How Different Social Media Platforms Generate Leads
Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden. Social Garden specializes in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.
You have your social media accounts all set up and ready to go, but do you know how to use them to generate leads?
Read on and learn how to use each social media platform to generate solid leads and make your social media marketing an overall success.
Facebook is like the hub of social media. Everyone can post content from other sites to it, and nearly everyone has a Facebook account. This makes the social media platform instrumental in your lead generation plan.
Above all other social media platforms, Facebook's advertising services target exactly who you want and can put your content right into the hands of those most likely to use it. After all, you spend so much time creating great, quality content on your blogs so you might as well share it with new potential clients.
The Promoted Post feature puts your best content on the Facebook feeds of those most likely to be intrigued and click. You might promote a link to a free ebook or upcoming webinar you are hosting, or you might promote your most popular blog article. The only think you cannot post is a direct link to any sort of landing or product page. This is not the time to sell.
Whatever promotional angle you decide to use, make sure you have a sign-up form or some way of getting visitors to give you their email addresses. This is the best way to collect the leads that click on your posts.
Sending out well-crafted tweets with defining hashtags is a great start, but you might have more success generating leads if you are participating in or hosting Twitter chats. Any Twitter account can host a discussion and anyone interested is allowed to participate. The host will decide on a relevant hashtag so everyone participating can find the most recent posts by searching for the hashtag.
If you are unsure about hosting one, try participating in a few chats to see how it is done. You will meet both other industry leaders as well as consumers, and you will be free to voice your own opinions on certain subjects. This is a great way to gain exposure for your brand and introduce it to a new group of consumers.
Whether you are participating or hosting, there are a few things to keep in mind when posting. These will help you make better use of your time and hopefully generate more leads:
Stick to the designated hashtag.
Add insightful comments that show your understanding of the industry and the topic at hand.
Stay on topic and do not pitch any of your services or products.
Research the people who are active participants by checking out their profile. If you think they might be a good fit for you, follow them. More than likely, they will follow you back.
Be active in Twitter chats and your brand will reach new consumers.
Cendrine Marrouat of Social Media Slant hosts a monthly Twitter chat using #smslantchat where users discuss various aspects of digital marketing.
Want to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your company? Instagram, the photograph platform, is perhaps best used for showing off the personal side of your business. It gives you the chance to showcase your staff's antics and offer a glimpse at what it is really like to be a part of your company.
By introducing your staff members to the world, you're giving a face to your brand and humanising it. Your brand inspires these people at work every day so show your consumers why it is so great to work for you and be a part of your company.
You can also send live updates from promotional events you attend and show readers what you are up to. This is a great way to attract people to a local event or trade show that you are participating in, and you can offer small discounts to followers who attend the event or trade show and stop by your booth.
To generate the best leads from Pinterest, optimise your pins for maximum pin-ability:
Craft the perfect board to match your audience's tastes
Select visually stunning images - create your own or use others you love (Hint: tall images tend to get more pins)
Use your URL or UTM parameters to lead visitors back to your website
Create a short and sweet copy description - less than 200 words is best
Include a relevant hashtag if necessary
Promote your boards on multiple sites and encourage your followers to pin their favourite posts.
One of the best lead generation features about LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups. The site hosts hundreds of individual niche groups that participate in monthly, weekly and some even daily discussions together. The groups bring all sorts of industry professionals with similar interests together in one place where they can talk about the issue that matter most to their business.
There is no limit to the amount of groups that you can belong to, and you can always start your own group. You might start a small business support group for your area and invite other local small businesses in your area to participate. You can share marketing ideas and connect with other businesses who might be interested in doing some cross promotion with you.
Regardless of whether you start a LinkedIn group or participate in existing ones, you should be regularly posting questions, commenting on other's opinions (politely) and answering any questions that people post. Like Twitter chat, active participation is key, and you should avoid doing any sales pitching. Doing so will only make people think that you are there to sell it them.
Research the participants in the group and take note of anyone who continually asks questions. You may answer them directly on the group chat and then follow up with a more in-depth direct message. This will help you build a good relationship with your fellow group members and portray your expert knowledge.
Thinking About Social Network Marketing? 3 Tips To Get Started!
Social network marketing is a gold mine when it comes to building traffic, revenue and sales.
It is not undeniable that if you are not doing social media, you are losing out; big time. And like it or not, we are already halfway through 2014.
Some says that 2015 will be a huge year for digital marketing trend which is wonderfully compiled by Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog (read more about it here).
The social media pace is getting fast and the 'slow and steady' don't win the race anymore.
If you have yet to start any social media campaign, you need to start right now. Yes, drop whatever you are doing and start creating a social media account on Facebook, Twitter or a zillion other accounts.
But wait! You have already done that.
Good job, you have just started your first step in any social media campaign.
The moral of the story is not many of us realized we had already started some sort of social media marketing, regardless we are aware or not.
While creating an account is easy, you need more than that.
For starters, you need followers. Tons of them.
There are several fundamentals when it comes to building more followers such as:
Luck is rather challenging as we have no control over them. Lucky for you, it is much opposite when it comes to 'timing' and 'funnel'.
Tip #1: Timing matters for any social network marketing
Timing is everything. According to the Fast Company, you only need:
Around 5 tweets a day
5 to 10 Facebook updates in a week
Approx. 20 times on LinkedIn in a month
Take a moment to think about this. What's your first thought?
Mine is simple; "Are you freaking joking me?! I post around 15 times on Twitter and Facebook plus 5 times on LinkedIn daily!"
Let's talk about ROI myth and it is broken down into two parts:
Higher number of shares will contribute to higher traffic but higher bounce rate
Lower number of shares will contribute to lower traffic but a lower bounce rate
This can be concluded that while there is absolutely no wrong-doing choosing either one of them, the method of reaching out to the prospective readers is important.
What's work for me is around 10 tweets, 5 Facebook shares and 3 LinkedIn updates close to a daily basis. How about yours?
There is no 'absolute timing' when it comes to social media scheduling. Yes, there are guides to help you with it but at the end of the day, it is totally dependable to your visitors (time of action).
Tip #2: Creating a funnel that drives traffic from social network marketing
Are you using social media for marketing? If you are, you need good funnels to drive traffic and sales.
Social network marketing basically means reaching thousands and thousands of readers with just a few clicks of the button.
In social media, the easiest way to create funnel is by creating quality posts with the proper Call To Action (CTA).
And when it comes to social media marketing techniques, there is no one else better than Rebekah Radice. Check out her latest article on 5 Ways To Create A Social Media Call To Action That Converts.
In short, a funnel can be done using:
Knowing your (company) value
Be exactly clear what you want your readers to do (read, click, buy etc)
Understanding the market
Speak your audience language
Simply by asking for a kind retweet, reshare or a +1
My social network marketing method is rather simple. I would share the same post using various CTA's in a period of one week (or a couple of days). Judging from the response, it would provide us with a huge understanding on what readers love and what is driving those clicks.
Tip #3: Social network marketing done right
The right social network marketing strategy will drive traffic to blogs and websites
I'm a huge fan of social media automation. Running a hectic life with various projects from my start-up agency and as well as my lucrative day job is a no joke.
After all, it's our job to ensure that we put food on the plate right?
Social media is business for me. Believe it or not, most of my business traffic comes from social media.
If you want to rank well on Google, you need search engine optimization. In social media, you need social media optimization.
To kick start social media, all you need is the right technique. Allow me to share mine (you can share yours using the comment form below):
There are more than a dozen social media platforms out there and you need to choose the most lucrative one for your social media campaign.
Using Google Analytics, determine which platform provides you the best traffic and clicks.
If you are starting up a social media marketing and time is a huge factor for you, you can simply choose the top 3 most productive platform to work with.
Social media is always a two way traffic. This means that you need to be active and as well as utilizing the power of automation.
And my go-to tool would be HootSuite Pro. Honestly speaking, having the ability to sync 50 social accounts at the same time is godly.
Bonus tip: Setting up HootSuite Pro for maximum social network power
HootSuite Pro offers up to 50 social accounts (free one offer 5 accounts) and this means that you need tons of planning.
There are two things you have to decide:
What you want to view on the timeline?
Which account you want to sync with HootSuite?
The below is an example my timeline. I separate them into platform based and even client's tab (not visible for obvious purpose).
Each tab can holds up to 10 timelines and this includes mentions, private messages, scheduling etc.
Segmenting the timeline is important to ensure that you have enough visibility and contribution to avoid being labelled as spam or self promotion. This is where the segmentation in the image come into play.
HootSuite offers scheduled posts and you can schedule up to 5 accounts at one time.
The trick here is simple. Schedule posts which are highly attractive and relevant to the group or audience. Do that and you'll get a winner!
The biggest question is probably "What makes Buffer so damn famous?"
Buffer is designed to offer you a more efficient way to handle all your social media accounts and campaigns. Basically, it makes scheduling social media updates as easy as A, B and C.
For those who don't know me, I am pretty much a social media freak. I am constantly on mobile and social media. Yes, welcome to the 21st century!
With over 11 social media accounts to handle, it is really time consuming to handle all. Also with my hectic schedule, it is a no brainer that I need the right social media management tool to turn my social media woes into something ... really pleasant.
As for the record, I had used HootSuite, Socialoomph and a dozen more social media management tool until date. Honestly speaking, nothing really come close to Buffer.
So, why should I be using Buffer?
For starters, Buffer is a free tool which makes life much easier and I was pretty skeptical about its ability before this. Yup, I thought that it was hard to use and I didn't really bother learning.
So for those who are wondering how you can REALLY use Buffer for your social media campaigns, keep reading on as I will share with you how to use Buffer ... the right way.
I uses it because it has a very detailed social media analytics tool.
Buffer is free for all and you can create your account simply by clicking here. On a free account, you can easily manage one Twitter, Facebook (page or profile), and LinkedIn account with up to 10 updates in your buffer, aka scheduler. This means that you can schedule up to 10 updates on free account.
If you are a heavy scheduler like me, you can easily signup for Buffer Awesome plan at $10 per month to manage 12 social profiles, have unlimited posts in your buffer, and even add two team members to help manage it all.
For any bigger business plans, you would need to contact the support team and discuss on the rates.
How do you schedule an update on Buffer?
It is a very powerful social media management tool if you know how to use it correctly. There are two very important factors which you need to consider which are:
Determine the social media platforms to share the updates
Set the day of your choice such as daily or specific days (#2)
Select a time for that Buffer to work (#3)
For those who are managing more than one social media accounts, it is best NOT to schedule the same updates at a specific time.
Also, it is always great to select Shuffle for every completed social media scheduled updates to avoid duplication between accounts.
This is a great way to avoid having labelled as spam.
2. Scheduling a social media update on Buffer
Scheduling a social media update using Buffer is really easy. All you need to do are these three simple steps:
Input your update
Select the social media accounts you want to schedule that update
Choose Share Now or Buffer
Yes! That's all. pretty simple right?
Refer the below image for easier understanding:
Analyzing your social media reach using Buffer analytics
Personally, I am in love with the analytics and it is simply because it makes social networking so darn easy!
Buffer analytics will provide you details such as the number of clicks, comments, likes and reach to name a few. What makes this social media tool better is that for each time the update is reshared by others, your number of reach will be updated instantly.
This is very useful since you would have an idea on how far your social media had reached out to others and what others do with it in terms of resharing and clicking on the link provided.
Buffer makes sharing ... even easier!
At this point, I am sure you are pretty tempted to use Buffer but there's more.
Do you remember the Buffer's philosophy to makes sharing easier?
You can easily integrate Buffer with over a dozen apps and extensions. Imagine using Buffer on Chrome, Firefox, smartphones and various social media platforms.
And my favorite are:
Buffer extension in Chrome
Integration with Feedly
Integration with Pocket app
I was using Buffer so much until a few of my close blogging buddies asked if I am online 24 hours a day, 7 times a week!
Thank you Buffer!
For me, it is more than just a tool when it comes to social media automation and campaigns. It has proven its worth even though I had used it less than a month now. With the rate Buffer is expanding, I am having high hopes that Buffer is going to the leading social media management tool for all.
Video guide: How to make scheduling work for you on Buffer app
3 Powerful Steps To Kick Start Social Media Automation
We are living in the Internet age and by now, the advantages of social media are just too obvious when it comes to the blogging community. And with so many social media platforms nowadays, we are always short of time and I am sure you can't deny that either.
I don't know about you, but creating the right social media automation is not always a piece of cake. Let's face it guys ... you are here because you want to know:
What is social media automation really is
How to make your social media campaigns easier
How to save more time but produce better social media results
The most important part for me isn't any of these 3 above. Instead, my biggest concern is to ensure that social media automation is returning the biggest return of investment (ROI).
For me, social media automation is all about using technology with lots of planning.
The main goal is to create quality social shares and most importantly, sharing them at the right time!
Social media automation is never about quantity but what matters most is the audience and quality. However, don't ever put aside the fact, 'The larger your reach is, the better chance your articles will be receive better responses'.
Basically, you need a healthy dose of quality content to be shared, a large number of reach and of course, timing.
Sounds confusing right? I will explain them in a moment.
Social media automation helps you in time management
Do you find yourself always short of time thanks to the countless social media platforms?
I certainly do and it is rather annoying when you are trying all your best to 'go out' and the only thing that holds you back is time.
Here is where social media automation comes into play. To ensure that it works, you definitely need to have a proper social media plan and the right marketing automation softwares to work for you.
The goal is to ensure that you are maximizing your ROI with the minimum time spend on each social media. In other words, making your 24 hours works like a 36 hours or so.
Still don't get it? Don't worry as what you need now is to watch this video:
[Video] What is Social Media Automation really means to me?
Step 1: Basics before creating an out-of-this-world social media plan
The goal is NOT to create just any type of sharing but to create highly optimized, specific and high value social media shares.
To start up, you need to use the right social media analytics tools to help you with no other than ... social media research.
I am pretty sure you are wondering what should you be finding when it comes to social media research right?
Here are a few information you should know (hint: social media research) when it comes to social media:
Time of share
Constructing killer social shares
This is where you understand the type of audience you have and what they are looking for. It is absolutely pointless to share information with a group who are not even closely related or interested with the said topic.
You need to analysis:
What are the information the visitors are looking for?
Who are you targeting (readers who are looking for information, recommendation or reviews for example)
This is one of those three parts which is very tedious and time consuming.
However, if you are able to work out a social media plan according to the analytic you had gathered, chances are extremely high where you will be able to perform not one but numerous and successful social media automation.
Sharing information at the right time
Planning your tweets or Facebook shares are very important too. The above technique would be able to provide you information on who to share and this in particular, will give you a hint on when to share.
At this point, I know the who, what, where and which are really making you nuts but hang in there with me! We are already halfway there.
When you are thinking of doing 'social media', it is always important to know when your readers are active.
Yup. What's the point of sharing a shout if majority of your readers are asleep right?
That's the whole point!
You want to make sure that every social media campaigns that you do are giving you the best results. Period.
And ... you ain't getting any clicks. Not even one damn click.
Okay, what the hell is wrong?!
Personally, I've been there and I experienced it daily to be very honest. I had a few thousands followers on various social media platforms and I am always wondering; "why 95% of my tweets aren't getting any clicks at all?"
Yup, no resharing, no favorites, no comments ... nothing!
I read through some of the tweets (like a few hundreds of them) and I was like , "Hey, these aren't good social shares at all" and the biggest issue was the title itself.
Step 2: Which social media analytics tools to use?
Using the right social media analytics tools will actually help you to build a better marketing plan and believe it or not, they play more than just huge roles when it comes to social media automation.
There are probably a dozen more social media analytics tools you can use but here are a couple of them which are in my favorite list.
Honestly speaking, I don't really know how many of you are actually using Followerwonk and for me, I used to think that this is rather a 'less useful' analytic tool. And yes, I was wrong.
Followerwonk offers free membership (plus premium plans as well) and is highly focused on Twitter only. Well, since I am heavy user on Twitter, I think this rather self-explanatory right?
Features on free Followerwonk account:
Search Twitter bios
Compare Twitter users
Overlay your social graph
I am sure the above features are already very clear cut and I do not need to go any further with those. However, what really makes me to use Followerwonk is the third feature above; Analyze followers/followers.
Followerwonk provide detailed information on the best time to share information on social media
By allowing Followerwonk to analyze my Twitter account, I could easily determine the best time most of my followers are active on Twitter. This means that, sharing any information during that period would have the biggest impact and reach.
Remember that when it comes to social media, it is never about the quantity but the quality.
And if you think that it is all, you are absolutely wrong!
You can also use Followerwonk to 'export' those hot time periods to your Buffer schedule. Now, that's what I really call as social media automation!
If you are thinking of social media strategy, Google Analytics is definitely one of those analytics tools you need to use. Furthermore, it is runned by Google and thus, it should be trusted right?
So, how do you actually uses Google Analytics for your social media analysis?
You don't use Google Analytics to learn about your followers (even though you could) ... but instead, you should use it to focus on your social media campaigns.
For example, Google Analytics would be able to tell you which social media platform is the best and biggest contributor for your social media campaigns and blog traffic.
With this information, you would be able to perform the right social media optimization by focusing more energy and time on the right social media platforms that gives you the best results.
Personally, I would call this the "lesser work, more impact" social media strategy.
Does this make sense to you?
Step 3: The best social media automation tools
When it comes to social media automation, it is important that you uses the right tools for the job. In today's world, there are probably a dozen or more social media marketing automation softwares out there but for me, I only stick to these three which are definitely proven to be working for my social media.
BufferApp or Buffer is one of those tools that puts your social media marketing into 5th gear. For starters, Buffer has a free and paid version which is called Awesome plan.
Personally, Buffer is one of the best social media tools I ever used and their customer service team are top notch.
Buffer allows you to have a free account to manage one Twitter, Facebook (page or profile), and LinkedIn account with up to 10 updates in your buffer, aka scheduler.
If you are a heavy scheduler like me, you can easily signup for Buffer Awesome plan at $10 per month to manage 12 social profiles, have unlimited posts in your buffer, and even add two team members to help manage it all.
Buffer is really easy to use and what you need to do are:
Connect your social media accounts to Buffer
Select Schedule tab and assign dates and times of the share
Input the post or social share and hit the Buffer button
For your info, scheduled social shares will only take place once in an account. This means that if you would want to reschedule the same post more than once, you need to redo it again.
This is great as it ensures that each of your social shares does not sound 'robotic'.
Personally, I had used HootSuite for over a year now and am totally loving it since it worked well with scheduling and socializing. This means that you are able to schedule social media shouts using HootSuite and even use it on a daily basis.
HootSuite is all about having a balance of work and play. Imagine 'working' and 'playing' all under one roof!
Alike Buffer, HootSuite has both free and premium plans depending on your requirements. Using a free account, you are able to connect to 5 social media profiles and 2 RSS subscriptions (plus basic analytics reports).
If you would require additional features, you can subscribe to its Pro plan at $8.99 per month which offers 50 social media profiles, team members (up to 9) and most importantly, advanced analytics reports.
Scheduling a post on HootSuite is great and these are the steps needed to get the scheduling up in place:
Connect your social media accounts to HootSuite
Input your post and select the social media accounts to share with
Click on the Scheduling icon and select the time to share it
If you are planning to share more than one post, you can easily enable Auto Schedule feature on HootSuite
If you are looking for a 'set once and forget' feature, this is one social automation tool you must definitely consider. What makes Socialoomph so popular is the scheduling process.
Basically, Socialoomph brings social media automation to the next level.
For example, both Buffer and HootSuite only offers one posting per schedule. On the other hand, Socialoomph offers you the ability to control the number of social shares per scheduled post.
Still puzzled? Allow me to explain further.
Imagine setting Post A to go live every Tuesday at 10pm. Socialoomph will be sharing the same post every week at the same time ... FOREVER!
Yup, I bet now you get the total meaning of the 'set once and forget' feature. Well, this could easily be spamming right? This is where Socialoomph had integrated article spinner in it!
Article Spinner is a tool used to spin the same article or sentences into several different versions. To read more, here's an example of The Best Spinner which I am currently using. Basically, it spins a string of sentences into a newly formed sentences that totally make sense upon reading.
What makes Socialoomph different from the rest is the feature where it has the unlimited shares and scheduling feature. Socialoomph is a paid service which could cost you around $25 per month for unlimited social media accounts.
It is in fact one of the most expensive social media tool but I totally love the service they are providing. Personally, if you are running a small blog and doesn't want to pay any extra for it, you can try out Socialoomph for 14 days just by clicking here.
Your account will revert back to the free account upon the end of trial and therefore, you have nothing to lose. For your information, free account do not have the auto scheduling feature.
Over to you ...
Are you putting your social media campaigns into automation? If yes, what are your tricks and tips for it? Otherwise, what do you think of this topic?
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I do. Feel free to tell me what you think using the comment form below plus, please hit the red button below to share it too!
7 Most Influential Social Media Platforms For Bloggers
Since the previous Google algorithm update, social media isn't just an option. Instead, social media had transformed into a necessity which will impact your website traffic and SEO ranking.
And this is no secret either. The right social media platforms will help you build authority and web traffic to your site.
There are more than 30 social media sites that you can choose from nowadays and you don't have the time to find the best ones.
I get it ... totally.
That's why I have compiled the top 7 platforms for social media that will not only increase your blog traffic, but as well as assist you in terms of building authority as a blogger.
Note: Thanks to Adam, I would like to emphasize that the criteria used to determine the standings is no other than the number of users it has. Yes, I am fully aware it is debatable but I believe this could be a good guideline for bloggers to determine which social media platform is the best for them.
Before you start reading, here's a quick video recap on this topic. I hope you liked it and please share it! *p/s Do accept my apologies for the 'loss of words' towards the end of the video.
The countdown for the top 7 social media platforms
Focusing on the right social media platforms will increase the chances of gaining web traffic
There are probably so many social media sites that you can choose from but the trick here is to ensure that every involvement or social engagement done have a high chance of success. Some call it 'Return Of Investment' aka ROI.
You know, taking into consideration of the time spend and the traffic gained.
An important tip I would like to share is that each social media platform works in a very different way. Therefore, you need to have the proper game plan in order to really stand out from the crowd.
Before you grab your 12-gauge shotgun and take an aim on me, spare me a moment to think. Tumblr is all about images and does that make sense that you need to focus on that (just) one thing?
And yes, you are most welcome.
Take a look at some of Tumblr's popular blogs. You will see that they have great images and basically, that's it!
So the social media lesson here is ---> If you want to gain traffic from Tumblr, start focusing in marketing your images. Ensure that these images are on high resolution and there's a link back to your website.
Again, remember that majority of the readers are looking for great images and NOT text. So, play the right social media game correctly and you will see a steady flow of traffic.
The 5th most influential social media platform: LinkedIn
LinkedIn could be very social media tool if you are targeting corporate users
Until date, there are about 238 million active users and this makes LinkedIn, the top 5 social media site in the world.
I don't use LinkedIn that much and I got to admit that.
Depending on your niche, investing time into building a social authority with this social media platform could be a complete waste of time.
LinkedIn is great if you are running a business but if you are just a blogger or anything else that doesn't really relate to business and the corporate world, you will probably not get much return from this.
In order to benefit most out of LinkedIn, you got to know:
How your product could attract others?
What makes them (potential readers) to click on your link?
As you can see above, you can't just do the usual 'social media techniques' that never fails with LinkedIn.
In order to 'sell' on LinkedIn, you need to think like a corporate user. Bear in mind that you are going to reach out to many corporate members.
That's why you got to change the tone and the approach methods in order to gain promising results.
LinkedIn has quite an upper hand advantage especially when it comes to social media authority and traffic. Since the platform evolves around the corporate world, each social shares are taken seriously by others.
Does this ring any bells?
You are bound to get more authority and potential traffic if you are able to get social shares from large organizations. And you can probably find most of them 'lurking' away in LinkedIn.
Facing problems with managing multiple social media accounts? Try Socialoomph for free today!
The 4th most influential social media platform: Google+
Google+ brought social networking to a whole new level
Google+ is trailing closely behind Twitter with 343 million users and this makes everything more interesting.
Some people say Facebook and Twitter are for the masses while Google+ is for specific audience. Personally, I got to agree with that.
So, what makes Google+ so different from the rest?
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Google+ brings social media to the next level. There are Google+ communities where you can join and these are very specific community.
Let's take this community for as an example:
Sharing related article or blog post in the right community will guarantee a good chance of traffic
Sharing a related blog post or article here could mean having over 900 of targeted traffic
You might be wondering right now that 900 plus active users isn't going to make the cut right? Think again.
What you have here is 900 plus of active users who are (and possibly) very interested with the related topic you are going to share.
Does this makes any sense to you?
There you go; Google+ is a social media platform where you are able to target very specific audience for your blogs, business, niche and probably, anything else you can think of.
Out of these 7 social media platforms, which are your favorite(s) and are you using any of them?
Tell me what you think simply by replying using the comment form and could you please share it for me using the red button below?
Why Social Engagement Is More Important Than SEO?
For many bloggers, search engine optimization or SEO is very important when it comes to growing a website. And yes, this is wrong! Hell wrong ... I should be focusing on reader's engagement and let me tell you why.
I did two case studies last month and the figures really opened my eyes. Through my experience, new websites on competing on moderate to high competition keywords usually get very less traffic for the first few months. When I read Neil Patel's Quick Sprout, it made me realized that I could actually grow my website from nothing to something ... within days.
What's worst is that I'm competing on super high competition keywords such as:
Search engine optimization
Do you know how much competitions I'm actually facing? Literally, it felt like competing with a quarter of the total websites in the world.
So, this is probably not the question of the year but it sure sounds important for you and me; Why should you focus more on social engagement than plain, straight-forward search engine optimization techniques?
This is not about ditching your SEO strategies but to improvise it. Start thinking out of the box!
Here's what Google said in the past:
'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'
This is what Google says now:
'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'
Does this make any sense to you? I even underlined the important words for you. So, ask yourself again now; How important is social engagement in Google point of view?
The below are two case studies which I did to see how social engagement affects my website growth and traffic.
Case Study 1
Search engine optimization techniques
Using right keywords
My website traffic was pretty low considering that it is new and limited social engagement
Look at the graph. Does that look familiar to you? For me, absolutely yes. Regardless how many new websites I started up, my graph and website traffic has always be like that.
20 to 50 views a day? That doesn't make the cut! I need to do more and think out of the box; Is there any other way to improve and increase my website traffic?
Case Study 2:
Social shares (social media)
Commenting on other blogs of the same niche
My website traffic increase dramatically when there was comments done on Google+ and social media
Even a young boy could tell the difference right? My website traffic exploded, skyrocketed and increase more than what I expected.
This is H-U-G-E ...
In just one week:
Website traffic increase at least 2.5 times more
Over 50 comments received
Bounce rate reduced by 10%
And my Gooogle Adsense revenue grow by 33%
This is H-U-G-E ...
Case study 2 isn't much about the normal SEO stuffs most bloggers talk about ... you know, content, keywords and the list continues.
Instead, case study 2 is how clever bloggers and writers grow their websites. Just look at how Traffic Generation Cafe, Kikolani and CopyBlogger grow their websites.
Practically, they did everything every one was doing. From search engine optimization techniques to writing great contents.
But, they did everything with a twist ... they added human touch.
What? Human touch?
Human touch is more than just hand shaking
Read some of your articles and tell me if these articles are written for search engines and not for readers. I admit it, even I have some article written for search engines and that's bad.
I classify human touch as one part of social engagement. When your readers hits your website, you got to make sure that you try your best to get to them and welcome them.
If you are writing a blog or article, make sure you are catering for your human readers and not bots. Readers want to read facts and not SEO optimized articles. Period.
Be a reader yourself to be engaging
Nowadays, reader's engagement is way more important than content itself.
Always put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Imagine you are visiting a blog and the writer is actually writing for search engines and not for the reader. Would you be back? I guess not.
Sames goes here. When a reader leave a comment, reply to them and tell them how much you appreciate them. I know a bunch of bloggers who don't reply to comment and this is absolutely why you should ... starting now!
You want to your website to grow in terms of traffic, search engine ranking and even subscribers right? You got to do something to make them come back for more! And, you wouldn't go any wrong with some customer service or human touch I would say.
Small steps could create big improvements in social engagement
Before you even thinking of going into social media, make sure you are ready for it. Update all your profiles and make sure they are good. Yes, real good.
Tip when writing a profile: Compose a short profile where readers can get an idea of what you are in just 15 seconds or less.
You want your readers to engage with you and you want to create a good platform for that. There's no better way then showing to people what you really are with a good profile and a nice photo of you. Please ... no fake photos or some celebrities. That's a recipe for disaster 🙂
Why reader's engagement matters?
It doesn't really matter if the reader is leaving a negative or positive comment. Taking for an example, I received a comment yesterday by Adrian Jock. He pointed out that I had overlooked one of the facts and I didn't delete that. Instead, I published it and did the right amendment as what pointed out. You can find the article here: The Truth About Aweber And MailChimp.
I used to be a blogger myself who deletes all bad comments and leave good ones instead. Well, even though that is absolutely doable, I wanted to be slightly different.
Now, do a little thinking and do you get the point?
The fact is that any discussion could be a great discussion. It really depends on how you talk it out. I know some comments turned out to be heated one instead. And that, by all means ... please avoid it! 🙂
Thank your readers who left comments on your website
A small note of thank you goes a long way especially for bloggers
This is another important part that is important for most readers following from the above. They love to see your reply and yes this is the real deal. I know quite a few bloggers and writers who do not respond to their reader's comment. If you're following their footsteps, you should stop right now!
If you want to boost your social engagement level and get your readers to come back for more, you should start talking to them. There's no better way then thanking them for their time visiting and even reply to their feedback.
For me, I reward my readers and those who leave a comment by using CommentLuv plugin. Basically, anyone can entitle for a free DoFollow link as long as they comment and share the article on social media. Don't hear my words for it. Instead, here's the link (it'll open a new window for you): What is CommentLuv WordPress plugin?
Start leaving your comments on other blogs!
Have you ever encountered a time where you stumbled upon some article on the web and liked it? Why don't you leave a comment and thank the author for the hard work? Moreover, they deserved it since they had provided some sort of important information for you.
When you are leaving comments on blogs, make sure you make it as insightful as possible. This means that you must scrape off all those thank you and goodbye stuffs. Instead, thank them for the hard work and add some of your thoughts into the matter.
I know probably 90% of the blogs out there do not allow links on their comment right? This is where you should take advantage of CommentLuv enable sites. Sharing good comment and get a link share in return?
I don't think there's anything else better than this!
The importance of social share (social media)
Like it or hate it, social share is important. Imagine the webpage had just opened and immediately, your eyes are attracted to the total number of social media shares it has on that page. I bet your mind is telling you that the article is pretty impressive and worth your time reading right?
Yes! That's it! The more social share you have, the better chance people are going to be convinced on what you've to say.
Recently, I've been very active on social media and for every like, retweet or share I got on social media, my traffic exploded multiple times. Does this make any logical sense for you?
I bet it do ... right?
Writing good content is important but if no one is reading it, there ain't any point. Therefore, it is best if you can allocate some time around daily for some social shares. Even sharing other articles is also a great move as well!