If you look at your blog’s traffic stats, social media is likely to be among the top three traffic sources. In fact, for many blogs, social media traffic is even more important than search engine and direct traffic. On the other hand, you’ll find many bloggers complain about the ineffectiveness of social media and how it’s just over-hyped.
In reality, however, the amount of traffic you manage to attract from social media and the level of engagement you manage to drive from it depends largely on how you structure your social media posts and the share worthiness your content.
To help you understand this better, here are some of the key points you need to keep in mind while creating a strategy for driving traffic and conversions from social media.
Use High Conversion Keywords
On all social networks, certain keywords generate more engagement than others. They attract more clicks and get more exposure. Using them intelligently in your social media updates can increase the visibility and effectiveness of your posts.
Here are some of the high conversion keywords for leading social networks
- Facebook – Where, When, Tell Us, Inspire, Submit, Deals, Discount, Warns, Amuses
- Twitter – ReTweet, Follow, Social Media, New Blog Post, Check Out, Help, Top,
- LinkedIn – Created, Improved, Increased, Developed, Reduced, Researched
- Google+ – Share, Promote, Increase, Create, Discover
You can find more of these words in this post
Expand Your Reach With Hashtags
You must’ve seen people use different hashtags with their social media posts and updates. Hashtags expand the reach of your posts beyond your immediate followers and help you reach new audiences. At the same time, they help you create social media discussions, chats and trends that can be used for wide ranging purposes.
Using 1 or 2 hashtags per post can significantly increase the effectiveness of your social media content and help you drive more traffic and conversions. Here’s a quick look at the optimal hashtag usage stats for the top social networks.
- Tweets with hashtags attract 2x more engagement (retweets, favorites, replies)
- There’s 21% more engagement on Tweets with 1 to 2 hashtags.
- If you increase the number of hashtags more than 2, the engagement levels fall by an average of 17%.
- Almost 40% of Tweets with hashtags get Retweeted.
- Hashtags were not very effective when Facebook first started, but in the last couple of years hashtags have been an effective source of traffic and exposure.
- Using 1-2 hashtags per post can get you an average of 593 interactions per post.
- But if you increase the number of hashtags to 3-5, the average interactions fall down to 416 per post.
- From its early days, Google+ has encouraged the use of hashtags.
- Hashtags are automatically added to your posts based on the content but you can edit hashtags as well.
- Google+ also shows a list of related hashtags that can be used to gauge the interests of your audience.
You can find much more about hashtag usage in Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide to Hashtags.
Use Visual Content For More Engagement
Social media, by nature, is designed for visual content, and it’s no surprise that image based content attracts more engagement as compared to simple text based posts. So it’s important that you regularly include images, videos, vines, GIFs and other forms of visual content in your social media updates.
These stats show the impact of visual content on different social networks.
- Image based posts attract 39% more engagement.
- Videos get 28% more engagement
- Images receive 94% more +1s
- Animated GIFs receive 39% more +1s.
- Images based posts attract 98% more comments.
- Linking to YouTube videos results in 75% more shares.
- Including images, vines and videos can get you 200% more engagement as compared to simple text Tweets.
Use Short and Concise Updates
Against the common belief, shorter updates attract much more engagement on all social networks as compared to the longer ones. This is probably because social network users have very short attention spans and don’t usually have the time to read long and detailed posts.
Here’s the ideal character count for some of the leading social networks.
- Twitter – Tweets shorter than 100 characters attract 17% more engagement.
- Facebook – Surprisingly, Facebook posts with less than 40 characters received 80% more engagement than longer posts.
- Google+ – If the headline of your Google+ posts is longer than 60 characters, the engagement levels fall by 18%.
Create Share Worthy Blog Content
Your social media engagement and conversion rates have a lot to do with the kind of blog content you create. If the quality of your content is low, then most of your optimization techniques will be ineffective.
In general, social media users prefer highly actionable and interesting content written in a fun way. Your headlines matter a lot as well. Just look at some of the headlines of Buzzfeed articles. Their articles and updates attract thousands of social shares every day because of their headlines and innovative content ideas. You can find some great blogging ideas in this post, or you can use MyBlogU to brainstorm new blogging ideas with other bloggers, create share worthy posts like interviews, and even hire quality freelance writers to help you create viral content.
Identify and Amplify Top Performing Content
Driving traffic and conversions from social media is not just about using random and isolated techniques. It’s equally important to identify the right channels that are sending you social media traffic, the content that is attracting the highest engagement, and the pages on your website/blog that can be used to amplify such content for even more social engagement.
I’ve personally found TrenDemon as a great tool to get all these insights. You can integrate it with your Google Analytics account to get real time stats on your best converting social content and the channels that can be used to amplify it (learn more about Google Analytics integration in this post).
You can use this information to promote your existing and new blog content and attract increased social media love.
Use a Social Media Friendly Website Structure
Just like your content quality, the structure of your website also has a direct impact on the number of shares and social media followers you manage to attract. Most of the times, visitors find you either through your social media updates or from Google search results. You need to have a website structure that encourages these visitors to share your content and follow you social media.
Here are few things you can do to achieve this
- Enable Twitter Cards: Twitter cards display additional information about your links, blog posts or products. Thy also increase the engagement levels on your Tweets.
- Use Facebook Open Graph: Add the Open Graph meta-tags to your blog so that your featured image is always displayed. You can find detailed instructions on using Open Graph in this post.
- Add Social Media Sharing Widget: I recommend using AddThis or DiggDigg to add social media sharing and follow widgets.
Wrapping it Up
Driving conversions and traffic from social media requires a combination of tweaks to your posts, and some structural changes to your website and blog. At the same time, you need to keep a close eye on your social media stats to understand which content is performing well and how you can leverage it to increase your overall social media engagement. If you can get this combination right, you can create sustainable stream of high converting social media traffic to your blog or website.
Have you tried any of these techniques in your social media strategy? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.