Social media is obviously a powerful method for attracting visitors to a website or blog, drawing links, and for gaining exposure in general. For these reasons, there are huge numbers of bloggers using social media in attempt to get some of that traffic for themselves. However, only a small percentage are successful in creating long-term results with social media.
Many of the bloggers that are targeting social media haven’t adequately studied how the social media sites and their users work, and they’re simply submitting whatever content they post. As a result, most bloggers are irrelevant in the eyes of the social media users. If you’re hoping to improve the results that you’re seeing with social media and avid irrelevance, here are some tips.
Don’t Promote Every Post
Not every post you publish will be a good fit for social media. Those who are new to social media tend to just submit anything, but a post that’s not targeted to that audience is unlikely to have any success. Focus on only submitting and promoting your posts that are well-suited for social media and you’ll see better results.
There’s nothing wrong with having content that won’t do well with social media, it’s perfectly natural. Just take some time to study the content at various social media sites to see what typically does well and what does not.
Networking is one of the biggest keys for social media marketing. Most social media sites allow you to add “friends,” but that is really not what I’m referring to. Instead of having a huge friends list, it’s more productive to have a smaller number of other social media users who you know well. Networking involves much more than just adding someone as a friend. Get to know other bloggers and social media users and find ways to help each other.
Target the Appropriate Sites
One of the biggest mistakes that many bloggers make is that they only target the major social media sites, like Digg. Smaller, niche social media sites can be an outstanding source of targeted visitors. Most likely there will be a few social media sites (large or small) that have an audience that is a better fit for your content than others. Take the time to get to know more about a site’s audience and find a few that are a good fit for your blog. I wrote a detailed post about this process at ProBlogger – How to Target the Right Social Media Sites.
Become an Active User
Those who are most effective as social media marketers are also active users themselves. You don’t have to be active at every social media site (that wouldn’t be possible), or even at all of the major sites. However, you should be active at least several times per week, if not everyday, at those sites that you have decided to target. Being an active user will help you to learn about the audience and their tendencies, plus it will help you to build relationships with other users.
Create Specialized Content
If you’re posts aren’t getting the results you want with social media, take a look at the type of content you’re posting and see how you can do more effective job of creating content that will specifically target social media users. I recently published a post that gave some details of my approach for targeting social media with specific posts. The right content and the right network can get you a ton of exposure through social media.
Focus on StumbleUpon
Of all the social media sites that I’ve visited and received traffic from, none is like StumbleUpon. For a new blogger or a new social media user I highly recommend focusing on StumbleUpon. With the other major social media sites new users are at a major disadvantage, but with StumbleUpon you can get hundreds or thousands of visitors with just a few thumbs up, which isn’t all that difficult to accomplish. Also, StumbleUpon has tons of categories, so there’s a fit for just about any type of content you can imagine.
Improve the Look of Your Blog
Design and appearance does affect the results you will get with social media. While the design is not as important as the content, it certainly helps in terms of first impressions, and first impressions frequently influence voters. If you’re using a free blog theme try to find some ways that you can customize the theme to make it a bit more unique. Also, for targeting social media audiences it helps to have content start high on the page, at least above the fold.
Some blogs go way overboard on social media buttons and widgets, but when used appropriately they can be very effective. When using these buttons you’ll want to be sure that you’re targeting a site that is used by a good percentage of your readers, otherwise it won’t be effective. Also, keep the number of them limited so that each one gets more attention.
Don’t Give Up Too Easily
Getting discouraged and giving up on social media is common for those who aren’t getting results. Rather than giving up, take some time to find out why you’re not getting results and what you can do to improve your chances. Work on building a network of other bloggers and social media users, and focus on creating the best content that you can. Most likely the results will come if you’re patient and if you put in the right effort.
Take More Time for Content Creation
I said earlier that networking is one of the biggest keys to success with social media. In my opinion, networking and content creation are way above all of the other factors. If the content you’re posting now isn’t getting results, find a way to make it better. Dedicate more time to brainstorming ideas for posts, researching topics, writing the content, and revising. If you have some spare time on your hands, devoting it to content creation is a safe bet.
What’s Your Experience?
What have you found to be important and helpful for avoiding social media irrelevance?