When done right, social networking can be great for gaining traffic and growing your reputation. However most people don’t do it properly. They either don’t attract enough friends, or don’t get enough attention from the friends they have.
It’s important to attract friends that are interested in your niche. It’s actually quite easy to do this. What I have done in the past is join some social networks and forums related to my niche. It is very easy to get to know people on these types of sites. All you need to do is talk to them and be helpful and polite. Quite soon you can become a respected member of the community where most people will either know you, or at least will are aware of your existence. This is usually enough.
You can then go looking for these members on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and add them as a friend. You may also wish to send a note telling them where you know them from. In my experience they will almost always accept your friendship since they already know you. Remember, they are usually looking to network too. You can then create a snowball effect.
Once you manage to get a few friends, it becomes much easier to get more. Quickly you will share many mutual friends with people you are friend requesting. This further increases the likelihood that they will accept. If you know 50 people that they know then they can be quite confident that it is worth their while knowing you. It confirms you are not a spammer, and that you are interested in their niche. Remember these people are also looking to connect with relevant people.
It is also a good idea to use the same profile picture everywhere. This gives you a better chance of being recognized. Also include details of what you do in your profiles, as this will increase your chances of getting friends.
You can also add the same people on different networks. Most will at least have a Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus account. Look for them and add them. They are highly likely to add you back if you are already friends on another network.
With all your new targeted friends, it’s now easy to get traffic right? Wrong! Not if you simply post links to your content you won’t. You need to do more than this.
You need to engage – get into some conversations. Comment on other peoples’ posts. Share them and like them. This provides you with many benefits.
First they notice you and learn who you are. This is a great start. If you regularly share their content, they feel like they owe you something – this is human nature. This massively increases your chances of them sharing your content back.
I have also noticed that when I have shared some of my content, if there is a conversation attached to it then it gets way more clicks and shares. So if anyone comments on your post, always respond. Try and respond in a way that encourages further discussion. This can be done by responding to their comment, then asking a question that requires them to answer. This usually increases the visibility of your post. For instance Facebook now ranks posts higher that had more engagement. Also people want to see what the fuss is all about, and think that it must be great content if there is so much discussion around it. This really does work well.
If you put in the effort, then you can get some great results with social media. However it is up to you to make it happen. If you simply post links to your content and sit back, then little is going to happen. Get out there, be social, and give people a good reason to want to know you. People like to interact with other people, not automated messages. Give it the human touch and you will reap the benefits.