Social media websites are being used more and more by bloggers and website owners to gain exposure and traffic. However, social media in not necessarily an easy way to get a lot of traffic. Here are five things not to do when using social media.
1. Be Self-Centered
Social Media Marketing is all about mutual benefit and helping others. All successful Social Media Marketers are willing and ready to help others by submitting their content or just by giving a vote. Those that try to only promote their own material never go anywhere. After a while other users will notice if you’re only voting for yourself, and they’ll stop voting for you.
On the other hand, if you are willing to help others, they’ll more than likely return the favor. Those who have developed strong profiles have done so by submitting and voting for great content, regardless of what they have to gain from it. Help others and you’ll wind up benefiting as well (and you’ll make some new friends along the way).
2. Focus Only On One Site
There are hundreds or maybe even thousands of different social media sites out there. Some have large audiences, others have some audiences. Some are general in nature, and others focus on a specific niche. There’s no reason to only use one social media site.
By focusing all of your efforts on one site you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities. If you spread yourself around a little bit you’ll meet a lot more people, find more great content, and reach a wider audience with your own work.
Most people obviously focus on the larger sites (like Digg and StumbleUpon) that have potential to send the most traffic. I have found smaller niche sites to be extremely valuable if they are relevant to your interests. These types of sites may send smaller amounts of traffic, but it is generally much better quality traffic because it will be more targeted.
3. Try to Force Content that Isn’t Right
The great thing about social media is that users get to choose what they like and what does well. If you’ve used social media for any length of time I’m sure you’ve noticed that certain types of content do better than others. Each social media site has certain things that certain and other things that don’t.
Many people who are new to social media assume that they can submit anything and it will have a chance to draw thousands of visitors. However, in order to have success you will need to learn what types of content have a chance to do well. Make your submissions fit into what users like, don’t try to force users to like what you submit.
4. Have Unrealistic Expectations
Social media can obviously send huge amounts of traffic. In fact, it may be the largest source of traffic for many bloggers and website owners. But not everything you submit will become popular, especially if you don’t have a power profile. Some people create a Digg account and submit a few of their own posts expecting to get tons of traffic. When that doesn’t happen many of them give up.
Social media can and will send traffic to your site, but you have to be willing to do some work for it. The right content has to be created and on many social media sites you’ll have to spend some time building a profile (unless someone else submits your content).
5. Overlook the Networking Aspect
Traffic isn’t always the best thing that comes out of social media. Actually, networking with other users is one of the most beneficial aspects. Most social media users want to network with other users. It’s a great place to contact high profile users that you might not otherwise have a connection to. Of course you don’t want to approach them and simply ask for a favor. Networking involves getting to know others and finding ways to work together and help each other.
Anyone who is successful with social media has done a lot of networking and made some very valuable contacts. The members of your network will be worth more to you than social media traffic any day. But remember that networking is a two-way street and be sure to help others whenever you can.