Traffic is what drives online business. If you’re trying to sell something with your website you need to get traffic.
We can talk about getting the right kind of traffic, but we’re going to assume that your’e focused only on getting the right kind of people to your website.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that direct traffic to your website is the holy grail of traffic. Direct traffic is the kind of traffic you get when someone goes directly to your site. You don’t have to worry about another source. A type of direct traffic, at least as I think about it, is traffic from your email program.
An email program is something you control. You don’t have to worry about Google changes or social media changes or things changing from any other source.
But to get to an email program you need an original source of traffic and social media is a great original source. I’m going to give you three strategies for getting website traffic through social media that you can implement right now.
1. Ask Your Friends To Share Your Best Content
It took me a while to get on board with this one. I was afraid of being the pesky guy asking people to share my posts on social media. But what I started noticing was that some of my friends and colleagues in various industries would occasional email or message me asking if I’d check out their latest posts, articles and studies and a few would ask if I’d share the item with my followers.
A few points.
You can’t just do this with every piece of content you publish especially if you’re publishing multiple times per week. Save it for your really good posts. Especially posts like studies or really in-depth how-to guides. These seem to be the ones that get re-shared whether you ask for shares or not. You could even go back with articles that have been popular and ask your buddies to share those.
The reason this works is that your friends want to share good content with their followers. And your content might even be helpful to them especially studies that you do or the in-depth guides. They want to share that kind of stuff.
One final note on this point; make it a habit right now to share content of your friends. Do it regularly and mention them when you share the content on social media. You want them to know you’re sharing, but also just make it a regular habit. You’re kind of paying it forward to your community and when you go to ask on occasion you’re more likely to get positive responses.
2. Gather Expert Opinions On A Hot Industry Topic
This is a big one. You can gather opinions from your friends who are experts in their fields and in your field to create a really great piece of content. And once you publish the content you can let each of them know and ask them to share it with their followers. It’s a benefit to them because they only have to respond to an email. You’re doing all the work to put together the post and once it’s ready they can share it to their followers and look good.
Emailing is good. You could ask people on Twitter or in a LinkedIn Group for their thoughts on subjects. You could even just go around looking for great articles with quotes or little bits of content that you can curate and use to create one really amazing piece of content.
The reason these posts are good is because people hear about the news, but they don’t always know what that news means for them. When you get quotes together you’re giving people an understanding of the current events in your industry. You give them advice on what action they should take.
And because you’re bringing other people in to your content you’re increasing your social sharing audience.
3. Do A Survey, Publish The Results And Share Teasers
Finally, put together a survey and publish the results on your blog or on your website as a case study or study. Do a survey on Twitter. It can be something informal. Or you could do something more common. Big companies, especially in the tech industry, do this all the time. They gather all kinds of information on hot topics and then once the study is published they share juicy bits from the findings on social media and link to the full study.
The study might find that companies that blog get 50% more traffic than companies that don’t blog or something like that. That’s a great stat and really gains attention on social media, but then there is a link to the study where there is even more great information.
Teasers are great on social media, but the trick is to give something valuable with the teaser, something worthwhile on its own, and then link back to the full collection of information.
Surveys are great. Do them informally and even with 10, 20 or 50 of your followers. You can get some good information that’s useful to you and useful to your followers.
Back when I worked in the catalog industry we did this all the time even at little roundtables. We’d do anonymous surveys with other cataloguers in the room and you’d get great information on what the industry as a whole was doing even if there were only like 20 of you in the room.
These strategies are about getting people to your site so they can learn about your business and inquire about what you offer. But it’s also about the early stages of your sales cycle and the early stages of your cycle online include an email program. Signup for an email service (we use Aweber). Offer something like an ebook to provide value to people giving them reason to signup.
And from there you can earn their trust with a blog and continued content through your email program until they get to the point where they trust you enough to hire you or to buy your product.