When I recently started my blog, I was excited about getting my content out on social media platforms, but I didn’t know the first thing about what would work best and how to drive traffic towards my site.
I didn’t really have a strategy and until recently, had very small following on social media. I read a lot of articles on best practice and would like to share you how I used social media effectively to move from 170 hits to my site a week, to 1500 after only 2 weeks.
- This may sound an obvious one, but make sure you have social icons included on your website, so that people can share, tweet and pin what they read.
- Set up a social media pages that are separate from your normal accounts so that you can keep your followers in one place. Not all of your friends will follow or appreciate your content, so try and keep this separate, otherwise you could be in danger of spamming your friends.
- Use hashtags on twitter to target your content to relevant readers. You can see from your Twitter profile, the topics that are trending or you could use a website called hastagify me which will help you find the top trending hashtags and influencers in your niche. Try not to use more than 2 hashtags on Twitter, as many as you want on instagram and none on Facebook. Click here to learn more about using hashtags.
- Schedule your posts to go out at certain times of the day. Different social media platforms are more effective at different times of the day, so you need to know when to post to get the most engagement. Download a cheat sheet to learn the best times to schedule your posts. There are a number of sites such as Hootsuite and Buffer, that will schedule your posts to social media (so that you don’t have to remember to do it.) I often write my blog posts late at night, but that wouldn’t be a particularly useful time to post them on social media as everyone will be in bed. (You want to be top of their newsfeed)
- Create lots of visual content for your posts, so that they are attractive to your followers and create a ‘call to action’. Photos, graphics and media generate more traffic to your blog. You can use programs such as Canva or Mintswift to generate your pretty pictures. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network especially for bloggers, so if you haven’t joined Pinterest, you need to become an expert quickly.
- To make sure your content goes viral you need to have a strategy. Marketing your site on social media is serious business and you will need to know what works best and what will annoy your followers. For example, if you send too many posts, people will start to unfriend or unfollow you. You can find some useful tips with this useful checklist. You can also use websites such as Buzzsumo and Post Planner to see what type of content is most likely to go viral.
- Follow some retweet accounts on Twitter. Retweet accounts are pages that have a high following, and will retweet your content to their thousands of followers. They are there to help you out. I find @UKBloggers1, @wetweetblogs, @globalblogging and @bloggingblast the most useful.
- Join groups on Facebook. There are many groups on Facebook that are there to support bloggers. You can share your blog posts, social media accounts and get loads of advice. You also get to ‘virtually meet’ some great people and get to read some great blogs which may provide you with some information and ideas. Suzie Speaks is a fantastic blog and last weekend I joined her Social Saturday and SundayBlogShare hashtags and received 400 hits on my site on Sunday alone.
- Don’t just post and leave. Try to tell a story and introduce your post. Also you will learn really quickly that the best way to drive traffic is to spend more time reading and engaging with other people’s posts than promoting your own. People like receiving comments and likes, and if you start to build a relationship, they are more likely to be interested in your content too. However I would advise not to follow people for the sake of following. Make sure you are really interested in their content, otherwise they are just dormant followers.
- Join as many social media platforms as you can, aside from the most popular Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I have had some great success with StumbleUpon and Reddit. Elena Peters runs a really successful blog where you can learn more useful information on integration of social media accounts to your site, and she is also very successful on Pinterest.
There are many other secrets and resources out there to help you and I am only 2 months into my blog, but I am really happy to answer any questions about my experiences so far.