October 21, 2014

Niche Social Media Sites and Voting Buttons: A Powerful Combination

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.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

12 comments

  1. I agree.

    If you have a site in a certain niche, finding social bookmarking sites for that niche is key.

    All traffic is targeted. Fewer votes to go “popular”. It just makes sense.

    Also, the visitors interact more with the site.

    Design float is a perfect example:

    A Digg-like site, but for people interested in design.

    You’re more likely to get a comment, subscription and more.

    Great post!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I will be adding a Design Float button to the bottom of my posts in the near future – your post reinforces this as a good move.

    What I especially like about Design Float and Design Bump (another Digg-like site for design stories) is that when a post of mine goes “popular” I get sustained traffic for weeks to come (and hopefully for months to come – my blog is still too new to fully measure on that scale!)

  3. Luis,
    Absolutely! They’re a huge resource if there are some in your niche.

    Tracey,
    I think you’ll have good results with the Design Float button.

  4. Agreed! There is a lot to be said for niche social media and news sites. I feel digg is too saturated with tabloid press these days – to get real quality content, niche sites are the way forward.

  5. The problem with the digg button is if your not already kicking ass on digg, you look unimportant if nobody has submitted it yet.

    This goes back to your post about submitting your own stuff–with the digg button, the person to submit it has to do a lot more work than just clicking digg this, they have to write the description etc… unless you’ve got a ton of great readers who will submit your stuff, i’d scratch the digg button

  6. ZaggedEdge,
    Good point. The Digg button can have reverse effects if it shows 2 Diggs or something.

  7. Steven,

    What you post is always great stuff. I’ve been on the net for quite some time now but haven’t been able to get to grips with social media. As bad as I’m at personal networking, I’ve even failed to understand what stumble upon power users job is and what they spend their time doing. Would you please like to post a social media 101 for dummies? I’d really like to grow my blog’s popularity.

  8. did I loose my comment? The page just reloaded or maybe it went for moderation?

    Steven,

    What you post is always great stuff. I’ve been on the net for quite some time now but haven’t been able to get to grips with social media. As bad as I’m at personal networking, I’ve even failed to understand what stumble upon power users job is and what they spend their time doing. Would you please like to post a social media 101 for dummies? I’d really like to grow my blog’s popularity.

  9. Shivanand,
    Not sure what happened with the page loading and the comment, sorry for any troubles.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I actually have a post outlined for getting started with SMM laying out some basic steps in order, just haven’t found the time to type it yet (it’s pretty long). Now that I know you want it I’ll try to get on that.

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