We all know the top traffic generating social media networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.), but there are so many other social networks out there that are sometimes better targeted and can bring in huge amounts of traffic to your website. These social networks may have much less users than Facebook, for example, and that’s why many of them are usually forgotten by marketers, so I wanted to highlight a couple of the best smaller sites and explain why I think they are such great traffic generating tools.
As I’ve said earlier, some of the smaller social networks are much better targeted than the big ones, particularly because their users share very similar traits and/or they are united by common interests. In other cases, some of the smaller social networks bring in lots of traffic to websites because they are designed that way (such as StumbleUpon and even Reddit). Either way, before you start your social media strategy, you should make sure that you look at all the social networks out there. Facebook might bring in the most traffic for a great majority of brands, but it might be that one of the smaller networks could bring you more traffic because that is where your audience is.
You might be surprised at the number of social networks out there. And many of them have quite a few users. Some of them are very specific: Ravelry, for example, is a social network that unites 2 million knitters and crocheters from all over the world. If you are a writer or book publisher, you will find a great deal of your audience on Goodreads. There is something for everyone – and that is the beauty of the world wide web.
Reddit is one of the most popular social news websites, with over 43 million users and 37 billion page views (up from 2 billion just one year ago!). It is the 4th best traffic generating social media website, right after Facebook, StumbleUpon and Youtube, in that order. Reddit has very avid fans that visit the website on a regular basis, even multiple times a day to get their daily fix of interesting news and funny memes.
Reddit is a user generated social media platform, where registered users can post any type of content they like (news, articles, photos, videos etc.) and other users vote ‘up’ and ‘down’, which then determines the posts’ position and rank within the website. The greatest ‘honor’ is to get on Reddit’s Front Page, which is almost guaranteed to get you lots of traffic to your website. But how do you get there?
Of course everybody aims to create great content for their website or blog, but Reddit requires a bit more than just great content. What will get redditers to vote ‘up’ is content that is not only interesting and engaging, but also content that is viral in its nature. It can be interesting, funny or simply strange, it doesn’t matter – what does matter is that it has that hard-to-define ‘viral’ quality to it.
Be a part of the community
If you want other users to like you, to comment on your posts and to vote them ‘up’, try to be one of them and be a part of the community. Get involved by following other users, voting people’s content and by commenting regularly on other people’s stories, pictures etc. This might not boost your traffic directly, but it will help you establish relationships with other users which will in turn help you get indirect traffic. By doing this, you will not only boost your traffic, but will also probably get some regular visitors to your website/blog.
Check out the numerous subreddits. Subreddits are basically sub-divisions of Reddit that focus on a particular subject, such as world news, gaming or politics. There are thousands of different subreddits, so the options are extremely varied. Chances are any business can find a subreddit related to it or the product it sells. This makes it easier for businesses to post something on the websites’ subreddits and reach their audience and therefore boost traffic to their website. For more information, check out the complete guide to subreddits on this blog.
If you want to advertise to Reddit’s 43 million users, than you can try online advertising and sponsored links. Considering the amount of users Reddit has and the fact that it has so many and such varied subreddits, advertising on the popular social news website would bring in lots of traffic, as it could be very well targeted.
Digg is another extremely popular social news and bookmarking website and is also a great traffic generator – it is the 7th best traffic generating social network. Although it is relatively similar to Reddit, the main difference between the two social networks is that Digg focuses only on interesting stories and articles, and no memes and funny videos, while on Reddit you will probably find something regarding anything you can think of, no matter how niche or strange it is.
The way you can generate traffic from Digg is quite similar to Reddit as well. There are only minor differences in the ways the two popular websites work. One of the main differences is that Digg decided to drop advertising completely when the new website was launched last year, as they don’t want to “disrupt or detract from the user experience” (Digg).
So how do you generate traffic from Digg? The way it works, as I mentioned earlier is almost identical to Reddit:
Get on the Top News page
Just like with Reddit, Digg has a Top News page where only the best stories can be seen. Once a ‘digger’ submits an article on Digg, it will show on the “Upcoming articles” page. From there, other users can choose to either “digg”, “bury” or just ignore the article, which determines what stories get on the Top News page. Whenever someone clicks on an article, it goes right to the original website. So if your article is on the Top News page, you can expect to see lots of traffic to your website. Of course, not just any article can get on the Top News page – it has to be interesting, relevant and engaging to capture other diggers’ imaginations!
Become part of the community
As with Reddit, it is essential to try to become a member of the diggers’ community. It’s not enough to just follow people, you also have to engage and establish relationships with them. You can do this easily by posting, digging and commenting regularly, and by challenging different users to discussions. If you do this, you might make friends that will later help you by digging your articles and get you on the Top News page.
Just like Reddit has subreddits, so does Digg have subcategories. Explore them and you might just find your audience, which will lead to lots of traffic (if you have great content, of course) because it is well targeted.
It’s not an easy job getting traffic to your website. That’s why it is important to be inventive and think out of the box when using social media. Everybody else uses Facebook and Twitter to attract traffic – so why not try some of the less known social networks and get an edge over the competition?