Many newcomers to the world of online marketing spend a lot of time worrying about their site not getting traffic. Instead of utilizing free, powerful platforms where their niche audience resides, they are spinning their wheels frantically attempting to outrank their competitors with SEO (search engine optimization).
Instead of ignoring social media sites filled with hungry consumers, make sure you add it to your traffic generation strategy. It is okay (and smart) to ensure your site is optimized to compete, but keep in mind that social marketing has become one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and fastest ways to build an online business.
The Power of Social Media Marketing
It is hard to imagine what the Internet was like before social sites took root. Early on, there were forums, but now there are places built to network with friends and family, share photos and opinions – and get to know people on a whole different level.
While forums were great for sharing tips, it was limited how much it allowed marketers to build trust and gain their audience’s loyalty. Consumers like to feel they know you, and when you are letting them engage with you on social media, it helps you overcome that kneejerk reaction from some people who are sceptical of anyone how is selling something online.
Social media has evolved to the point where you can share a mix of your personal life (what you feel comfortable with) mixed with your business dealings, and you can do it in a wide variety of media formats – including text, images, audio, and video.
Once you put something out there, you have the potential for it to go viral, and that can be anything from being shared among your circle to being publicly shared with those you do not even know.
Let us get connected
You can engage with individuals connected to or lead entire groups on these social networks, which is a great alternative to more sterile threads on forums that used to be your only option.
You do have to be careful that you rely on social media sites to do your online business. Keep in mind that while you may have a presence there, you do not own the virtual real estate, so at any moment you could be banned, or the entire company could get sold or go under, as has happened in the past.
Another great aspect of the social media platform is that they often have a way to level up your usage. You can become a verified user, you can use various types of tools on the platform, like live streams or pages and groups – and you can also invest in some of their paid programs, like advertising in the stream of your target audience.
Find the Right Sites for Your Niche
There are so many different social sites right now, and more are growing every single day. Which ones should you be on? It all depends on where your niche audience hangs out.
Obviously, you do not want to choose sites with very few potential buyers and subscribers for you – even if those are sites or apps, you typically enjoy for your personal life.
When you go on these social sites, begin looking for groups of people discussing your niche topic. Whether it is weight loss or making money online or even golf – you should get an idea of how popular the topic is on that platform.
Facebook is great for a wide variety of posting and media formats. You can share text-based posts, images, videos, live stream and even post a different link or even more than one link in each post.
You have personal profiles, pages, and groups. When you are using sites like this, you may want to join groups and participate without spamming links to your site, just for branding and expertise by being helpful and then starting your own group.
These platforms have people interested in all sorts of topics, from golf to weight loss to gardening and more. However, many younger people do not use the site, even if they have a presence. So, if you are targeting a 30+ age group, you will find it better here.
Instagram is a site that is primarily rooted in images, but you get to post some text with it, and you can also post videos or live stream from the site, too. The drawback for this site is that you cannot include live links, just one in your bio, so make sure you send followers to a lead magnet page to market to them later.
This is a popular site with younger crowds, and there are all kinds of niches on it – from beauty and anti-aging to fashion, weight loss and more. You will want to master your visual skills to entice people to follow you here.
Twitter is similar in terms of their layout and how they are used. While they are not great for many niche markets, people share links to informative products, so if you have a lead magnet, you can generate traffic to it here, and you can use text, images, and video on these sites.
Snapchat is one of the more youth-driven social platforms, but it is not reserved for just that demographic. This is a site where you can use images and videos to build a rapport with your audience, and people can search according to a topic to find you or maybe shown your account on their stories page as suggestions for them to follow.
Tik Tok is like Snapchat, but with a much more viral ability. Users have a “for you” page where they are shown content that they have proven to show an interest in. There are all kinds of topics here, like weight loss, gardening, making money, cooking, arts, and crafts and more.
YouTube, Vimeo, or Rumble have almost every niche you can imagine is shown on them. These are video sites, so you can grab an account and later level up to paid options if you want.
Understanding Video Sites
With video sites, you cannot only generate traffic to your own site, but you can build a subscriber base right there, and you can embed the content back on your own blog, to add a multilayered approach to your media formats.
The anchor is an audio podcast site. It is free, and not only will they share your podcast with their users, but they will go out and spread your recordings on other podcasting platforms if you want them to.
VSCO is an aesthetic type of image-based site. If you have a niche like self-care, fashion, beauty, anti-aging, or something like this, VSCO is a great viral way to brand your site. Make sure you have your URL on the images that you share there.
Pinterest is a trendy image site that is used for all kinds of niches. Many marketers join group boards to increase their free traffic abilities, but you can even do it solo using simple templates you get free on Canva to make your Pins stand out.
Profile Tips to Help You Stand Out
Some people get on social media and never understand why it is not working for them. Part of the reason is that they never took the time to set up their profile properly. Your profile represents you on these platforms, so make sure you do it right from the very beginning.
First, make sure you fill it out fully. If there is a spot for a website, add your lead magnet page there. If it asks what books you like to read, but a few in there – preferably those related to your niche topic.
Whenever you start going into groups or engaging with people on social media platforms, one of the first things they will do is click on your profile page to see what you are all about. If it is empty, that builds no trust.
Add links wherever possible to your lead page – not only in your profile, but also in your About section, branded on your images and in your videos, and more. You always want to be driving traffic to where you are building your list.
Have a personal profile picture. Do not make the mistake of using something like an object or even a cartoon picture of yourself. That may make you feel more comfortable, but it does nothing to inspire trust with your audience.
They want to put a face to the name and know who they are dealing with when it comes to spending money online. An extra level of trust is required for Internet sales that are easier to overcome when standing in an offline store, interacting with people representing the company.
Consider keeping some things private. If you are using social media for business, you may not want to include groups you belong to, which might be controversial or alienate your followers. You also may want to make your friends list hidden so your competitors cannot siphon off your target audience.
Engage Your Audience with Value and Teasers
As a consumer yourself, when you are given something amazing for free, you are shocked. You start imagining what that person or company sells if their freebie is incredibly valuable.
That is why you need to show up to serve your audience for free on social media platforms and overdeliver when you do that. Let us say someone asks a question about your niche.
Many marketers will reply to the person with a link to their product. Instead of looking for opportunities to make a quick buck, give a thoughtful answer and then send them to a free download you have that might help them and subsequently get them on your list.
If you are worried about wasting time on social sites, understand that when you go onto these platforms intending to help, it means you stay focused and look for opportunities to engage.
You are not scrolling through a feed arguing with someone about politics or getting sidetracked by discussing whether heirloom tomatoes are healthier. You are intentional with your time, and it helps you make significant progress with your list building efforts.
The key is to have a goal – may be to engage with and help 2-5 people, and then do that and exit the site to complete your work for the day. You can always go back to immerse yourself in the tomato talk when the day is done, but not before then.
The smart way to Drive Traffic
Teasers are a smart way to drive traffic to your site using social media. There are viral posts that pique an audience’s curiosity without giving everything away but instead giving people a link to discover the truth’s secret.
What works so well with this approach is that engagement hypes up your audience. When people start sharing and commenting, others do the same. The social proof gains momentum, and your traffic increases.
Make sure you are participating in competitors’ accounts, too. You can add comments and tips and respond to their posts. On YouTube, people make response videos. On Tik Tok, they do what is called a Duet, where the screen splits, and the person responds to the other, original person, and it tags them in it.
Leveraging Multimedia on Social Sites
Text is amazing and the most common way of sharing information on social media sites. Even on YouTube, videos and text are strategically placed on the screen and in the description area, too.
You want to work on making sure your text-based content is written almost like a copy – short and to the point, with a call to action at the end. Do not babble on and on because your readers’ attention span is short, and you are competing with others right above or below you in their feed.
Images work very well on social platforms. They stand out in a feed full of text. You can use static images or gifs that are animated, depending on the niche. Try to brand your images with your URL and/or name.
Audio files are not shared as often on some social platforms, but they do work, and more people should utilize them. Again, brand your name and URL in them and keep them short – to 10 minutes or so in length.
People love to listen
People like to listen to things like tips or strategy when they are multitasking. For example, maybe they need to pick their kids up from school or clean house, and they know they need to be working. This helps them feel productive if they can listen to something helpful while doing a mindless task.
Video, including the live stream, is a powerful tool on social media. It helps people get to know you better, even if you are not shooting a headshot and are only using a PowerPoint or Canva presentation and screen recording instead.
Whenever possible, allow others to have the ability to embed your videos into their site or share them on social media sites. If you are branding your name and URL, you will not be losing followers – you will be gaining them.
For someone new to the online world of marketing, expenses can add up quickly. Knowing that social media gives you a level playing field where you can compete with top experts worldwide is comforting and should motivate and inspire you to use it consistently to generate traffic and build a list of loyal followers.
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To your success