I can guess that you have noticed how Facebook has dropped the number of users that see your posts and you’re looking around the web to find ways of increasing your social media traffic so you get your services or products famous with your users again. But before we dig into that finding, I have to dig deep into something else more important.
Before we can actually get into generation social media traffic we need to examine what social media traffic really is, why it is a useful form of webtraffic and why it is more desirable as a form of webtraffic than other forms of traffic.
We also need to compare it directly to other forms of web traffic such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and CPC Advertising traffic and be absolutely clear about the differences!
Do you want more traffic for your websites? Are you thinking, more traffic through social media? Why?
Alright, before I make you consider reading something else, I need to get a few things straight.
Social media as a source of website traffic is great! But you have to get an idea of what you can achieve through social media and what you cannot.
Let’s first examine what social media traffic is not.
Now, since we have the wrong reasons for generating social media traffic out of the way – here are the right reasons for generating social
These are the most important reasons for deciding to go for social media traffic.
I want to make something else really clear: Generating website traffic is a marketing activity – and marketing is never a replacement for a product that somebody actually wants.
So before you start generating mass website traffic, make sure that you have something that others want. One key goal of traffic generation is to let the people who want your product know that you have what they want. So ask yourself the following questions:
Aright people, pick up your sticky notepad and write this down so you don’t forget and come back searching for this blog (though I would like that you come back)Social Media Marketing does not equal Content Marketing and Content Marketing does not equal SEOClick To Tweet
But if you’re going into generating social media traffic, you need to not just be able to differentiate between these three online marketing tools, you are somehow going to get mixed up in all three of them at some point.
These three techniques are always related – and most of the time it is impossible to do one without at least tapping slightly into the other two topics. Therefore it is important to develop a general understanding about all three of them– and that is what this part of the blog is for. In all your endeavor to gun up leads – you will need to be able to put this into context and play with all three of them.
Social media marketing is the art of tapping into the conversations that happen on social networks for marketing purposes. Investopedia defines it as “the use of social media websites and social networks to market a company’s products and services”
Every social network provides its own tools especially designed for marketing purposes. Facebook for instance provides Fan pages that allow companies to have their own presence and interact with people via their page. They can post just like a normal user would and people can like either the page itself or the specific posts. This way, marketers can induce their own messages into the social streams of people, therefore creating and reaching an audience for the company or brand.
Don’t get me wrong though – marketers should use the tools provided only as part of their tool set. It is completely legitimate and often also encouraged to use the whole functionality of the platforms and not just the specific tools formarketers. Many marketers use their personal social media accounts to create an audience for their companies.
Content Marketing is the marketing strategy that uses helpful, entertaining or at least content that is interesting to the target audience in order to increase brand awareness and perception. The goal is to become a partner to future consumers or clients instead of being the annoying brand that screams its advertising message as loud as it can.
Content in Content Marketing can be anything and there are heated debates on the web as to what is actually content and what is not. Blog articles are content as well as infographics and videos. Social media posts also qualify as content.
A servey conducted by HubSpot in 2017 on the types of content users want to see.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and describes the process of optimizing a website and its content in a way so that you maximise the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Here is how SEO works (in theory at least): Search engines decide how to rank website content based on the amount of links from other websites to the actual website and the amount of related keywords in the copy on the website. (I know – yes, this is very simplified!)
As a result of this you can improve the ranking of the website by improving keyword density for specific keywords (though google has evolved beyond that), by providing more content for specific keywords and by generating backlinks to your site.
The thing is – backlinks to your page are rated as well and if you only produce spammy backlinks from article directories and a number of links that you bought for a couple of bucks from that famous website, you’re more likely to take a traffic hit than see any improvement in sales.
What Search Engines are after are organic link profiles. This means that these links should be created by people who found your page genuinely interesting enough to place a link to it on their own site.
According to Google even guest posting is now a crime… well, at least what they define as Black Hat SEO. This means it is against their guidelines and may result in a site that gets down ranked.
But: As said before – that is just the theory. What works and what doesn’t is pretty much down to guesswork. Like it or not.
Now that we have the differences between these three areas of online marketing out of the way, let’s get a better understanding about how they are related – This is where things get interesting!
One side effect of the rise of social networks was that they allowed us to discover and consume a hell lot more content than ever before. The rise of the blog websites like Blogsphere, Blogspot and WordPess was in a large part empowered by sharing their content around with the help of social networks.
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In return Content Marketing became a hyped strategy because as people started to consume more content it also meant that producing more marketing content made a lot more sense. But this also meant that all that content created was disappearing the entangled web and to serve it your audience, social media marketing techniques became a must.
But Content Marketing itself existed long before social media and even long before the internet. One example for content marketing were magazines sent out via traditional mail to clients by companies, TV commercials and newspaper articles. Its first rise actually came to pass when every company suddenly needed a presence on the web – and in a way, they needed to provide content on their websites.
SEO was the main technique for generating consumers for content before the social media revolution. Back in the early days of SEO it actually used to be quite easy as the main focus was on how the content would be presented on Search Result Pages (SERPs).
But when Google revolutionized web search things became complicated – and today SEO is the billion dollar industry that resulted from this.
An Example to Make Things Clearer
Imagine you are working for a business which has a website. So far so normal. For SEO purposes you propose starting a blog, which will provide helpful articles to your audience. This will add to the amount of content on the page, therefore, the aim is to generate more traffic and as a result more leads.
The content on the blog needs to be keyword optimized (SEO) but it also needs to be helpful to readers. And to generate more backlinks it also needs to be read by an audience first. Because why should anyone ever place a backlink if no one ever reads your content? (Until now the SEO effect is most probably close to zero.)
So you start sharing your content around on social media platforms – you probably start a Fanpage on Facebook, and a Twitter profile. Maybe even something slightly more exotic like an Instagram account. And you start growing those accounts.
And suddenly you are already engaged in all three strategies/activities while all you wanted to do in the beginning was a little bit of SEO.
There you have it, the tight relationships between the three aspects of Online Marketing.
generating social media traffic is where you create web traffic from social networks to your website(s) – but it is not as simple as it sounds.
A good article: Generating Website Traffic Easily
Generating social media traffic is part of social media marketing – and for this you absolutely need content. It is absolutely impossible to generate social media traffic in huge amounts without content.
The reason for that is simple:
Social media marketing is about providing value – but what does this mean? What is value? How do I know if I provide value?
There is no simple answer to this. The key is to find out what your audience wants and then start providing exactly that.
Here is how you do that:
Interacting with that audience can become important as well, but without providing value and therefore content – you won’t have an audience to talk to in the first place.
It is important to understand that this is not a narrow concept! Here is a simple example:
If you sell toys for new-born children you can not only talk about toys. You can then also provide value around everything around newborn children – because your target audience is most likely interested in this content. But it doesn’t stop there: If you find out that for some reason 90% of your buyers are single moms between 30 and 40 another topic worth talking about might even be how to organize your life as a single mom.
When you do this you will gather enough topics to provide a constant variety of interesting content to your target audience from your social media sites.
Now, when we are talking about providing value through social media sites, it is important to understand that most valuable content is not posted on the social media site itself. Especially not if it is intended to create traffic to another website. Instead you only post a sneak-pick and a link to content, and the content itself is placed somewhere on your own website.
If the majority of what you post on social media sites are only links to valuable content, where do you get traffic to your sites?
A must read: Generating Website Traffic Easily
The answer is simple: You place valuable content on your own website(s). And therefore, there is no way to avoid creating your own content for your audience in the long run. Your first steps in creating your own social media
audience can be using mostly curated content by other people, but that is only to be able to start. Works for many small companies. But don’t get locked up in sharing other people’s content though.
Providing valuable content on your own sites will not just drive traffic to this content – it will establish you and your sites as a valuable source for content – information or even entertainment within your target audience.
In the long run there will be no way of avoiding the creation of your own content. And while this is not the time to talk about all of the content types which you can create for your audience, I want to recommend one thing here:
If you don’t already have a blog, start one now. And start writing now – you already know everything you need to know. Write what you currently believe that your audience is interested in. Write one to two posts a week.
Practice – you will thank me in the long run.
I’ll return to creating content later. But for now, let me know your thoughts Or be supportive by sharing this post with your social media followers – even I need social media traffic.
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