When most of us first encountered social media websites and recognized the huge potential for traffic, chances are we started submitting our content to the major social media sites, regardless of how well that content fit with the audience. Anyone who does this will quickly learn that not just any blog post will draw votes and traffic from social media users.
As you look around the popular items at various social media sites you’ll notice that many of the popular items have certain things in common. For example, you may notice that breaking news frequently draws a lot of attention, or you may see a lot of popular posts that use humor, controversy, resource lists, etc. In most cases, this isn’t by chance. Because of the incredible power of social media, many website owners and bloggers intentionally create content to target these types of audiences .
It only makes sense that if you want to appeal to social media users that you take their interests and voting habits into consideration when creating your content. On the other hand, some bloggers and readers hate content that targets a social media audience. So what should you do?
I think your approach should depend on your strategy and plan for social media marketing. If you plan to rely on this type of traffic as one of your leading sources, you should probably cater to the users and give them what they want. On the other hand, if social media is more of a supplementary source of traffic for you, you may be able to achieve this by creating content without considering social media and letting things play out on their own.
Here are some factors to consider:
We’re all creatures of habit
You can learn a great deal about social media users by studying what types of content tend to do well, and what types tend to flop. Some bloggers feel like studying a social media site will be too time consuming, so they simply don’t do it. Actually, it doesn’t really need to be very time consuming at all, and once you learn a few recipes for success you can use them over and over again to create popular content.
Certain types of content can turn off some readers
Depending on the type of audience that you have, publishing a lot of link posts and other typical social media-targeted posts may do some harm to your current reader base. Some readers prefer to have other types of content, and they may not appreciate the fact that you are targeting social media users. This is something that each blogger will have to evaluate for himself/herself. In most cases, I think audiences generally appreciate or at least tolerate this type of content, but there are some exceptions.
How does the content affect your image?
Most bloggers are very conscious of the image and reputation that they are building through their blog. Some types of content for social media may do more harm than good for your image, and if this is the case, the traffic usually won’t be worth the price.
Once you see the power of content that effectively targets social media users, it’s tempting to take this approach with every post. From my experience it’s best not to go overboard here. Most of your readers aren’t going to vote for your blog posts on social media sites every day, but they may vote once a week, or once a month. Personally, I try to spread out these types of posts a bit so that each one can have a significant impact. (For more on this subject, see How to Target Social Media with Specific Posts ).
The end result
Your blogging goals most likely involve much more than just getting a rush of traffic. Maybe you want to increase subscribers, develop name recognition, or produce more income. How does the content that you are producing help you towards achieving those goals? It’s very possible to use social media to help you accomplish all of these things, but it’s also possible to waste your time chasing social media traffic in ways that won’t get you to your goals.
What’s Your Opinion?
Do you create content that specifically targets a social media audience? How do you feel about the issue?