This post is part of a series. If you’d like to read from the beginning, check out the other posts so far!
- 3 Simple, Killer Steps to Improve Traffic and Monetize Your Blog or Website
- Use a Sales Funnel to Blow Up Your Blogging and Internet Marketing Sales
- Make Money Online by Selling More to Fewer People
This post of course is entitled “How to Improve Traffic from Your Social Networking”. Notice I said “improve”, not “increase”! As business people who want to sell things and make money online, we always want more traffic. And surely more traffic can be a good thing. But if your traffic is of low quality, you can get all the hits you want, and you’re still not going to reach your goals.
If it was really just about getting more traffic, you could just go purchase pop-under traffic from some traffic broker. You can get hundreds of thousands of visitors to your site like this very quickly. Of course, you won’t make any money this way…it just goes to show you that traffic is not everything. Quality is what counts!
The crux of the high traffic conundrum is that if you’re putting out quality content, and you’re taking steps to attract quality, targeted buyers to your site, high traffic and substantial profits are eventually inevitable. The ease and simplicity of the internet makes us want everything right now…yesterday in fact. I’ve talked with so many business people who run a blog or who have taken on different internet marketing projects, and they get discouraged after only a few weeks. It takes time! If you’re laying the groundwork in the manner I describe in Next Level Blogger, high traffic is on its way! But first, you want to make sure you’re attracting the right traffic.
The Value of Social Networking Traffic
Everyone knows (or SHOULD) that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are great sources of traffic. But like anything else, let’s not just take what falls on our plate. We need to stop being happy with just getting hits. Look past the numbers and figure why…WHY are people visiting your site, and how can you bring more targeted buyers to your site every day? Here are a couple things to consider doing if you want to make more money and get better results from your social networking traffic:
- Better social networking contacts
- Better social networking prospecting
Better Social Networking Contacts
Once again…there are no shortcuts! If your social network is not high quality, you’re not going to get high quality results. As marketers who want to sell things and make money online, so many of us want to ramp things up quickly. We want to build a large network as fast as possible, so we take short cuts.
There are automation tools available for MySpace and Twitter that I’ve seen out there, and let me tell you if you’re using a tool to “automatically” add followers for you on Twitter for example, with the hopes of building your follower count, guess what’s going to happen…you’re going to get a lot of followers most likely! And you’ll feel all warm and toasty inside because you have a ton of followers, and when you tweet out a link to your latest post, guess what happens. Nothing! Know why? Because the network you have built is junk!
It’s understandable to think that you need to have a large network on Facebook or wherever, and truth be told if your network is larger, you’re going to get larger results, but this is only the case if the people in your network actually care about you or what you’re talking about!
Build your network the old-fashioned way, by making personal contact with people you’ve found “out there”. Maybe you’ve come across their blog or seen them in a forum. You’ve talked. You know what business they’re in. They are aware of who you are, and you add them on Facebook. That’s a real contact. That’s a targeted lead. That’s someone you KNOW is interested in what you’re selling. It’s someone you can truly connect with and possibly help in the future. Build your network this way, not through automation, mass following or any other junk-building methods.
Same as what I say about high traffic, large numbers only mean something if there are quality, targeted prospects behind those numbers. Otherwise, it’s just junk. Build a quality network. It’s better to have 500 highly targeted people than 50,000 people who could care less what you have to say and who only added you because they didn’t want to be rude. Yes, this approach takes time, but it doesn’t take MORE time than doing it the fast, crappy way. Because the fast, crappy way doesn’t work. Then you’ll end up having to start over. If you really want to make money online, you might as well do it right from the beginning 🙂
Better Social Networking Prospecting
As business people, bloggers, internet marketers, we don’t often think of ourselves as salespeople, but if we’re selling things online (whether it’s a service, a product or anything), we are salespeople whether we think we are or not! And posting links, tweeting out your latest blog posts, engaging your buyers online to get them over to your site…this is prospecting. We are well-served to think about it this way. If we want to get maximum results, that is.
I will talk more about the power of prospecting and how to prospect in later posts, but for now, I want to simply state how you can get better results from the posts you make on your social networking sites.
First of all, I highly recommend using Ping.fm. It’s pretty well-known at this point, but there are still a lot of people not using it. I’m not sure why. You can post once and have that post hit any number or all of your social networking profiles all at once. You can use it for your blog posts, status updates and more. It’s a massive time saver and a great, simply way to reach more people without any additional effort.
Second, I think it’s important to consider the content of your posts carefully. This is another great example of an area where you can get great results, but most people don’t give it much thought. I believe it’s essential to be deliberate in your approach. If you can get a 1% better response from your status updates, that may not seem like much, but if you multiply that by 500-1000 status updates over the course of a year, it can easily add up to a LOT more traffic to your site, more orders and subscribers, etc. Trust me, 1% adds up!
It’s a common practice to tweet out a link to your latest blog post for example. Keep doing it. It works. It’s a great way to let people know about your newest content. Many people do not subscribe by email or rss. They follow you on Twitter. I was originally surprised when I learned this, but it makes sense. Many people who care about what you’re writing are only going to hear about your new posts this way, so make sure you keep doing it.
But you can get a better result, and a lot more clickthroughs if you are just a little thoughtful about how you post the link. Many people use Tweetlater or some other automated tool in order to automatically tweet out their latest posts. That’s cool. It gets the job done, but you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I don’t use any automated tool for this purpose. People are HYPER-sensitive to automation, and I honestly think they can smell it from a mile away. I don’t want my followers to think I’m not there in person. I want to cultivate that personal connection as much as possible. So I do it manually.
Take your post and think about the main value proposition to your readers. Don’t just tweet out the title and expect people to click over and read it because you’re so awesome and people love you. Give them a REASON to click over and visit your blog. Answer the question honestly, why should your readers visit and read this post now? What problem does this post solve? What real value are you offering them? State this briefly and tweet the link out that way. It takes 3 seconds of thought, and that’s all it takes in most cases to make that extra connection with someone. The details matter!