Social media voting buttons are commonly found on blogs, especially buttons for sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and recently for Yahoo Buzz. While these buttons can help to increase the number of votes with these sites, and number of visitors as a result, the effectiveness of voting buttons from niche social media sites is generally underappreciated.
Niche social media sites are excellent sources of targeted visitors, although they will send far fewer visitors than major social media sites like Digg. On my primary blog I started using voting buttons for Design Float on posts in January of 2008, and through the first 8 1/2 months of the year, Design Float is the 5th leading source of traffic with nearly 50,000 visitors sent.
While this isn’t going to compare to the visitors you could get from Digg with a number of front page appearances during that time span, it is a very achievable source of traffic that many bloggers overlook. In my opinion too many blogs that aren’t getting results with Digg buttons leave the button there when they could be using something else more effectively.
Here is a quick look at some compelling reasons to use voting buttons for niche sites that are relevant to your blog:
1 – They Require Less Votes to Become “Popular”
Having a Digg button on your posts is a helpful way to increase the number of votes you receive, but currently you need about 200 Diggs in 24 hours to get promoted from the upcoming page, and sometimes even more. Most niche social media sites require only a few votes to get your content on the front page, something that is much more achievable for most blogs. For example, Design Float requires only 3 votes for the front page.
2 – Niche Social Media Success is Realistic
Some blogs are getting results with buttons from major social media sites, but many blogs that are using them will still have a microscopic chance of hitting the front page. However, just about any blog can realistically get the votes need for success at a well-targeted and relevant niche site. Even with just a few visitors who are users of the niche site, your blog could get enough votes.
3 – Buttons May Stand Out More
If you visit a lot of blogs, how many Digg buttons do you see in a day? After a while you stop noticing them and you’re not very likely to vote. On the other hand, buttons from smaller niche sites are less common and in my opinion they stand out more. If the niche site is well-targeted and is a site that you’re readers use, they’ll notice the button and they’re fairly likely to vote if they like the content.
4 – They’re Great for Community Building
One reason that people like niche social media sites is that they share a lot in common with other users in terms of their interests, and a stronger community exists. If there are social media sites in your niche that have strong communities, using a voting button at your blog could help to take advantage of that community that already exists.
5 – Some Readers are Turned Off by Digg Buttons
Some readers will see Digg buttons in a negative light; however, they’re less likely to feel exploited with the use of niche voting buttons. A niche button shows that you’re interested in participating in that community and contributing something valuable, but the common perception of Digg buttons is that you’re only after large amounts of traffic. Of course that is not always the case, but the impression of visitors is still impacted.
6 – Gets Your Readers in the Habit of Using the Niche Site
When your readers are more active with your targeted niche social media sites you’ll be much more likely to achieve success. Voting buttons are a great way to encourage readers to get involved with these sites.
What’s Your Experience?
Have you used voting buttons from niche sites on your blog? What type of results did you get? If you’re looking for social media sites in your niche, try the categorized list of social media sites. Many niche sites provide buttons for you to use, but not all will. Take the time to check the niche sites that you use to see if they provide buttons.