How to build traffic to your website or blog with (non-traditional) social media
So, I’m sure you have heard by now since it’s 2016 and all: Content is King. I’m going to go ahead and say it again though. Content. Is. King. Though, I don’t mean it how the traditional digital marketers would be saying it. Most people are going to tell you content is king on your website to enhance the user experience. This is definitely important as well, but not what I’m talking about. To me, it’s more about the IDEA behind your content. The brightest idea will convert to the most user interaction.
Let’s get into that in a minute though. Let me explain what non-traditional social media is.
More traditional social media would be what a lot of marketers call the Big Three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The reason these are considered at this point more traditional social media is that as marketers, we’ve (for the most part) figured these out. We know what works, what doesn’t work, and how to build an audience.
What we’ll be covering today with non-traditional social media is sites like Reddit, Imgur, StumbleUpon, and Ycombinator (Hacker News). These social sites can drive more traffic to your website than you would imagine if you haven’t worked in them before.
So, let’s get back to my version of ‘content is king’ while using these websites. If you want to properly build traffic with sites like Reddit or Imgur, the most important thing is sharable content and how it relates to your website or brand. You need to build content specifically for these sites. Since they are community websites, you want to share content and information with the community that is going to be useful to them in a way that easily integrates with a reason for them to visit your site.
I did an experiment for this article on how to use these sites together to drive traffic.
So, one of the easiest things to do is combine Reddit with Imgur. Imgur is a picture sharing community while on Reddit you can share any content you want. What I did for this experiment was combine the two by sharing a photo on Imgur with the website as the caption of the photo, then shared the photo to Reddit after it got some “votes” (likes) in Imgur. As you can see below, this method works well.
So, this photo was shared with the link back to a photography client. When the post was first shared on Imgur, within about 2-3 minutes it had 13 points. To eliminate spam, I’ve omitted the submitter’s name and shared website.
At this point, once the photo got some ‘love’ on Imgur, I shared to Reddit. After about another 5-10 minutes, the photo began to get upvotes (or likes) on Reddit as well. 45 upvotes in less than 10 minutes.
This is usually a good sign. This is when you would combine traditional social media with your non-traditional social media. The next steps taken were to share the Reddit link over the photographer’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages (the Pinterest pin included the photo). This will help drive overall traffic to the Reddit post. That’s what you want. You want to bring everyone to the post on Reddit. The more upvotes on Reddit you get, the more traffic to the Imgur page you will get. This will result in overall traffic to your site. Following me?
Within an hour, this photo was on the front page of Reddit. Here are the results:
Within 1 hour the website traffic skyrocketed. Over 1400 people live on the website.
Within 24 hours:
Over 510,000 views on Imgur.
Over 4,500 Upvotes on Reddit.
With this type of exposure for a client with normally slow traffic movement, this got the blog post on his site maximum social exposure and also helps with Google exposure. Interactions from these sites help with Social Signals just like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn would do. The primary trick is going to be to really create your content with your audience in mind. This experiment was just an example of what can be done using these websites.
This doesn’t have to be photo content, either. Just so we’re clear. You can share your blog directly as well, but you want to make sure the content within your blog post has your readers in mind. If you’re creating a blog post about cats, don’t submit it to the dogs subreddit on Reddit. You want to share your content with the appropriate audience. This will give you maximum exposure. You won’t always have this exact success, either. It’s a learning experience. You should try multiple different types of shares and different content to see what works best for your brand.
A personal tip going forward:
Normally after I gain traction on Reddit, I will also share with Hacker News as long as the content is within the realm of technology. If it’s more visual content, I will share it on StumbleUpon and Digg. Hacker News is a great site to utilize as well since it has many feeds on other bookmarking and news sites such as paper.li, newsblur.com, newsvine.com, and more. This will help get your blog exposure if your post hits the first page of Hacker News.
Also, start utilizing your traditional social media for groups. Join groups that would be relatable to your brand and share your content within those groups while using the non-traditional social media sites. Sharing to a 3rd party site that links to your site will entice users to read if they don’t feel you’re just spamming your website.
That part is highly important. You don’t want to do anything spammy. You want to share your content seamlessly. If you’re going to utilize Reddit, share your content to Reddit and then share the Reddit post to your traditional social media groups. Build those social signals to your website with many shares through different channels rather than just posting your link on your Facebook page that likely no one will care to click.
A few tips on sharing on your traditional social media sites:
Use high conversion keywords
Just like you would optimize your website, you should be optimizing your social media posts. Throughout social media, certain keywords will entice engagement more than others. Here is the list of keywords as soon as socialmediaexplorer.com:
- Facebook – Where, When, Tell Us, Inspire, Submit, Deals, Discount, Warns, Amuses
- Twitter – Retweet, Follow, Social Media, New Blog Post, Check Out, Help, Top,
- LinkedIn – Created, Improved, Increased, Developed, Reduced, Researched
- Google+ – Share, Promote, Increase, Create, Discover
So, some people are still curious about Hashtags. What the purpose of them is, and when to use them. Hashtags are essentially (as the name puts it) tags for your post content. This will help users identify with what you’re sharing. This can also help your post be seen on the Trending lists of Facebook and Twitter if your content correlates with a trending topic. Use Hashtags when possible and your following will be shown your posts more frequently.
It’s very useful to use images and videos in your content when sharing on Social Media. On Facebook, your content is more likely to be shown to your followers if it includes a video or photo. The optimization of your posts is also highly important on Facebook. You want to use the proper image sizes and include the titles/descriptions of what you’re sharing. On Facebook, image and video posts on average earn about 40% more engagement.
Engage with your posts & followers
When you post something, if you’re getting engagement on that post, you should be engaging as well. On Facebook, if you notice that 3 people have commented on your post in the first 5 minutes, this is usually a good sign. It means a large portion of your audience is already being exposed to your content. You want to reply to people, continue to post comments and status updates for that specific piece of content and like their comments. On Twitter, tweet your fans back and thank them for sharing or for their input on your content.