Social media is no longer an optional tool when it comes to any kind of online publishing or marketing; it’s become essential in our daily lives.
Even so, figuring out how to use social media to boost your site’s traffic is like developing a family recipe: it takes time to perfect, and it might require multiple ingredients.
Lucky for you, there’s no cookware or cleanup required for your social media “recipe.” In this blog, I’ll guide you through three steps you can use when developing your social media strategy.
- Know who and where your target audience is
- Deliver the right content to your audience
- Stay organized
We were lucky enough to also get input on using these tips as a publisher from Joe Humphrey of chromeunboxed.com, an Ezoic publisher with a consistent and robust social media presence. See his real-life examples throughout this article.
1. Know who and where your audience is
Before you start posting, you should try to figure out what channels you should even be using. There’s no point in coming up with an elaborate posting and engagement plan to post to the void. While every social media platform has its merits, you may not need to post on every single one, or you might want to tailor your efforts to each platform.
Humphrey added that for his efforts, it would be impossible to try and post on all social media platforms.
“As a small team, we have to pick the platforms that give us the most return, rather than trying to post on every platform,” Humphrey said. “So we focus our time on the big three platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”
If your site is all about travel, for example, you may be more likely to find a following on Facebook (a more visual and community-based platform) than Twitter. On the other hand, if your blog is about earning money, maybe you’d find your audience in Facebook groups or in specific Twitter communities.
Understanding who your audience is on each platform is a great place to start when figuring out what your strategy will look like. Take a quick look at the demographics of your followers on each platform every now and then to tailor your content properly. You can do this easily through the analytics on each platform, or through a third-party social media management platform (which I’ll touch on later).
Here are some concrete tips to find just where your audience is spending their time.
- Create a target persona (or more than one)
- Who is your target audience? What are their habits? What kind of content do they enjoy? Where can they find that content?
- Analyze your customers’ demographics
- What do you know about their age, gender, location or other traits? Can you conduct a survey? Can you find similarities between their demographics and demographics by social platforms?
- You can actually use Ezoic’s Big Data Analytics to check into demographics like language spoken, location, timezone or even weather. That means you can tailor your social media content down to whether it’s cloudy or sunny outside — cool, right?
- Do certain social media platforms align with your website more than others?
- If you post all about biking, then LinkedIn might not be the perfect place for you. However, if your blog is all about parenting maybe you’d notice that Pinterest is a great place to post tips and activities for parents.
- Do you see any current patterns in which social platforms are driving traffic?
- Check in with your analytics! Do you notice that your links on Twitter are driving traffic, but you don’t see any coming from Pinterest? This could be an indicator of which channels might work for you. However, take this with a grain of salt: this might also be an indication that your content is simply tailored more to one platform than another, which we’ll cover, too. You can check where your traffic is coming from in Ezoic’s Big Data Analytics tool, or on Google Analytics.
For our Ezoic site, we used Google Analytics to see where our traffic was coming from. As you can see, Facebook is the big winner!
2. Deliver the right content to your audience
There are important layers of “what kind of content” your audience might enjoy…
We can break this down into a few layers…
- What content works best for each platform?
- What types of posts perform best?
- What should you avoid?
What content works best for each platform?
First, there’s the layer of different content by platform, as you may have different audiences on each platform. For instance, maybe your Facebook audience will primarily want interesting content they will engage with, but your LinkedIn audience wants to know about what new things your company is doing. It’s important to track what is performing best on each platform, and keep that in mind as you create more and more posts. As you keep posting, also keep in mind which posts are driving links.
Humphrey added that ChromeUnboxed varies their posting across each platform by what seems natural to them.
“Facebook and Twitter are mainly just article posts with the occasional promotional post,” he said. “We normally try to write a post that is more casual than the headline and then we just link the article. Then we post on Instagram when we have a high-quality photo that we want to share.”
What types of posts perform best?
Second, there’s the content itself. What type of post is most engaging? What will your audience actually find interesting? And how do you tee that up to get them to make the decision to come to your site?
Let’s say you’re a travel blogger. You may have the best information on booking the right hotel, but perhaps the infographic you posted onto Twitter just didn’t land right. From here, it’s important to try different types of content to see what might work best and also understand what the purpose of your post is. For this article, we are focusing on social media that drives website traffic, so naturally, we would encourage your posts to have a clear call to action for the particular page you’re trying to send your audience to.
For instance, you might try:
- Creating a shorter video clip and directing audience to see the full video on your website
- Including a poll with a question relevant to a piece of content on your site
- Ask a question to build community, then using that input to think about your own content
- Including infographics that pique interest in a blog’s subject
For example, after we ran the following poll, we posted a follow-up that linked to a blog on the same topic.
For ChromeUnboxed efforts, Humphrey keeps track of how different posts are performing pretty easily.
“Since we are mainly posting articles, we normally see direct correlations between the web traffic to an article and engagement on social media,” he said. “But we also tend to see better engagement on giveaway posts.”
[As you can see, here’s a giveaway post by ChromeUnboxed on Facebook with some really high engagement, that also links back to their site.]
For more tips on interesting posts to keep your audience engaged, we published a blog on trends in social media that could help.
What should you avoid?
There are a couple things you should definitely NOT do. For instance, you might find that polls work GREAT when you first try them on Twitter. Even though there could be temptation to publish a bunch of polls to maximize your engagement, keep in mind that a mix of types of posts is generally better because it appears more authentic to your audience.
ChromeUnboxed added that more self-promotion is not always better.
“Avoid self-promotion in places like Facebook Groups and Reddit,” Humphrey said. “Be a part of the community and try to become an expert source for the group – don’t just constantly post your own content.”
Another thing to consider is that even though your end goal may be to drive traffic to your site, you shouldn’t go crazy with the links. Don’t focus 100% of your efforts on just posting links to your site, because this might appear spammy or uninteresting to your followers. Try to take a different approach on each post — entice a reader with a question, give a teaser with emojis to a recent blog, or any other creative approach you want to try!
3. Stay organized
Alright, so you’ve found your mix of content that works, great! Now what?
Staying organized is probably one of the most important parts of the entire process. If you can stay organized, then you can keep track of your progress, remain consistent, and keep forging forward.
Here are a few tips to keep your social media plan-of-attack organized.
- Be consistent.
- Building a consistent following requires building a consistent presence. Many people won’t follow an account that only posts sporadically. Come up with some sort of posting plan or frequency, and stick with it.
- Track your progress.
- How will you know how to improve your social media presence if you don’t look at the numbers? Be sure to check in on a regular basis on your analytics to see how posts are performing and how your account is doing overall.
- Consider a third-party app to schedule social media.
- If you want to get serious about your posting, it can save time to find a third-party social media scheduler. Here is a link to explore some popular ones and what they offer. While totally optional, they can simplify the process of posting across various channels and monitoring progress across those channels. Oftentimes, there are free versions or free trial periods to see how you might like a certain scheduler.
Wrapping it all up…
Having social media to accompany your site and boost pageviews shouldn’t really be viewed as optional anymore; it’s simply best practice. As daunting as it can seem, though, there are some easy and tangible steps you can follow to take control of your social media presence.
As a final note, keep in mind that things are always changing. Best practices today can change tomorrow. Try to keep an ear to the ground when possible to make sure your social media is always in the best shape to send users to your site.
Stay awhile and check out these other helpful tips we’ve compiled related to social media:
- Leveraging Social Media To Create Engaging Content
- Developing a Social Media Strategy That Fits Your Budget
- 10 Tips for Making Your Content Easier to Share on Social Media
Or check out Ezoic’s social media presence:
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ezoic
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ezoi…
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ezoic
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ezoicplatform/