Traffic generated to your blog from social media is just as—if not more—important as search engine and direct traffic. Today, 69% of Americans use at least one form of social media, up from 50% in 2011. Consequently, your social media posts should not only be compelling but also framed in a way that will catch the eye of your social media audience. Here are 6 steps you can take to ensure that your blog will stand out and generate more traffic from social media.
1. Create Fantastic ContentIt all starts with creating engaging content, right? There’s a lot of bad content out there, so knowing your audience, brand, and the topic you’re writing about is imperative. Your content should be both actionable and informative, and entertaining doesn’t hurt either. But beyond the copy, your headlines are important as well. Drawing people in with imaginative and catchy titles on social media will make them want to read your blog. Most people decide whether they will click based on the title and description. That means on Twitter your entire chance of your blog getting read relies on 140-characters of greatness. Keywords in your titles also help the effectiveness of your optimization techniques.
Each social network gives you the opportunity to use searchable keywords that will help you garner more engagement for your blog posts. It’s up to you to use them effectively and in moderation. For example, some of the high conversion, non-industry specific keywords are:
2. Focus on Search Optimization
Facebook: Deals, Discount, Tell Us, When, Where
Google+: Create, Discover, Promote, Share
Twitter: Follow, New Blog Post, ReTweet, Top
Things are a bit different than they were a couple of years ago; now you need to write for humans as well as search engines. This still entails focusing on head keywords, but long-tail keywords (the ones consumers will use to search when they are closer to point-of-purchase) are now equally important. It’s also important to use platform-specific search enhancers, such as hashtags (see below).
3. Use Visual Content to EngageMost of your customers are more apt to process information based on what they see, rather than what they read. And social media is the ideal platform for including visual content, such as images, infographics, presentations, and videos, to increase the number of likes and shares you receive on your platforms. In fact, according to one visual marketing survey, more than 90% of marketers said they used visual content in more than 50% of the articles they published.
4. Aim to Be ConciseWhen posting on social media about your latest blog, keep things succinct. Yes, many people have short attention spans, but more important, you want to whet your audience's’ appetite about what they can look forward to when they read your blog. In addition, there are ideal character counts for each platform; for example, the ideal length for a Facebook post is 40 characters, 120-130 for a tweet, and 125 for a caption on Instagram.
5. Use Hashtags to Expand Your ReachBy now you have a good sense of what your followers like and respond to, but what about those you haven’t reached yet? Well, hashtags are a good way to expand the scope of your posts so that you bring in more traffic and conversions. Simply including one hashtag per post can attract more engagement. However, the hashtag you use needs to be relevant (don’t use a popular hashtag just because it’s trending), and including hashtags on Twitter is becoming less important in terms of engagement.
The points mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg in helping you create a strategy to utilize your social media platforms for driving traffic to your blog. The real effectiveness lies in combining each of the points in your plan. But it all starts with stellar content, because without that, you don’t have much worth optimizing.