Why use Social Media?
Social Media has become part of our online life.The growth of Social Networking sites have forced everyone to include them in their promotion plan.This also includes bloggers.In past Bloggers have relied on Search Engines and Subscribers for majority of traffic.But things have changed with Social Media.Bloggers should now focus on Social sites along with other traditional methods of traffic.
The traffic generated from Social networking and social bookmarking sites can outperform traffic from other sources if done properly.Apart from traffic it also impacts Search Engine ranking.So a post which is shared on Facebook,Twitter or Google plus will rank benefit in search engine ranking.This makes it more important to focus on Social networks.
In this post I will cover basic Social Media tactics and tips.The points are bare minimum you should have for successful social presence.I am using below mentioned approach for this website with good effect.
Mandatory Social Media presence
Create Facebook Page
Facebook is the social networking site.The number of user using this platform is huge.You may be having a personal Facebook profile.But have you thought of creating a page for your website.A Facebook page which will represent your website on Facebook.If not then it is great mistake.You should create one for your business.People can join your Facebook page and receives update about new posts from the page itself.
Almost all businesses and famous personalities have their Facebook page.So you should not lag behind as well.I have written separate post on using Facebook for traffic and SEO.
Create Twitter Profile
Twitter is different in nature from Facebook.It does not have page concept.So you can create a profile only for your website.This can be different from your official twitter account.I am associated with only one website.So my profile and this website profile are same.You can tweet your new content and other materials which might be beneficial for your followers.
You can read Twitter for traffic and SEO for more details about using it for increasing your website traffic.
Create Google Plus Profile
Google Plus was created to compete with Facebook.Google might have failed in the effort.But it still is worth using platform for bloggers.It might not directly provide as much referral traffic as Facebook but it does help in Search Engine ranking.
You can create Google Page for your website.For creating a Google Plus page you should have a Google plus account.I have Google plus page created for this website.
Create YouTube Profile
YouTube is often not used by most bloggers.But YouTube is one powerful platform.It is largest video site.Also you can get links from YouTube to your website.YouTube has multiple benefit.You can get traffic from it,You can earn money from it and you can get links to your webpage from it.
You can create YouTube profile using Google Plus account id.This will help to maintain both profiles using single id.Also you can create video promoting your website and post it to YouTube.
Optional Social Media presence
Above social media profiles are mandatory for all business or blogs.Your blog can be about travel,food,pets,techs or any other niche.Facebook,Twitter,Google Plus and YouTube profiles are must have profiles.Along with above there are some social sites which are very useful.If you have time you can create profiles on these websites.You can spend some time to understand the nature and then promote content on them.
Create LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is very popular among professionals.But not all type of websites can need LinkedIn profile.If your website is about food or pets then it is not worth creating profile on it or sharing content on it.But if you have blog related to Technology or Jobs then you should create LInkedIn profile.LInkedIn have diffenrent groups for different technology.You can post relevant content in these groups.
LinkedIn does not generate great referral traffic.But it is good for your brand name.You can also earn some quality links as well.This website has LInkedIn profile.
Create Reddit Profile
Reddit is social news website.It can be traffic powerhouse and can take your website down.There are many categories in which you can post your content.But you have to become part of community.If you join it just for promoting your content then you will be banned.
The wide range of categories suit every website type.So it is better to spend sometime on it.But many users get banned from it.So I have written detailed tutorial on using Reddit for traffic and SEO.
Create Pinterest Profile
Pinterest is growing fast.It is becoming very popular.I had created Pinterest profile for this website.But I do not use it much.Pinterest is not useful for Tech blogs or other similar theme blogs.It is good for Fashion themed website.You can check Pinterest and see if you can fit your website in it theme.
If you can use it with properly then it can prove very beneficial to you.I have not tried it much.So I am unable to say potential traffic it could bring you.
Advanced Social Media presence
Explore Niche Specific social media sites
Above I shared list of social media sites which most websites can use.These are very popular websites.But apart from them there are small websites which are niche specific.For example Wayn is social site focused on Tourism and travel.So if you have travel and tourism niche blog then you can try using it.So exploring niche specific social site is worth an effort.
Explore Country Specific social media sites
Some sites are popular in a specific country or region.For example Vkontakte is popular in Russia and the surrounding regions.So if your website is targeting Russia then Vkontakte profile is a must have for your website.So you should ideally take sometime and find out popular website in target country.
Social Media posting tips
So far we discussed sites where you should promote your website.The most common mistake made is dumping each and every post regularly on these websites.Just posting content without engaging with your fans or followers will turn them off.This will back fire significantly.
You should not treat Social sites as traffic generator.You should use them as a platform to have conversation going with your visitors.You should use it to give them interesting engaging knowledge.Give them the information they want to know.If you are making your pages engaging then people will interact more with your posts.You should post website content as well.As mentioned above Reddit is particularly strict about blind self promoting.
Initially do not expect traffic or growth in number of friends.It will take time.As they say content is king similarly to be successful on social sites you should be engaging.You should be good at making relationship with your fans.I have written separate posts on each social media networks which deal in detail on posting tips.The posting tips vary for each social network.
Social Media tracking tips
You should also track performance of your website in different social networking site.This is important.You can use Google Analytics referral section to get an idea about traffic your website gets from different social networking sites.
By getting the data for lets say three to six months you can select top social sites for your website.You can then focus more on these website.Also if you feel some social site should be performing better than they are then you can focus more on them.You can also reason they are not performing as per the potential.
For example this website gets good traffic from Facebook and Google plus (yes I am right Google plus).But Twitter does not perform too well.The reason Twitter is not too often visited social network site between website visitors.So knowing your visitors and platform they are using will benefit you.I focus more on Google plus and Reddit.Reddit have been real good for me.It gives periodic traffic not regular one.
So track performance of social traffic and optimize your presence on them.I have written separate detailed post on this topic.
Social Media optimization tips
Using Images and Videos
On Facebook the posts with images and videos are shared or liked more than the normal text posts.So using images and videos are good sharing practices.Also long posts perform better in Google plus then short posts.So sharing long posts is good in Google plus.It is better to attach images or post videos along with your post to make sure the post performs better.
You can embed pictures in your tweet.This will certainly help your tweet gain attention and you will receive more responses.
Time and Frequency of sharing
Social Media can be traffic powerhouse for your website.It is impacting search engine rankings as well.But to make most out of social sites you will have to be active on them.If you are creating profiles only for promotion then it will not work.You will have to spend some time on it.Understanding nature of social media is important to make the most of it.The tactics which works well for one might not work at all for other one.
For example sharing a post time and again will not work in Facebook but in Twitter this works.So invest some time in understanding the network.Also it is important to remain connected with people who have joined you on that network.If not the profile will become dormant and it will be difficult to get any response if you choose to promote something on it.