You have spent a lot of time, energy, and resources to get it right with your blog posts. Your blog is swarming with lots of high quality content, full of information and very educative. There’s just one thing – The posts have to be read by people. There has to be a constant flow of traffic to your blog, so readers can benefit from the valuable information that you are sharing. You need to also monetize your blog, earn enough money to keep you and the business going.
That is how important traffic is to your blog. Creating quality content for your blog is essential for retaining your visitors, but before that, there has to be a systematic way to attract these visitors. This is where a marketing strategy comes in, useful for attracting traffic to your blog. For your marketing strategy to be effective there is the need to explore all available networks, and employ the ones that offer maximum benefits.
For today’s marketing strategy to produce desired results, social media marketing should be accorded priority. The changing dynamics of relationship marketing show that most buying decisions are influenced by friends, connections, and followers in different social media networks.
Our connections also influence the kind of music we listen to, movies we watch, places we visit and to a large extent the sites we visit. A well-thought out social media marketing strategy can be built on this strength, and harnessed to earn the most coveted ‘traffic’.
It is not practically feasible to include every social media network into your marketing strategy. A minimum of 2 and maximum of 5 would be appropriate as your main social media marketing drivers. The next sections provide information to guide you in choosing the social media networks best for you.
What Social Media Networks Are Best?
Social media networks have witnessed unprecedented growth over the past decade, and they are still growing, while showing potential for more growth. New social networks are springing up on a monthly basis. Most of the social networks can be broadly categorized into 2 which are General social media networks and Niche social media networks.
The general social media networks are an all comers affair. You find all kinds of people posting all types of content. The most popular in this category is Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. While niche social media networks are focused in a particular field of endeavour, demography, institution, or profession. The most popular niche social network is LinkedIn.
There are actually no social media networks that are best by themselves. They have to be viewed from the perspective of what is needed. A blogger who writes on sports will focus on social media networks like Twitter where you have lots of sports enthusiasts. Same applies to a blogger on career or personal development, most of his social media advertising would be on LinkedIn.
When considering the best social media networks to use for driving traffic to your blog, there are basic considerations that will affect your decision. Let’s highlight some of the important ones.
I. Total number of users. Facebook boasts of more than 2 billion users on its platform, making it one of the social media networks with the best potential for generating traffic. A population like this can give your blog so much exposure, and generate traffic from around the world.
II. Identifying your target audience and where they are found in large numbers. Some social networks have features and functionalities that attract different categories of people. Being able to identify your targeted readers and where they congregate is a major consideration in choosing the best social media networks for your blog. Professionals are more likely found on LinkedIn, while users who are adapted to visuals can be found on Instagram and Pinterest.
To identify your target audience requires techniques and tools to help make accurate analysis. One of such techniques is the creation buyer personas of your ideal audience. A technology blog like TechCrunch would have buyer personas that include gadgets, startups, software developers, technology consultants, angel investors etc.
Having buyer personas gives a detailed profile of who your customers are. It reduces speculation, and improves your chances of success because your business decisions are based on credible information.
Information contained in buyer personas include demography, income range, buying pattern, educational background, location, buying behavior, motivations and goals. Research, questionnaires, and surveys are used to obtain information for creating buyer personas.
Social listening will help identify the best social networks for your niche. Talkwalker is a very effective social listening tool to help analyze traffic to know the kind of visitors to your blog
III. The ease of social sharing. Automation tools for you to share your blog posts on social network, and one-click buttons that make for easy sharing by readers of your blog! The availability of these tools helps to make your social media marketing easier to implement, and save you a lot of time.
IV. Available tools to help build followers and connections for your social media profiles! While the goal is to drive traffic from your social media accounts to your blog, your blog should also contribute to building your social media followers and connections. Your ideal social media network should offer automated tools to link your blog posts to your profile. With a click of the button from your blog post, a reader starts following your social media account.
The most popular social media networks come with most functionalities and features needed to drive traffic to your blog. These are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. A good social media marketing plan can focus on 2 of these and still achieve optimum results.
Promoting Traffic to Your Blog through Social Media Networks
We have narrowed the focus on social media networks to what I like to call the Fabulous Five. They are 5 of the most effective social media networks for driving traffic, if you can come up with a strategy that works.
Here are some vital tips for promoting traffic to your blog using any of the Fabulous Five:
There are big social networks, and there are BIG social media networks. Facebook is the biggest of them! With more than 2 billion users currently, Facebook is one of the most populous continents in the world.
Facebook offers personal accounts, creation of pages, groups, communities, events etc. Information in your profile page should be clear, reflect your business objective and should be linked to your blog URL. You can build your connections with these, and share blog posts through them. Videos tend to get the most useful engagement, and then content that has images and text.
After publishing your blog post, you can promote it on Facebook for more readership.
Steps to Take in Promoting Your Posts on Facebook
Step 1 – Share your posts in groups that are relevant or related to your niche. You can search for such groups from Facebook search and join as many as possible. Do not be spammy in sharing your posts. You don’t want to offend other members of the groups.
Step 2 – Message your friends, connections, page followers, group members, and urge them to share your posts on their timeline, page(s) and other groups they belong to.
Step 3 – Join niche groups and build your credibility there through contributing relevant content. Once people can trust your content, you will get more engagement on blog posts shared in the groups.
Step 4 – Create activities that help you grow your Facebook ‘likes’ and engagement with followers, giving you extra attention and the much needed traffic to your blog. You can run competitions or games that require ‘likes’ for participation, or ask questions with gifts for the first set of correct answers.
Step 5 – Paid Boost – Paid boost is the fastest way of reaching a larger audience and engaging them with your post. You can boost a post for as little as $5 and still reach the right audience through Facebook’s custom audience advertising. Narrow the boost to only include those who fit into a certain category or demography to reach.
Twitter is one of the best platforms to share blog posts URLs on. The limit on character length of each tweet makes it possible to add a few words, image, and or video to your tweet containing the post URL. Be sure the URL to your blog appears on your Twitter profile for easy access to visit your blog.
Twitter can give you lots of traction and using hashtags of your blog post keywords are a great way to get noticed from searches on Twitter.
Steps to take for promoting on Twitter
Step 1 – Find tweets of similar or relevant content and respond to them. You can find these tweets using Twitter search. Follow those who have more than 500 followers, reply to their tweets, and notify them that you have similar content that they may find valuable.
Step 2 – Send DM to those who have shared similar content. Ask if they will share your blog post, reminding them of similar posts they’ve shared in the past.
Step 3 – Ask those who have shared your tweet in the past to share the recent one.
LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals, business people, and companies. Members can network with each other by building connections, share posts, apply for jobs, and advertise their products and services. The premium account gives more features to holders.
You can share your posts on your LinkedIn profile page and in relevant groups you belong to. There are groups created for virtually all professions in the world and for all market niches that exist.
Joining the groups that are relevant to your blog is one of the first things to do. Contribute relevant content and information to improve your trustworthiness in the groups. For some of the groups, you can directly share posts into their main feed, while others maintain separate feeds for promotion and discussion.
As you share your posts in the different groups be sure to do it by their rules, and observe the responses to your posts from the different groups. Armed with this information you can then make informed decisions on which groups to focus on for maximum results.
LinkedIn offers sponsored content for users to pay and have their updates distributed to a larger audience within the LinkedIn network. The sponsored content shows up in a user’s news stream where your chances of engagement are greatly increased. You should always have your blog URL featured in these updates to drive traffic to your blog.
Having over 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram is a great source of traffic for visuals and consumer brands. You can connect other channels like Facebook and Twitter to your Instagram account and your blog web address for visitors wanting to know more about your brand.
You should use high quality images and videos for your Instagram posts. Content should include news updates, motivational and inspirational stories. Instagram stories are good for storytelling, announcing giveaways, offers, coupons and promotions. Make your posts interesting and fun, and always use relevant hashtags for your posts.
Canva is a great free tool for creating images for Instagram. There are lots of free Instagram templates that you can easily edit and post from your account.
Pinterest is an image sharing social network where images are used as visual explainers of thoughts, concepts, or projects. Some of the most popular topics are home decor, foods and drinks, DIY, and design.
High quality images tend to get more engagement. Designs with beautiful backgrounds and infographics for providing visual explanations of blog posts are good examples of image formats to use.
Pinterest is a unique network where users search for information on particular topics and inspirational content. Creating content to reflect the needs of users, and adding blog posts and URL is sure to increase your visibility and traffic to your blog.
Social media networks offer a great platform for bloggers to reach new people, engage their audience through relevant content, and drive more traffic to their blogs. Most social media networks are created for users to connect and share information among themselves; some are however different from the others in how information is shared in the networks.
An effective social media marketing plan should take all these into consideration, and produce a strategy that will give you the desired traffic. If you’re willing to learn more about how you can make the most of social media marketing, let me introduce you to a big online business community where and achieve great success in your business.