Do me a favour and go to your Google analytics. Take a look at your traffic so far for the month - where’s most of it coming from? Search engines? Referrals from other websites? Directly? Or somewhere else?
Each form of traffic to your blog is unique, and each is also really useful.
But there’s one source of traffic that’s made the biggest difference to growing my blog and online presence - social media. So today, I wanted to dig deep into how you can increase traffic to your own website from social channels.
If there’s one thing we all want with our blog posts, it’s social shares. We want them to get pinned and tweeted. But how do you make that happen?
I know. Because I’ve done it. And I’m going to share my secrets with you today.
There are tools and strategies I implement that help my content get pinned and shared on a daily basis. There are ways that you can maximise your blog posts for social sharing, which means you’ll get more engagement and visibility.
That in turn means growth.
I've even got a free guide for you, that will guide you through this post and give you the most important things you need implement and remember. You can download it, print it out and keep it forever. Sound good?
Download your free guide here:
Now we're ready to go! Let's do this. Here's how to increase traffic to your blog from social media.
#1 | Promote your newest blog post more than once
This is probably one of the most important (and easiest) ways to increase your traffic through social media.
I know you want to attract as many of the right people to your site as possible. I know you’re serious about the content you create. But you’ve got to be just as serious about promotion too - especially when it comes to social media. And the best way to do this is by sharing your content more than once.
Sounds simple, right? But you’d be surprised by how many bloggers don’t do this.
Here’s a typical Twitter schedule for a new piece of content that goes out on my blog.
- Same day (morning)
- Same day (afternoon)
- Same day (evening)
- Next day
- Next week
- A month later
- Two months later
- Three months later
That’s eight shares for just one blog post on one social platform. What’s not included in there is the Instagram photo I upload to promote a new post and all the different boards I pin it to on Pinterest.
Think about how many different people that’s attracting to your blog.
And if that post is retweeted, shared or repinned? Well that’s opening your content up to so many new audiences.
This is a really simple example, but one of the most effective. And don’t worry about being too self-promotional. If you tweet ten times a day, sharing your latest post three times is still keeping the balance. The more you use social media, the more chance you have of promoting your content and the more you’re getting your brand in front of new readers.
Also, you know how we talk about providing your audience with value? Sharing your content more than once on social media is one of the most essential ways to do that. Period.
#2 | Never share the same message twice
This is one of those things that really sets you apart from users who are seen as too self-promotional. Something a lot of people do on social media when they’re sharing a new blog post is include the title, a link and a few hashtags. This is fine - once. But done often can get really boring for your audience.
A better strategy (and the one I use on a daily basis) is to add some variety by making each share different. You can share the headline to start out. Then on the second share ask a question, and on the third share include a pull-quote and so on. When you put your mind to it, there are endless possibilities. Take a look at these three tweets:
They each point to exactly the same link, but they’re all formatted in a completely different way. It’s a great way to engage your audience regularly on social media, without seeming overly self-promotional. Plus it also gives you chance to use the other headlines you came up with for your post too 👍
#3 | Make sure it’s easy to share your blog posts
It’s really important to make sure your blog posts are optimised for social sharing. There are a few different ways of making this work.
The first is to take your images into account. When I started blogging nearly three years ago, images were important in order to get people to read the rest of your post. Now? Images are more about whether your post is worthy enough to be pinned and shared further.
That means vertical, attractive, on brand images for every single post that you publish.
Scroll up to the image at the top of this post and then come right back. Did you notice the Pinterest logo in the top left corner? That means a reader can easily pin the post to Pinterest (like you 😉 )
It’s also a good idea to not just include sharing icons on your images, but on your website as a whole. SumoMe offers lots of different tools to help increase and measure interaction on your site. One of the features you can implement is to add social sharing icons to your site. You can add them to the side or at the end of each blog post. Check out this post by Jess Creatives:
See those green social icons at the bottom? That’s how you can share the post when you’ve finished reading it.
#4 | Get into the habit of scheduling
You know how we just talked about sharing your content more than once? Well to do that, you’ve got to develop a simple schedule that will provide some guidelines for how often you share content to each of your social channels.
First of all, you’ve got to take each social platform into account as individuals, because they’re all so different from one another. For instance, you can share more content throughout the day to Twitter than you can to Facebook, so it’s useful to put a limit on how many posts you’re going to dedicate to each channel, each day.
Take my schedule. Currently, I schedule around 16 tweets per day, I upload three Instagram images and I share three posts to my Facebook page. For Pinterest and Snapchat, anything goes.
But you’ve got to be really careful with your planning. You don’t want to send all your blog posts out one after another, because that’s where you can start looking more spammy.
I’ve already given you a basic schedule for when a new post goes live and that’s a great place to start for now. Keep an eye out on the blog over the next few weeks though, because I’ll be sharing the schedule I use for my own blog and personal brand ;)
It’s useful to create a schedule for as many platforms as possible. The first thing you’ve got to decide is how often you’re going to post content to each channel - after that, it’s up to you what you share.
With Twitter, you’ve got tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to help you schedule your content, and you can schedule your Facebook posts directly through Facebook.
For Instagram and Pinterest, I don’t just do it from my head - I create a schedule for those too.
I like to upload three pictures to Instagram per day, so I found my optimal times and then created a pattern for the different images I’d upload. At the moment, it looks something like this:
Morning: a photo I’ve taken
Lunchtime: a photo promoting my latest post
Evening: #TheGramGang challenge
This provides the perfect balance and isn’t overly promotional either, especially since I don’t publish new blog posts every day of the week.
For Pinterest, it’s even more useful to have a schedule. It was only at the end of last month, when I discovered that Pinterest had turned into my biggest traffic referrer, that I decided to take this platform more seriously.
So I created a spreadsheet. Each time a new post goes live I add it to the sheet, along with the boards I want to pin it too. Then when I’ve pinned it to a certain board, I put a cross so I can keep track of where I’m up to.
It’s making a difference already.
If you have trouble with scheduling, I’m planning on launching some services very soon that you might find useful!
#5 | Keep an eye on your stats
Obviously you can’t see how much traffic you’re getting from social media unless you actually investigate to see what’s going on.
In Google Analytics, head to Acquisition, then All Traffic and Channels. This part tells you which source of traffic is your biggest referrer. If it’s social, you’re already halfway there.
Here’s how mine looks at the moment:
But then you want to dig even further to find out the specific social channels that are generating the most traffic for you.
Click on social and a breakdown list will appear. This tells you all the social platforms that are generating the most traffic for you in order.
Here’s how mine looks:
Twitter is top because that’s the platform I focus most of my energy on. But when I saw Pinterest was second, I knew I needed to create more of a strategy.
Some people avoid the numbers, but there’s lots more useful information in Google Analytics to really help you get the best out of all the tools you’ve got available to grow your online presence!
#6 | Find out your optimal posting times
I bet you’re sick of me going on about this, right? But it’s SO important. I’ll say it again - you want to share your content on social media at the times when your audience is most active on there!
But there’s no magic formula for everyone. You can’t use guesswork for this. The audience for a stationary company will be on social media at completely different times to that of a nightclub. And that’s exactly the same way you’ve got to think about your audience too.
You can learn the times your audience is most likely to be on Twitter by using Followerwonk. You can then link your results with Buffer to schedule posts at those peak times. It’s the thing that’s doubled my following over the past few months.
I’ve written a tutorial on how to do this that will only take five minutes of your day - click here to go right to it.
#7 | Write a huge post that includes loads of people
A really fun way to increase traffic to your blog from social media? This way.
To get people to your site from social channels, there’s got to be an incentive. Something in it for them. What better way than writing a post that mentions loads of different people?
Confused? Don’t worry - I’ll explain.
Last year, I wrote the 101 Best Websites series - five blog posts that included 101 of the best websites online.
For each website, I emailed the editor to inform them I was including them and asked for a quote. Most of them responded.
So when I shared the post on social media and mentioned them directly, they wanted to share it. So they did. And my traffic sky-rocketed.
One of the websites I mentioned was Melissa Griffin’s blog and she still shares the post today.
Readers - this is a seriously powerful thing.
And whenever I’m mentioned in an epic round-up post I retweet it straight away and go on the website to have a look!
Think about how much traffic that would direct to you.
Whenever you create a piece of content and whatever that content is - you want it to get as many eyes on it as possible. Social media is one of the best ways to make that happen. The methods listed in this post aren’t difficult and there’s no hidden meaning - they will help to get you maximum visibility for your corner of the internet.
Which of these strategies will you start using? How do you already generate traffic to your site through social media?