The following is a guest post by Ann Smarty. Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com as well as the founder of MyBlogU.com. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for 10 years, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable.
Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of regular Twitter chats #vcbuzz and #myblogu
Social media is an effective way to build connections and make friends.
It is not so easy when it comes to promoting your content with social media traffic, especially if you are not paying for ads.
How much traffic are you generating from social media? Would you like to increase that number?
Then read on.
Find Your Uniqueness
Don’t try to implement the same marketing strategies big names are using. They have marketing experts and whole teams of creative minds behind content and social media marketing campaigns and they obviously can afford to go big.
What you need to do is to narrow down the focus of your marketing strategy to amplify its impact. Your small or home-based business brand needs to be focused solely on its particular niche. If you promote your business by highlighting its uniqueness, you’ll tempt more people into considering doing business with you:
- Tell your story on why you started your site and/or your business. Be sincere and authentic. Nothing can replace telling the truth, even in marketing.
- Talk about your unique experience. Have you figured out a way to work from home while taking care of your baby? Talk about how you did that. Open up about the mistakes you’d try to avoid if you were to do that again.
- Focus on what you are good at? Don’t try to be an expert in everything. Instead, find your narrow specialization and get known by doing it well.
Above all else – you need to have a good story to tell. Make it different, make it interesting, make it personal.
Have Your Social Media Associated with Your Brand
People click links from people or sites they know and trust. As easy as that.
Your social media accounts should be branded and styled the way they can easily be associated with your brand.
Ideally, you want your social media profiles to be exactly the same as your main domain name, which is becoming very challenging but can still be done with apps like Namify that help you find a business name and instantly checks its availability on social media:
Check out their current selection of business names if you are going to launch a new site any time soon.
Keep yourself updated on trend-worthy topics and keep updating content. If not, provide valuable links that capture someone’s attention. Be persuasive, knowledgeable, and brief in your tweets! That is what matters.
Also, if your content is generic or non-actionable it leaves little reason for your audiences to act or share it with their network.
Make sure your title tag and meta description are interesting and engaging as these are often used for a social media snippet when anyone shares your content.
Start creating content that prompts your audience to take action, i.e. comment, vote, etc. Publish surveys to engage your audience.
I have found conversational forms one of the most social-media-friendly ways to generate some interesting insights and engage your following in a conversation.
Start putting together native polls. Both Twitter and Facebook allow you to create poll updates. You can also poll your Instagram followers right inside a story:
To find interesting topics to poll your followers, try Text Optimizer that shows popular questions on any topic:
Post a Lot of Visual Content
After analyzing more than 1,000,000 pieces of content, BuzzSumo determined that the average piece of content gets only 8 shares.
One of the factors is promotion needs to be a priority: Don’t produce more content than you are able to promote! Sharing takes time: You need to schedule, create polls and interactive content, find hashtags, do at least some outreach, etc. Don’t publish another article until you know you did your best with this one.
Another factor that contributes to low engagement is the lack of visuals. In fact, visual content (images, GIFs and videos) is much more likely to get shared and re-shared on social media.
Impactful visual content instantly catches the eye and hence, generates a lot of buzz and is perfect for creating a memorable brand. There are lots of stock photo sites you can use to create visuals for your on-site and social media content. Smart Photostock is the one I am using as it allows flexible licensing and doesn’t care if I use those photos for business purposes.
For your social marketing efforts to pay off you need to capitalize on who you know. Especially if your business is just getting off the ground, it’s important to connect and establish relationships with people that are in your industry and are great influencers.
Connecting with influencers is the easy part – the more time-consuming and difficult part is getting them to notice you.
You can achieve this by creating informative and relevant content they will find useful. Needless to say, good writing skills are essential, because a sound vocabulary, good knowledge of grammar, and flawless spelling will help your content shine through and get these influencers to share it with their extensive audience.
Tag People to Get Their Attention
Have you mentioned or interviewed an influencer in your content, make sure they know that: Credit them on social media.
The @ tag helps you add users to your tweets or other social media updates, or you can do it through the ‘via’ keyword. It’s a brilliant strategy as it helps you build connections and engage others directly. The more you use this symbol, the faster your community grows!
If you are hosting a webinar (or a live stream( and invite influencers to participate, keep tagging them in all your promo updates. There are lots of webinar platforms that allow both live streaming and social media promotion.
Online relationships won’t replace real-life ones any time soon, but that doesn’t give you the liberty of overlooking others’ efforts. If another business or person shares your content or mentions you, you need to reciprocate.
Acknowledge their contribution, comment on their posts, and spark a conversation to see what they thought about your content. Build relationships of trust and mutual giving that will eventually lead to the growth of your brand.
Keep a Close Eye on Industry News
Social media is all about trending content. You won’t get under the social media users’ radars if you only keep producing ever-green content.
LinkedIn offers a ‘Pulse’ section which is just great to stay in the loop and learn what top industry influencers are up to. The page basically collects posts contributed by major figures like Richard Branson and Bill Gates, as well as a number of sector influencers whose content is wildly popular on the network.
You’ll find all this knowledge categorized in smart sections – this way you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and gain access to valuable industry insights. Use this knowledge during the interview, and you’re bound to impress recruiters.
Twitter has a “What’s happening” section giving you a quick glimpse on what is hot at each hour of a day. It is also personalized to your tweeting and listening habits:
About Social Media Traffic
Generating traffic from social media is more than just posting a link to your social media profiles. You need to create visual and interactive content, create trending content and reach out to peers and influencers. Good luck!