Welcome to our Ultimate 2018 Guide to driving traffic to your blog posts, videos, infographics and more. This is Part 2, focusing on our top tips for how best to use social media to full effect.
Part 2: How to use social media to drive traffic
Creating social media posts linking to your content should be a no brainer if you’re seeking to get the word out. Here’s how you can make sure it’s effective.
1. Ensure you’ve got a robust presence, and that you’re regularly posting
If your Twitter hasn’t been updated since 2014, it should be no surprise that a single tweet about your new blog post isn’t driving a torrent of traffic.
Get any existing, dormant social media accounts moving again with a regular flow of new content (have a look at our guide to creating rapid, regular content for ideas on how). You can do it in tandem with promoting any new content – but you’ll only start to see results once you’re posting to a channel that’s regularly active.
2. Use @mentions freely (but wisely)
@mentioning or tagging another user by including their name in a post is a powerful tool. It shouldn’t be overused, but it can be extremely effective in bringing attention to your content.
Ensure you @mention anyone relevant to the content you’ve created – that includes contributors, brands or individuals that might be mentioned within it, or any inspirations you’ve drawn from – and consider @mentioning individuals or brands that you think it might be relevant to, too.
Don’t overdo it though. A spray and pray approach that includes anyone and everyone is just spam.
3. Incorporate hashtags, but make sure they’re the right ones
In 2018, the effectiveness of hashtags is increasingly channel dependent. If your main channel is Facebook, don’t worry about them – no one really navigates Facebook by hashtag, so it’s unlikely to help much.
They can be more useful on Twitter, particularly if you can tie them into a hashtag regularly used for a niche topic. Where they’re most powerful is Instagram, though. Regular grammers often navigate by hashtag, and you’ll find that the right ones can have a serious impact on your impressions and engagement.
On Twitter, the 280 character limit means you’ll need to choose your hashtags wisely – look at competitors’ feeds and use a tool like Hashtagifyme to research the right ones.
On Instagram, put as many as you can – just hide them beyond the first 140 characters, so it’s not totally obvious to your followers.
4. Use snippets of your content as social media teasers
Excerpt the best bits of your blog/video/infographic/other, and make them into a compact social post that grabs the attention and – hopefully – attracts the click. It’s a smart way of creating lots of varied posts to promote the same piece of content, while leveraging the work you’ve already done.
5. Don’t be afraid to re-post content
On the same note, don’t just post about a new piece of content once. Post multiple times about it, both repeating identical posts and posting variations on a theme.
It shouldn’t be the only thing on your feed – it should form part of a balanced mix of other types of content – but bearing in mind that only a percentage of your followers will see any given post, there’s nothing wrong with re-posting to try to reach a bigger proportion of your audience.
6. Get your team to share it
If you have a team who are at all active on social media, get them to share your posts regarding the content.
This technique works on all channels, but is particularly powerful for B2B brands on LinkedIn – almost all of your staff will have an account, and should have relevant industry contacts as connections. Get them to share – not like, but share, which is far more effective at driving impressions – your posts regarding your brand’s content for a big boost in visibility to a relevant audience.
When asking your team to share content, ask them to do it in the most productive way. Below are listed the most effective methods of engagement for increasing reach on the top channels:
Instagram: Like + Comment
7. Think carefully about where best to reach your audience
Consider where your energies will be best placed. Look at your competitors or peer brands and where they’re receiving the most engagement to get an idea of where your social posting can be the most productive.
8. Consider paid advertising
The paid advertising features of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn can be a tremendously powerful method of reaching out directly to your audience and guaranteeing visibility for your content.
But they must be used with caution – each platform deliberately makes it very easy to setup and start paying for ads (naturally, it’s in their interest to do so). But to ensure that you get real, measurable results, it’s worth investing time beforehand to ensure that your ads are correctly targeted and tracked and that you’ve got clear goals for them.
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