to your website? If so, how did you overcome them? Please do leave a comment and share.

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

@lilachbullock

Co-Founder of @CommsAxis with @danpurvis. #Digital #marketing, #socialmedia & #content agency. Get in touch today! Proud mum. #Zumba Tweets are mine
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Lilach Bullock
Social Fresh West

Comments

  1. says

    Great article that is direct and to the point. This is information that needs to be more prevalent so that business owners will understand that social media is so much more than just a presence that requires thought and effort. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Thanks Lana, appreciate your great comment. I still think there is a huge learning curve for businesses to understand that social media is so much more than just having a presence. Hopefully we will start to see things shift in 2013 :)

  3. Lisa J. says

    Hi Lilach!
    Awesome article! You really hit on key points that are each to understand. I think a big problem with people is they give up to easily. As you pointed out, social media strategy takes time. Most people want something now and when they don’t see an end result fast, they give up.
    I agree that consistency is one of the most important things you can do and certainly having great content!

    Thanks again!
    Lisa

  4. says

    Thanks Lisa, I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    You’re right people do give up too easily. Everyone is looking for fast results when the reality is that it takes consistent planning before you can get results.

    Marketing hasn’t changed, it’s just evolving but the fundamentals stay the same:)

  5. says

    The “How do you know your content is not really working?” Is really hitting me. That was really true and it is hard if we just getting started. On my other blog, I don’t have that kind of problem, since I already build readership and my fellow bloggers like my article.

    But on a new blog, we can end up clueless, any advices to overcome this Lilach? Thanks before, for the answer and the great post :)

  6. says

    Thanks Tiyo and a very good question. Ironically I was training today and the same question came up as they’re creating a new blog and need to come up with content – but if you have nothing to measure against where do you start?

    I think the easiest way to overcome this is really put yourself in the mindset of your target audience – think about what they would like to read, to learn from, rather than what you think. One way is to be direct and ask, leverage Twitter and Facebook, create surveys/polls. Spend time researching other blogs that interest you in your niche and that you find value from and use that to inspire you.

  7. says

    Lilach, social media is a marathon and not a sprint. Although when I first started I thought I had to hurry and do all kinds of stuff right away! I like the fact that you mentioned consistency. Very important indeed!

  8. says

    Thanks for your comment Wade and very true. Social Media takes time to get results – building relationships, engagement, trust etc doesn’t happen overnight. As you say it’s a marathon :)

  9. says

    Loved it when you said – “Content is king and consistency queen”.

    It is so essential to be ‘consistent’ on Social Media otherwise you can get lost in this ocean.

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