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Use Social Sharing’s True Motive For Better Traffic

This guest post is by Shakira Dawud of Deliberate Ink.

You’re getting regular traffic, but it’s flatlining. The regular crowd is still with you, but your subscriber base is fluctuating. And you’ve noticed you’re not being shared on social media very often.

If you were to ask, you’d hear all kinds of reasons why, but I guarantee you the basis of all of them is always personal.

There is no way around the adage, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” Your blog is serious business. So why is it we’re told not to take business personal (and business between friends is retold as the stuff of Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado“), when every single business decision comes from a personal place?

You need that personal place to get the following and response you want from your readers. Find it and put it to work building your blog’s traffic in the following three steps.

Step 1: Complete the picture of your existing following

I’ll use Twitter as an example. I seldom follow people with just the hope they’ll follow me back (although that’s a reason, too).

I want to take part in their Twitter banter, find likeminded people, siphon useful information from their posts, get them to visit my blog, and build relationships I deem important. I unfollow only after I’ve lost hope of getting those things. Sometimes I lose hope sooner, sometimes later. I know I’m not alone in this.

If we don’t follow our followers, we’re blind to too many quality people who’ve made it a point to follow us. So make the most of your social relationships by finding the real and active people connected to you on each platform and reciprocating, before they lose hope in you.

Step 2: Unravel a “thread of discontent”

Start listening to your crowd closely. Watch the comments they leave on posts and blogs, and note what they share most often. In a recent post, Derek Halpern introduces the concept of the thread of discontent. He encourages being the “pebble dropped in the pond” by creating “ripples” in the standard.

Derek’s point is well taken. But before you become a pebble, I advise that you pick up that thread and unravel it to its origin. I bet you’ll find it’s ultimately a personal one. Something based on their values, beliefs, or experiences. You may even find more than one thread. Once you find out what it’s made up of, hold onto it. Now it’s time for the final step.

Step 3: Provide content they want—but not like you have been

“That’s all you got?” you’re thinking. “Lady, I’ve been creating content out the wazoo, every day for months–and it ain’t too shabby, either!”

No, that’s not all. Let me explain with an example.

Listening in on a webinar for email marketers, I noticed the presenter played up the rivalry between marketing and sales departments. He dotted his discourse with pointed statements like: Salespeople are only interested in their numbers, not our strategy… They asked for all the hot leads we could get, and then let them go cold… So much of our hard marketing work is wasted on the sales end.

On the individual level, marketing employees who’d been frustrated by salesepeople were remembering those feelings of futlity, concern for their careers, and even a bit of self-righteousness. You can be sure he had our undivided attention when he explained how we could refine our strategies to build the credibility of our numbers, and waste less time and energy—in spite of those pesky salespeople. This was personal.

Superglue-strength loyalty

So you see, to be worth sharing, you can’t just deliver consistently high quality content. You don’t have to rock the boat (although it will give you quite a boost). You do need to produce content that provides the value readers can carry out with them in a package that confirms their personal reality.

Subscriber loyalty will grow to superglue strength, and what you write will demand to be shared with more and more likeminded people. Without any further ado, perfectly targeted, better traffic will pour in.

How have you used these ideas to your advantage? Can you share any examples?

Shakirah Dawud is the writer and editor behind Deliberate Ink. Based in Maryland with roots in New York, she’s been crafting effective marketing copy as a writer and polishing many forms of prose as an editor since 2002. Clients in many fun sizes, industries, and locations reach her through the Web.

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Comments

  1. Hi Shakirah,

    By engaging frequently you can generate much more traffic to your blog.

    By not engaging, you set up a social network that is not social. A one way street. A broadcasting station. Nobody likes someone who uses their social account as a broadcasting station. Most tune out.

    Getting personal. I like it. It’s personal not business, meaning that as you personalize more experiences throughout your social media day you instantly generate more interest in your business. Why? It shows you care, you want to make a difference, you want to engage other people. Ask question, provide answers, and forget worrying about getting clicks all day. The clicks come when you personalize interactions.

    Every single biz decision comes from a personal place. Brilliant stuff. Few realize it’s personal, not business, and when you embrace and use this concept throughout the entire course of your day, darn good things happen for your business. You detach from business objectives and focus more on the people who will help build your business, and the cool part is, you will not see the people as tools, but as living, breathing individuals who you simply want to help.

    It’s why I leave the comments I do. I intend to add value to Darren’s blog, to each blog I visit. Will I get backlink juice? Hell yeah, but my intent is to help, to add, and I see the more value I add the more valuable I become.

    Thanks for sharing Shakirah!

    Ryan

    • Hi, Ryan,

      This is the best summary I could ask for my piece. “… the cool part is, you will not see the people as tools, but as living, breathing individuals who you simply want to help.”

      When you want to help, you first need to know the problem as intimately as possible. As soon as you do, you can communicate that to the people and create magnetic content.

  2. It is no secret to a lot of web designers, programmers, internet marketers, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts that the future of the World Wide Web is the new technology known as Web 2.0. This has allowed websites to evolve into something better, and to support a lot of different content. No longer is the internet just for words. Now you can upload and view videos, music, and photos as well. You also now have different ways to interact with other people, rather than just through forums.

  3. I have started blogging and its now around 4months and I am still unable to get how blogger know what their audience want to read?
    I have seen people doing keywords research before writing something but for it isn’t what you want to write. It will be a keyword targeted content to get traffic. What strategies you’ll advice to cure the same problem since I am still very low on numbers when it comes to traffic. Thanks

    Osama Shabrez

    • Osama, it takes time to build a following to your blog, and I know it can be frustrating as you wait (in fact, I wrote a post about that recently, if you’re interested: http://deliberateink.com/?p=4898).

      But in the meantime, doing research outside your blog isn’t as good as asking the people who make up your audience themselves. Connect with a few of the people who leave comments on your blog on other platforms. Twitter is my favorite, because it’s “live,” and you get to watch the other person’s reactions and comments to certain kinds of content being shared even if you’re not talking to them. You’ll get more information about what they’re looking for, and what they enjoy sharing most.

      Another way to approach blogging is to begin by writing what you want to write first, with as much of a distinguishing factor to it as possible. I visited your website and found you describe your blog as a personal one where you also talk about your programming experiences. Honestly, programmers are probably the main people who would love to read what you write. Now you have to approach it in a way that will keep them coming back. Try applying the techniques I mentioned in my post to listen for any problem or discontent they’re experiencing, and address it in all your posts. This way, you’re “branding” your blog with a certain tone and type of content people expect and enjoy.

      Hope this helps. Contact me with any other questions–I’d be happy to help!

  4. Some insightful ideas, to be sure. Sometimes simply paying attention to the people who give us their time by visiting our blogs day in and day out can be the cornerstone to cementing our current readership and growing it to new heights!

    • That’s right, Erin. The most successful blogs I’ve ever encountered are always a two-way street–or highway, I should say, traffic-wise! Community is the best medicine for any blog, my own included.

  5. I really liked this post. Although I knew most of the info, it got me thinking about things in a different way.
    The main thing is that good traffic takes time. I could be the best writer and start a blog, but NO ONE will follow me for months. And that is just how it is.
    Through Twitter, I have doubled my followers in 3 months because I am intentional about it. If I continue to write good and great material on my blog, traffic will come.

    • Hi, Miranda, I visited your blog and I appreciated the content I found, too. Being such a good print communicator can’t hurt your repeat traffic! But yes, blog growth takes time, and there’s no getting around it. I wrote a post about avoiding the pitfalls of “waiting” for your blog to be successful here, if you’re interested: http://deliberateink.com/?p=4898.

      I also shared your post about the irritating “everyone’s a winner” trend. It really resonated, and I appreciated your thoughts on it.

  6. You are many-faceted; enjoyed this tremendously.

    I have one analogy to share and it’s about relationships. A woman I don’t know and had never seen on the interwebz asked to guest post on my blog. I politely said thank you and asked her to become part of my community first so we could get acquainted. I need to have that relationship b/c my blog is, after all, my blog — it’s a representation of me and my style.

    While I’m not against guest posts at all; in fact, I relish them, I must have that connection to say yes.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Jayme. I had that dilemma once when my blog was young. I said “yes,” and ended up practically rewriting the blog post to fit. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again–even though I LOVE the chance to get away from my blog–I mean to have wonderful people like you over to guest post. Heh.

  7. George says:

    Great post. Being aggressive on social media will not help. Mutual following really helps in learning what your followers are talking about and you get to know their likes and dislikes. Monitoring the tweets often let you peep into other’s stream of thinking, which is the best way for content ideas.

    • Some of my best ideas have come from “listening in,” George. Reading not just blog posts, but the comments and reactions after them, and finding what’s been said and what remains unsaid. That’s what gives content a point.

  8. FbFansAdd says:

    Social media is a great addition now a days for real life connections and also good traffic. But now a days people are using this for lots of bad impacts like click jacking, porn exposure and some other java script those harm peoples pc. So people should be more aware before using social media. They must not click any hot pic with a link, there is 80% chance that the picture will run a script in background and may steal the information of the users. So be aware man.

  9. colomnis says:

    is it true that social marketing so powerfull right now? i bought twitter follower and facebook liker just like “Cash In by Paying for Guest Posts”. my first blog colomnis.blogspot.com growth faster with that idea. invest $1000 dollar and in 4 month your money will back.

    i cannot english so i pay other people to handle my twitter, my facebook fans, and of course for guest post. i manage everything…. just thinking and it works better for me than build my blog from zero condition. except my stupid blog : liustudio.net :) lol

  10. Totally true – it’s not always enough with good content.

    It’s really fun to notice how especially big companies don’t do this, and they loose customers. Focus on being social – it helps.

    • The biggest companies tend to be the worst at this, I’ve found, and the news sites, too. It’s amazing to me, and I guess it’s because they suppose–rightly in a lot of cases–that we’ll be buying from them whether they reach out to us or not. You can’t blame companies like those for their difficulty in revamping their mindset, really–most have been around over a hundred years, never had to deal with blog trolls or activists against whatever, and been successful. I guess it’s hard for them to believe how much more successful they could be by just being consistently responsive to the real people who are buying from them.

  11. Its not like being social can tend people to visit your page/blog but just thinking a minute can give you more then you have expected. saying just “Thank you for all your support – Readers” on twitter/facebook can show you the impact…!

    Regards,
    Irfan

  12. Sinea Pies says:

    This is truly “food for thought”. I will have to carve out some time in my routine to visit successful sites in my niche more closely. No “drive by” commenting. Thank you for getting my creative juices going. This will be an interesting experiment!

    • Sinea, I advise you to choose at least a couple of those blogs and actually join the communities you feel most comfortable at. Drive-by commenting, although satisfying, keeps you invisible. If you become a regular at successful blogs and enjoy the dialogue there, you’ll become a “fixture” at that blog and begin to drive curious traffic to your own blog. It’s happened to me and many others I know in the blogosphere.

  13. Glynis says:

    This post had some tips in it that I should pay attention to, Shakirah. Thanks.

    I need to re-evaluate my list of contacts at the three social media places I use the most and start making more of an effort.

    What I do so that my blog doesn’t get stale is I use more that one niche but make sure I’m passionate about all three of them.

    • Great idea to switch things up regularly, Glynis. As you make more of an effort, it doesn’t have to be in huge chunks of time, but just make it very targeted.

  14. Manish says:

    Hi Shakirah,

    I amazed when I see people that are depending on only source of traffic i.e. search engines. I know that search engines are the main source of traffic for the websites and blogs. But in today’s time, we have got many other traffic sources too, which can generate tons of traffic for any website and blog. So why to miss the opportunity of getting a good traffic from social media sites :D.

    I personally think that every internet marketer should concentrate on every traffic source whether it is search engines, blogs, social media sites and many more. Twitter and Facebook are the superb platform for promoting the business and it is necessary to remain active consistently on these social media sites to get more positive results. I often see many people that do not remain active on their social media profiles and after that they raise a question why they are not getting good traffic from Facebook or Twitter.

    You have to work hard and that too consistently to get good number of visitors from the social media sites. So this post will definitely will going to inspire a lot of internet marketer to perform social media marketing in an effective way.

    Thanks for sharing such a great post :D.
    Manish

    • You know, you make a very good point, Manish, about that single-minded focus on one source of traffic–and on my end I see people most focused on social media rather than search engines to get it. Either way, it’s extreme and probably won’t work as well as a multi-faceted approach, and hard, consistent work has to go into all of them to see results.

  15. Ferb says:

    Getting comments on recent post is still a problem to me. Some people are having the problem in the opposite way, I need comments but there are only tweet and they need tweets but there are only comments. But comments for me are important I got to understand what they want and if there are no comments I have no ideas what’s the next I’m going to take. Please help me Darren.

    • Hi, Ferb,

      If you’re being shared, that’s a good indication people like what you’re producing. But sometimes people need an incentive. Ask a question at the end of posts, or just ask for any thoughts. One thing I’ve done is make a post all about the community, by asking them to post particular things I want to know about them in the comments. It’s a great icebreaker, and if you interact with the people who leave you comments, they’ll feel comfortable commenting again.

      I’d be happy to help further if you’d like. Just email me.

  16. As a person who writes a blog himself, I consider this quite the helpful advice.

  17. Social media is all about helping people and getting in touch with them whenever they needs your help.

    The other thing is very important is that if you continuously providing the solution of people’s requirements. i.e. how to get traffic on your blog or how to find best keyword for their blog or anything about their social life etc. people will love your blog post and will comment at the end of the post.