Social Media websites have become very popular.Every one suggests using it to promote your website.The reason is simple
- To get more traffic from them
- To get SEO benefit
- To get followers and friends which in turn converts into regular traffic
I am using Social Media networks for below group of websites
- Social networking sites like Facebook,Twitter,Google Plus
- Social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon,Buffer
- Social news sites like like Reddit,Digg
Most of you are already familiar with above websites.Social Media is tapped properly can generate more traffic then search engines.Also to be popular on social media you do not have to rank on first page of Google.There is no need to SEO.The only thing needed is content which people will like sharing and discussing.
Seeing the power of Social sites people just jump to it.They hope of getting serious traffic from it.But after sometime they realize it is not working as mentioned every where.Below I am listing some common mistakes made by starters as well as experienced.I have made some mistakes myself and learnt from it.Your approach to social networking sites should be planned and calculated to be successful.
Mistake #1 : Including buttons for all popular social media websites
Social Media is important and brings traffic.So let me include buttons for all popular Social Media buttons.I am giving visitors lot of choice.They can share the content on any one of the site.This is general thought process of beginners.
This is one mistake I made in my initial days.Also the number and variety of social sites out there create this confusion.If you place two buttons form each category of social networking site then also your website will be full of buttons.
Sometimes our decision is also impacted by other websites.If a popular website is using button for Social site X then I should also add that button.They are using it means it should be part of website.We do not know reason the popular website has that button.What works for them might not work for you.The problems with too many social networking buttons on website are
- The social sharing section can look very clustered.This may in turn off visitor.
- Each button will add to size of your page as well as number of requests.This will slow your page load times.
Instead of including all sort of social buttons.It is good to implement those which are mostly used on your website.You can track which social buttons have highest number of activity.Also the referral traffic from social sites can also be measured.
For this website Google plus works better than Twitter.So I should definitely place Google plus button not the Twitter button.It is good not to include more than 6 social networking buttons on your website.
After tracking performance of social buttons and referral traffic generated by them you can make decision about placing buttons on your website.Normally Facebook and Google plus are must have social buttons on your website.Facebook is the largest social network.
Google Plus helps in search engine ranking.I have not included Twitter or Pinterest in this list.Reason is Twitter is not famous in many countries and specific user groups like Non technical persons.Most of Udinra visitors do not have Twitter account.
So after adding Facebook and Google Plus to the list you can decide other social buttons based on their performance on your website.
Mistake #2 : Posting articles on Social Media groups or communities with large number of members even if they are not closely related to posted content.
Most of the social networks have concept of groups or communities.These are good places to share your content.But deciding where to share the post is very important.It is very tempting to share the post on groups with more number of members.Lets take an example.You have written a post on WordPress.Now shall you post it in Web Development community with ten thousand members or shall you post it in WordPress community with thousand visitors.
Content should be posted where it will receive acknowledgement.If you are posting in Web development there are chances it is visible to people not familiar or interested in WordPress.So the post will die.No matter how good it is if not targeted to right audience it will die.
Most social sites show content which are shared,liked or commented on for longer duration.If a post does not have any community action then it will die fast.The number of people seeing the post will be very less.So first half an hour is really important for your content.
If you are posting to unrelated group or distantly related group then chances of getting any action within half an hour time frame is very less.So your content dies off.You then wonder what was wrong with it.I wrote a wonderful piece yet this social site is not responding to it.
Lets find other social site which is is more active.But instead of finding other social site or group you should change the posting method.So in this example Instead of posting in web development if you post on WordPress then people will be familiar and will react to the content if found compelling.If there is some reaction to it then it will be visible to more users.This means more traffic to your website.
I learnt this posting by posting one of video on Reddit.Reddit has Video sub reddit with huge number of members.It was very compelling to try video sub reddit.I was sharing YouTube video.I shared it on video sub reddit.There was no reaction from any one.I wondered what is wrong with Reddit.
Why there is no action.The title was compelling and video was interesting.But it died quickly with no traffic to my website or YouTube video.Then I tried posting it to relevant category.Since video was about a temple in Eastern India I shared it on Hinduism section.This time video was received well and generated lots of YouTube view as well as website traffic.
Mistake #3 : Sharing content on Social sites bring traffic.So let me share my posts on Facebook page and Twitter (or other places) daily.
Do not make this mistake.This is social suicide to say at least.If you have created account just for self promotion then it will back fire you.The posting schedule should not look like spamming or intrusive.No one logs into Facebook just to see some page posting lots of promotional stuff.This might switch off some users and they ultimately unfollow your page.I have myself unfollowed some pages.
But posting your content is also important.As mentioned you should maintain a schedule which does not turn off your visitors and also gives maximum visibility to your posts.So how to do this.For example on Facebook you can see at what time and on what day maximum number of your Facebook fans are online.SO your content should be posted at around that time.This will ensure maximum visibility to your post.
You can share couple of times in a week on Facebook page.But the same rule is not applicable on Twitter.On Twitter the posts are out of sight if you are following good number of peoples.SO frequency of posting updates on Twitter can be more.Having said that it is also important to share interesting content even if it is not yours.
You can send things which will be appreciated by your followers or fans.This is a way to keep them interested.They will expect something worthy from your side.In between those interesting posts you should bake in your posts as well.
Mistake #4 : Creating multiple profiles on same social site for content promotion
This is one approach some follow.I had conversation with some blogger who create multiple profiles for content promotion.They will post content from one profile and then like or share it from other profile.This is a way to increase content visibility.
This does work to some extend.But the approach have some problems.The problem is that your energy will get divided across multiple profiles on that social networking site.Your number of friends will also get split across the profiles.
Instead of focusing on multiple profiles you can use the same energy on a single profile.With more time to focus on single account you are giving yourself more chance to be engaging.With increasing engagement with followers you are increasing your popularity and fan base.This way you can increase number of friends or fans on that profile.
Mistake #5 : Not loading social media buttons effectively
Social Media buttons should be added to your website.There is no second thought on this.It helps visitor share your content easily.So for easy share experience official buttons are the best.But social buttons does slow down your website.Speed is important for Search ranking (more important on mobile devices).So if you want speed you should dump social buttons.But dumping social buttons is not the solution.
These widgets should be loaded after initial page load.So the visitor experience is not hampered.There are many ways to load social sharing buttons.Many websites use third party services like ShareThis,AddThis or other plugins bundled with their content management system.
But you can load social widgets without using any third party tools or plugins.This website uses the technique mentioned in this post.The widgets are loaded after page load if website is viewed on desktop and does not load at all if viewed on mobile or other small screen devices.
You can just copy and paste code from the article and use it on your website.Not loading social widgets on mobile is my personal preference.Even if social widgets are loaded after page load it will not be good for user experience.The scrolling experience will not be smooth.So I disabled them on mobile website.
I will be updating this post from experience of other bloggers as well.You can also share your experience.Social sites if used properly can make help your website grow fast within small time.So before jumping on to it plan and do it systematically.