Some bloggers don’t focus any of their efforts on social media because they think at best it will bring a temporary wave of poorly-targeted visitors, and a few days later things will return to normal with nothing of substance to show for it. This is true in many cases, but primarily because of a lack of a plan or strategy. With the right effort and direction social media can have long-lasting and powerful results.
The most obvious result of a successful social media campaign is increased traffic. It can be temporary, or it can be lasting, although of course it will not stay at the peak level. The goal should be that when the peak ends, traffic stays at a level that was higher than it was previously. This turns a temporary gain into a permanent gain and it makes your blog stronger.
How can short term traffic be converted into long-term traffic? A few things can help, including inbound links (increasing search engine results and driving click-through traffic), more direct visitors, and more subscribers that will return later.
Social media and link building go hand-in-hand. Most bloggers that want to build links are using social media to accomplish this. Although there are other ways, social media has proven to provide the opportunity to quickly build links. However, not every blog post that will do well with social media is linkbait (but much of it is).
A successful social media campaign will have leveraged the power and reach of social media to gain new and influential backlinks to the blog/website. Links are one of the major keys of turning the short-term traffic burst into a long-term gain.
Although social media visitors will typically be more difficult to convert to subscribers than other types of visitors, it is still very possible to pick up plenty of new subscribers following a hit with social media. At my primary blog all of my most successful days in terms of new subscriber growth have come as a result of social media success. Over a period of time with continued social media success these subscriber numbers can really add up.
Building subscribers is important because it helps you to secure your blog’s traffic sources. If you have a huge number of active subscribers you should always have plenty of traffic if you publishing new posts as some of them will be clicking through to your site.
To gain subscribers with social media, keep your content highly focused to the main subjects of your blog. Don’t publish a post just because it’s a great idea for social media even if it doesn’t fit well with the rest of your blog. This will either result in very few new subscribers or you will gain some new ones, but they won’t really be interested in the other posts you are publishing. Stay focused and you’ll get the best results. Also make it as easy as possible to subscribe. Keep subscription options highly visible.
If you’re selling banner ads on your blog, much of the price will be determined by unique visitors and pageviews, both of which can be given a significant boost from social media. Of course, the quality of traffic will be considered by most advertisers, but it’s still a great way to increase what you can make through ads.
Other types of monetization like AdSense and PPC ads will typically get very poor conversion rates from social media visitors. In some cases your payout levels will drop if your CTR levels drop, which may be a convincing reason to remove these types of ads on posts that are expected to do well with social media.
Branding and Name Recognition
One of the more underrated benefits of social media is the impact that it can have for branding purposes. When people see your posts over and over again at the front page of various social media sites, they’ll come to know you as a top provider of quality content, and you may become recognized as an authority on the subject.
For more information on this subject, see my post at ProBlogger, A Blogger’s Guide to Branding with Social Media.
The hottest stories on social media sites often get talked about by others inside the niche and throughout the internet (this is largely related to link building). Buzz can be free advertising for your blog if you’re able to achieve it. This is a temporary thing, but the results can be long lasting.
Blogs that are constantly popular with social media have a higher perceived value from readers. After all, if others are always voting up the content, it must be good! Sure, there are other elements involved in social media outsider of the content quality, but generally people’s opinion of your value will increase with consistent social media popularity.
Increased perceived value can help you to obtain new subscribers and to have more influence in your niche. Others will pay more attention to what you have to say and they’ll be more prone to trust your opinions.
A Stronger Network
As you use social media more and more, your network will expand and strengthen. Social media has given me the opportunity to get to know a number of influential bloggers in my niche, and this network is priceless. A strong network can help you in just about anything you do.
What Would You Add?
Are there any other results of social media success that you would like to mention?