Building Consistent Traffic With Social Media
Social media is without a doubt one of the most powerful and significant sources of traffic for bloggers. However, it’s easy to get frustrated with social media traffic because it can be so inconsistent. One day you may get thousands of visitors, but it can dry up quickly. For this reason a lot of bloggers dismiss social media as a reliable source of traffic and they don’t dedicate much time or effort to learning how to maximize it.
There are a number of things that you can do as a blogger to improve the consistency of the traffic you receive from social media. Of course it will always have peaks and valleys, but you can minimize those times where it is almost non-existent. This article does not focus on developing a particular post that will be popular with social media, but rather on what you can do to keep the traffic flowing more consistently. Here are some tips:
1. Post Frequently
You’ll find that your new posts are usually the ones drawing traffic from social media. After a few days the traffic to a new post will die down pretty significantly, but you can offset that by continuing to publish new content. Not every post you publish will draw a lot of traffic from social media, so of course you can’t just continually publish anything and expect it to draw traffic. But new content will frequently replace the traffic that is declining to an older post.
2. Be an Active User of Social Media
A big part of drawing traffic from social media is being an active user yourself and knowing how each site works and what types of content do well. It’s hard to expect social media to send traffic to your blog if you’re not willing to use it to send traffic to others. Those who use social media only to promote their own content rarely have much success. Be willing to vote for others and submit quality content.
3. Get to Know the Differences Between Various Social Media Websites
Each social media site will have its own audience with unique preferences and tendencies. By getting to know the differences you can better target your blog posts to particular audiences. Your blog may not be well suited for every social media audience, so if you know where it would be the best fit you can become more active there and develop your content accordingly.
4. Submit Your Posts to a Variety of Sites, Including Niche Sites
If you’re submitting each post you publish to Digg and nowhere else you won’t have consistent results (unless it’s consistently bad). Once you’ve gotten to know more about some of the different sites you can evaluate each blog post on its own and submit it to the most appropriate place. Some bloggers submit their own posts and some don’t. Not submitting your own posts to large sites like Digg and StumbleUpon is fine, but if you want to get traffic from smaller social media sites you’ll almost certainly have to submit it yourself. Niche social media sites can be extremely valuable because of the targeted traffic they produce.
Submitting to a variety of sites has a few advantages. First, it will keep the audience of a particular site from getting sick of seeing your posts every day. Second, it will help you to reach a larger total audience since each site has its own users. Third, it will allow you to target, like I mentioned above. Fourth, the traffic can carry over from one social media site to another.
5. Don’t Try to Push Everything that You Write
Not every post will be attractive to social media users, and that’s fine. When you write posts that you don’t think will have success with social media, don’t submit them. You’ll have better results if you only push those posts that have a better chance of success. If you have friends that you occasionally ask for a vote, save it for the right time. This may sound counterproductive to the point of this article, drawing consistent traffic. But in reality by pushing content that isn’t going to go anywhere with social media you will hinder the results of your content that is highly attractive to social media audiences.
6. Focus on StumbleUpon
Of all the social media sites out there, StumbleUpon is easily the most likely to send consistent traffic. StumbleUpon traffic doesn’t come in huge spikes like traffic from Digg, but it can be just as significant over a longer time. Popular blog posts with StumbleUpon can receive traffic literally for months. You can target SU by being an active user yourself and networking with other users, as well as by adding a button or widget to your blog posts that reminds visitors to give you a thumbs up.
7. Submit Older Posts During Slow Times
If you’ve recently found a few new social media sites to use, don’t forget about the opportunity to submit some of your older blog posts. During a time when your traffic may be slowing down a little you can submit an older post and hopefully make up some of that traffic. I’ve used this strategy with a few niche sites that I’ve come across, and it’s a nice way to give your traffic a boost when you need it.
8. Build Power Profiles
Top users of major social media sites can create traffic almost at will. If you have a powerful profile you can quickly turn a traffic drought into a flood. Some power users don’t submit their own content, but at least you will have the option if you need the traffic.
9. Use a Mullet Strategy
Maki wrote about the mullet strategy for social media and link bait, which I tried for myself. As I mentioned earlier, not every blog post is going to draw traffic from social media. If you want to target social media users without sending too much of this type of content to your subscribers you can use the mullet strategy to create a blog page instead of a blog post. This way you can still promote it on social media sites but without sending it to all of your subscribers.
10. Write About Social Media
One of the most popular topics among social media users is social media itself. If you use Digg you’ve probably noticed that posts that focus on Digg tend to do well, and likewise posts that focus on StumbleUpon tend to do well with StumbleUpon users. If the topic of your blog is relevant to social media you may be able to increase the amount of traffic you receive by writing more frequently about topics related to social media.
11. Develop Relationships with Those Who Vote for You
One way to encourage votes in the future is to thank those who vote for you or just get to know them. With StumbleUpon you can see who has given your post a thumbs up and thank them, add them as a friend, or write a review of them. With Digg you can see who has dugg your posts and add them as a friend.
12. Use Buttons On Your Posts
A common method for encouraging votes is to use buttons or widgets on your individual blog posts. These buttons make it easier for visitors to vote for you, since they won’t have to leave your page, and they also serve as a good reminder to vote for you. Some visitors will be willing to vote for you, but they may just not think about it. A button is a great reminder.
13. Follow Up On Topics that Have Worked Well In the Past
Have you analyzed your traffic from social media to see which topics have drawn the most attention? If you see particular trends you can learn about what types of content will be likely to produce similar results in the future. Past success can be a good indicator of what will result in future and consistent success.
14. Develop a Large and Loyal Following
Ok, so this one is not easily accomplished. Bloggers that have very large audiences have so many readers that use social media that many of them are bound to vote or submit the blog’s content. What may be more realistic is to develop a very loyal audience that looks for opportunities to send social media traffic to you. You can do this by doing the same thing for other bloggers and treating your readers well.
What other thoughts do you have about consistency with social media?
Published November 18th, 2007 by Steven Snell