When I first started on Twitter, I got really excited about followers. I hit 1,000. Then 5,000. Then 10,000.
I was excited. It was a dopamine hit. Everybody gets it.
But after a while, I realized that I was playing the wrong game. I had this blog, you’re reading it right now, and I wanted readers on it. I had to use social media to drive traffic in a bigger way.
Sometimes those 10,000 followers would turn into blog readers. But they didn’t always. And over time, I got tired of exhaustively posting to social media. Especially once search engine traffic started to pick up, you know, that nice stream of people coming in every day.
Social media is still a powerful tool for getting traffic to your website, and in this post, I want to tell you how it works. These are some of the tricks, tips, and techniques that I’ve learned.
In his book jab jab jab right hook, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the importance of creating content that is native to each platform. This means you don’t just slap up the same post across every single one of your Social platforms, but you treat each social media stream as it’s meant to be.
This is true of building a following, but it is also true of driving traffic. Each platform has things that work and things that don’t.
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I have had up to 5,000 people a day visit my site from Twitter.
From my experience, it takes three things.
- A sexy hook that actually has something interesting about it.
- A beautiful card photo.
- Some dumb luck.
a. The sexy hook
The sexy hook is a piece of copywriting. It’s the value proposition you’re promising the reader for clicking through to the post.
And it could be something that sounds like click bait: “5 things you won’t believe about Lady Gaga.”
Or, it could be something from the heart that compels a reaction, “What a cancer diagnosis taught me about motherhood.”
It doesn’t matter much, as long as it gets the reader hungry to learn more.
b. The beautiful photo
I’ve experimented with this, and posts with photos do better every single time. Part of this could be the photo itself, and part of it could be because a photo stretches a post out so it takes up more space in a reader’s feed.
Cheesy stock photos suck. Try to pick a photo that matches the emotion of your hook. I often use pixabay or unsplash to find photos that I think are inspiring to match my posts. Incidentally, I always find that photos with people in them do better.
c. Dumb luck
The dumb luck it is not as simple as it sounds. Tweeting at different times of the day will yield different results. You can use x too old to find out when your followers are online, and schedule tweets for that time.
One of the biggest things that makes the algorithm work in your favour will be retweets, so the Tweet itself should be something people are tempted to retweet. You can also @ relevant accounts, and a retweet can be the difference between tweet obscurity and virality.
The combination of these things will give you the highest chance of getting some blog traffic from Twitter. Do you make sure you repost a different times, experiment with it, and don’t forget to retweet it now and then. Twitter is a social media platform that allows for near-constant creation, and the minute you tweet the minute your Tweet starts to disappear.
It’s very difficult to overshare on Twitter.
Getting blog traffic from LinkedIn is an elusive mystery.
I will tell you right now that it’s tough to drive serious traffic from company pages. Ditto from groups, although if you are an active member of a group and you post something and tag a bunch of people, you will definitely get some traction. But how many of us are comfortable enough in big groups to do that?
In terms of driving traffic, I think you have three main options on LinkedIn.
- Sharing the post on your personal account.
- Repurposing a post as an article.
- Using some of the post as an article.
a. Sharing the post on your personal account
This is definitely okay. But the thing you need to realize is that the LinkedIn algorithm wants to keep people on the LinkedIn platform.
When you post something that takes people away from LinkedIn, it makes the algorithm Gods angry. Often posts with external links don’t perform as well.
Again, if you tag a bunch of people, you will probably get some eyes on it.
The LinkedIn algorithm Rewards posts that get alot of Engagement right away, so if you tag people and get likes quick, it will get out to more people and you will get more traffic.
Whether you tag people or not, don’t just share an article. Write a sexy text introduction that draws readers in, either with a quote from the article, or even better, a story about why you wrote it or something you learned. Personal stories do really well on LinkedIn.
b. Re-publish articles on LinkedIn
This is a rather simple way to get more eyes on your article, but it doesn’t immediately help your website traffic.
You can simply copy and paste the article off of your blog and repost it on LinkedIn. For the purposes of SEO, I would encourage you to wait at least a week after you initially post it, so Google has a chance to crawl your site and index your blog post. If both your site and Linkedin show up at the same time, Google might start pointing viewers to LinkedIn instead, since it has a much higher authority than your website.
If it appears on your website first, Google will realize that that is the canonical location, and that LinkedIn is a republish. You can make sure that this works by adding a link to your original post on the LinkedIn article that says “republished from x.”
c. Republish a partial article
I really love this strategy, because it’s sort of the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it makes LinkedIn happy because it keeps users on the site, at least at first. On the other hand, you don’t have to post all of your content on LinkedIn and it actually will drive traffic to your blog.
It’s simply this.
Take a portion of the blog, probably the intro and the first point, and post it on LinkedIn Articles. Then, at the end of the text add a READ MORE link that drives people back to the blog. In my experience, if people have read that far they will often click through and keep reading. That means more traffic on your blog.
This has been my most successful strategy.
Believe it or not, YouTube is one of the best social channels for driving blog traffic, in my humble opinion. This is simply because, YouTube is a search engine. When you make videos on YouTube, and link back to your blog, people will continue to find them for months and years to come.
(Here’s a sample of the types of videos I do)
With a good YouTube channel, this means that you can get secondary search engine traffic from YouTube. Don’t underestimate this. Most social channels require constant posting to keep in front of people, anything that works on a search engine (YouTube and Pinterest) deserves a little extra love.
The strategy is pretty simple, although I won’t get into the keys of YouTube searching and keywords. But Ahrefs is a pretty great tool if you want to do some keywords search in YouTube.
Create great content, especially content that is relevant to your blog posts, and embedded in your blog posts and also link back from YouTube to your blog.
I’ve been experimenting with Pinterest for a long time, and as of yet it doesn’t drive a ton of traffic to Roostervane, but it does drive some. This might be because of our niche, maybe we would be better if we were a travel for recipe site. But a lot of bloggers swear by using Pinterest for traffic.
The approach is pretty simple. Create compelling visual pins that make readers want to click. Don’t forget that Pinterest is a platform built for blogs, it is literally a way to share things you’ve written.
We use the app Tailwind to manage our Pinterest for us, and it automatically recycles posts, and makes it super easy to pin stuff.
Facebook is okay for driving traffic, but the only guarantee is if you pay for it. That’s right, I mean advertising. Which I have done.
So why does Facebook even make this list?
Because when someone shares an article on Facebook and it does well, it really does well! Thousands of views come in on a single day, just because an article started moving on Facebook. Now it’s 2021 as I write this, and I’ve never had an article go “viral,” but I’ve had a pretty constant source of traffic from people sharing articles with their friends–which is pretty cool.
There are lots more social media streams and I’m on them! There’s a Roostervane Instagram page, for example. So do come check it out!
But why didn’t I include this in the post?
Simple really, it doesn’t drive traffic. Instagram is a tough nut to crack, because it doesn’t work well with a click-through link like others do. But some people do it, and maybe the problem is just me.
The techniques above are just the ones I’m working on right now. What are you trying?