It’s a simple concept, but one that is often overlooked. Having success with a specific social media site, or with social media in general, will make it more likely that you’ll have success again in the future.
A well-targeted social media campaign will attract subscribers as they find your post through social media. With each subscriber you gain through social media, you’ll make it just a bit easier on yourself to get another vote in the future. That “extra” vote makes it more realistic for you to draw more visitors to another post, and those visitors will hopefully convert into more subscribers. And the cycle goes on.
When it comes to social media sites and voting, some of your votes will come from visitors of the social media sites themselves (for example, someone seeing your submission on the “upcoming” page at Digg), some will come from random visitors to your website, some may come from requests/shared links, and many will come from your subscribers. And obviously, the more subscribers you have, the more opportunities you have to get votes from subscribers.
Social Media Marketing is often a case of the rich getting richer, and that’s what turns off so many bloggers and marketers who don’t fall into the rich category. Of course there are exceptions, but generally those who do well do very well on a regular basis.
Real World Examples
One of the most consistent sources of social media traffic to my primary blog is Delicious. It’s been about a year since my first post appeared on the front page, and since then the results have been steady and powerful. Each time one of my posts made the front page, I picked up a handful of new subscribers that were already Delicious users themselves. Now, the next time I publish something that is worthy of a bookmark, I have a few more subscribers that are likely to bookmark it, and I’ll have an easier time reaching the front page. Reaching the front page again will bring more subscribers that use Delicious, and the cycle continues. Over a period of time, consistently targeting the same social media site can make a significant difference in your chances for ongoing success. My example is a rather small scale in comparison to the results that some bloggers are achieving.
Noupe is another blog that has been having the same results with Delicious (actually the results are better than mine). In fact, almost every post on Noupe in the last month or so has wound up on the Delicious front page. Noura now has a great audience of Delicious users that are eager to bookmark her posts.
How This Affects You
If you’re not benefiting from consistent results with social media, you may see it as a discouraging factor that pulls you away from Social Media Optimization/Marketing. However, I’d suggest that you focus on the opportunity that exists if you’re able to make some progress. Marketing your blog becomes so much easier once you’ve made some headway with social media, so be willing to work harder now in exchange for a shot at significant, long-term gains.
You’ll need a consistent effort in order to create these types of results. You’ll have to consistently create high-quality content and you’ll need to have a plan for targeting social media users with that content.
Having a focus on building subscribers is key to building consistent results with social media. The more subscribers you have, the more potential votes you can get from those who are already interested in what you have to say.
Once you have a decent number of social media users that are subscribed and visiting your blog on a regular basis, adding some voting buttons or widgets can make a difference. Of course, in order for the buttons to be effective, they will have to represent the social media sites that your readers are using. They can be very effective when used with the right audience, and with quality content.
Also make an effort to find out what other social media sites your readers are using. Now that you are having success with one or more site, you should be receiving some extra visitors, and all that traffic can have a domino effect that can be set up to lead to popularity at other social media sites.
A Few Exceptions to the Rule
While success will generally breed more success with social media, this isn’t always going to be the case. I can think of two specific examples:
1. Digg’s Auto Bury
Although Digg claims that the auto bury list doesn’t exist, there is strong evidence that some domains have zero chance of reaching the front page because they will automatically be excluded. If the people running Digg feel that you are gaming the system or if they get enough complaints of spam, your blog could be put on auto bury. Some sites have apparently had this happen after a quick spurt of a few front pages that sent up red flags to Digg.
While I’m no expert with the StumbleUpon algorithm, and I have no desire to be, it’s very clear to me that the more a specific user gives a thumbs up to a particular domain, the less impact it has. If you are getting great results with StumbleUpon you’ll need to always have some users who haven’t given you a thumbs up several times in the past.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you get frustrated by seeing A-listers getting most of the attention from social media? Have you seen in your own blogging how success can build on itself?