CHAPTER 8 : Boost traffic with social media
Why social media?
Before your site is ranked on the first page in search results, social medium is your best bet to get your site noticed. Knowing how to boost traffic with social media is a vital step to earning money online.
Social mediums have become more and more important for businesses to connect in positive ways with people and the people who influence them. The objectives of using social media are to :
- increase the visibility of your brand
- build and cultivate personal and professional networks
- develop and strenghten relationships with customers and influencers
- engage in real-time two-way interaction with people, including answering queries
- publish and distribute contents to deliver your messages
- share curated links to relevant information that adds value to the lives of your customers
- communicate with your community of followers, advocates and supporters
- ultimately generate new leads and boost sales for your business.
Image! Image! Image!
Social media, by nature, is designed for visual content, and image based content attracts more engagement as compared to simple text based posts. To boost traffic using social media, image is a big part of the equation. These stats show the impact of visual content on different social networks :
- Image based posts attract 39% more engagement.
- Images receive 94% more +1s
- Animated GIFs receive 39% more +1s.
- Images based posts attract 98% more comments.
- Including images or videos can get you 200% more engagement as compared to simple text Tweets.
It is important that you know how to edit pictures or photos. Check out GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), a free, open-source, easy-to-use image editor. To learn how to use GIMP, watch the tutorial below (by Chris' Tutorials).
Connect with people's emotion, desire, curiosity or fear.
A lot of social media post (for business) failed to attract or drive traffic because the headlines they use are merely delivering messages. For example, a headline for a post about hand-phone cameras : Samsung Galaxy s7 improved camera specification. While there is nothing grammatically wrong with this headline but the following headline will drive more traffic : 5 tips to taking professional photographs with your hand-phone. Not many people want to know the specifications of a hand-phone camera, but many people will want to know how to take professional photographs with just their hand-phone cameras.
Another example, say you are writing about communication skills, you may write your headline like this : The art of communication. This headline will not drive a lot of traffic because it simply tells what the article is about, it doesn't tell the benefits of reading that article. A better headline will be something like this : How to be a popular student in school/university. To a lot of students, they are not interested in learning communication skills, but they are interested in becoming popular at school.
Here are some examples of good headlines :
- Your husband is not telling you something (emotion)
- How to look and feel sexy (desire)
- How a 16 year old girl made $500,000 a year (curiosity)
- 3 ways to avoid your child being kidnapped (fear)
Put a link to your post
Remember to put a link in your social media post directing visitors to your site or it wouldn't matter how attractive is your post because it will not drive any traffic to your site.
Ideal length of social media post
Scientific social media research shows that writing, tweeting, and posting at certain lengths has significant impact on engagement.
Twitter : Tweets are limited to 140 characters so they can be read easily, even via mobile text messages. There’s no magical length for a Tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate. A study of 100 well-known brands that are popular on Twitter shows that there is a spike in retweets among those in the 71-100 character range.
Facebook : Jeff Bullas found that ultra-short 40-character posts received 86% higher engagement than others, he measured engagement of posts, defined by "like" rate and comment rate. However, only about 5% of all Facebook posts have 40 or lesser characters. The more practical number is 80 characters, which received 66% higher engagement.
Google+ : To maximize the readability and appearance of your posts on Google+, you may want to keep your headline on one line., and not exceeding 60 characters.
Headline expert Bnonn cites usability research revealing we don’t only scan body text, we also scan headlines. We tend to absorb only the first three words and the last three words of a headline. If you want to maximize the chance that your entire headline gets read, keep your headline to six words.
For Google+ body text, a research found that the largest spike in engagement are at posts of 5 characters in length and the second-highest spike in posts of 442 characters.
Social Media 80/20 rule
You as a social media user will want to follow somebody who shares exciting information, crazy news, never heard before facts, trending issues, interesting gossips, etc. You will not want to follow someone who only shares content about his/her website, product or brand. So please don't make this mistake yourself.
The idea is to use just 20% of your content to promote your brand, and dedicate 80% to content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations. However, that 80% have to be relevant to your niche preferably.
20% of your content to promote your website
When you share the 20% of content that promotes your website or your product, you have to include information that benefits your audience. You have to make known how the information you share will benefit your readers. For example, you write about the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active smartphone:
- Display resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
- Powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
- Internal storage 32GB, an be expanded up to 200GB via a microSD card
- 12-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front shooter
- 4000mAh battery
You will see a lot of posts sharing information on product's technical specs like the above. But posts like this is not good at all because it failed to connect the technical specs to benefits. Personally I don't know if 1440 x 2560 pixels is considered good or not, I don't know what the heck is quad-core Qualcom Snapdragon, what can I do with 200GB extended storage, and how 4000mAH battery can benefit me. A better way to write your post is as below :
- Display resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels - Among the best screen display in the market
- Powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor - No more lagging while performing multiple task
- Internal storage 32GB, an be expanded up to 200GB via a microSD card - Store up to thousands of photos and videos
- 12-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel front shooter - Take sharp selfie pictures
- 4000mAh battery - 10 hours of normal usage, 7 hours of non-stop web browsing, 20 hours of continuous music
80% of interesting content that users will want to share
What does it mean by interesting content? Now just imagine you are logged on to Facebook. You are browsing through the posts, what kind of posts will make you stop browsing and read. Posts that made you spend a little more time are the ones that are interesting and caught your attention. However an interesting post to you may not be interesting to others. So what you have to do is to identify who your audience is and choose the right content.