Social Media is a proven way of connecting with both your current readers and new potential audiences. However, it is important to remember that the foundation of any digital authority as a blogger lays in your blog: the one place where you are fully in control of your brand identity. In order to consolidate your online authority it is crucial to transform your social following into site traffic and, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to do this successfully.
Before we get onto each actionable tip, it’s important to remember the end goal, engaged traffic, but also how to measure it correctly. Besides the differences in organic reach amongst social media platforms, each one converts into distinctly unique blog traffic. Working with our wonderful chloédigital members, some data trends stand out when analysing traffic incoming from social media. What seems clear from examining analytics figures from our style publishers is that different social media sites receive, and therefore generate, different types of audiences with particular behaviours: the engaged, the curious browsers, the newbies… and you should set different, tailored goals for them.
Let’s have a quick diagnosis of the current digital ecosystem happening around blogs by looking at four of the most popular social media sites, by outlining what we’ve found to be the most effective for traffic conversion. Facebook-referred traffic (which is visibly shifting towards mobile), is more engaged and shows a significantly higher average time on page, whereas Twitter users are more drawn to browsing, visiting several pages per session. Both of these audiences are, however, mostly returning visitors that are already familiar with your content. Pinterest, on the other hand, is a great discovery tool for blogs as it often brings the highest percentage of new users.
Instagram deserves a special mention as it is the one medium where tracking referrals in Google Analytics is not as clear cut as the others. Yet as one of the most popular social tools, it is one that should not be overlooked. In 2015 we launched the first chloédigital free email course, and promoted it exclusively on Instagram; during the 12 months the sign-up link was active on our profile, 120% of our December following count (or 220% of our initial January following) subscribed to the course. If you are interested in finding out more about how to track your Instagram-referred visits, get in touch.
**Update**- After time of publishing, Instagram announced an algorithm-based change to its timeline. The new feed interface will show users content based on data of their previous interactions with users and posts, following the steps of father-company Facebook. The immediate consequence for style publishers is clear: without a chronological content feed, Instagram is no longer a Social Media platform with 100% organic reach.
Now, let’s get down to business as I take you through five actionable tips to start implementing today to get your social media followers over to your blog.
1. Exclusivity is key
If you reveal all the details of your precious content through one Instagram post, why would your following be interested in visiting your blog? Maximise the time and effort you put into creating both visual and written content by splitting it up.
Instead of showing your full outfit on Instagram, share a sneak peek on the day your post goes up redirecting people to the blog for the full look; share some behind-the-scenes content on Snapchat whilst getting ready for a Gala and make sure to point towards the full beauty tutorial that will be live on your site tomorrow.
Want to foster readership loyalty even more? Create a weekly newsletter full of exclusive news and images, and make sure you let your social media followers know how they can join this insider club. Link to your sign-up page through your profiles or share snippets of the content they will be receiving. If you want the icing on the cake, offer an incentive such as a giveaway or exclusive contest.
2. Use clear Call-To-Action’s for promotion
Your social media following won’t be surprised or annoyed if you mention your blog, do blog shout-outs or Tweet excerpts from your latest piece. Just make sure that your CTA’s are loud and clear, and the full-length version of each story in your blog holds enough surprises to serve as a reward to your avid readers.
The key to a successful self-promotion is transparency. If your readers can genuinely benefit from heading to your blog to enjoy outstanding images or getting insightful tips, let them know through every point of contact via email or social media. Take this Bloglovin’ email subject line as an example: A Guide To Starting A Minimal Wardrobe, 4 Ways To Style The Cropped Black Trouser & other inspiring stories. Wouldn’t that make you want to click and head over to the site? Just because you are a blogger as opposed to a collective platform doesn’t mean you can’t use the same traffic-influencing techniques as the big players in the game. ‘Check out my latest post to find out how to avoid the 5 Biggest Fashion Faux-Pass’ or ‘See the full look today on the blog, plus 3 affordable options!’ will convert more traffic than ‘More on the blog’.
3. Plan, plan, plan
Don’t leave social media for the last minute. If you want to connect with your audience and redirect them to your site, you will need to earn their interest and trust. It is hard to do this if some posts are promoted three days in a row on all your social profiles, and all of a sudden your Facebook and Pinterest activity go mute for weeks. It wouldn’t sound very credible, right?
Make sure all your shout-outs, images and copies are as impeccable and planned for as you would any post in your blog, and schedule them in advance within your overall content calendar. (Nobody needs to know it’s a #latergram).
4. Make the most of your Resourceful Content
Resourceful content is a great way of redirecting people to your blog: lists, how-to’s, do’s and don’ts, guides and series are all great editorial techniques that are just as beneficial to your blog as to your social media activity. How? This type of content offers readers a clear, palpable benefit, that people are always interested in – which means you can always schedule posts in your social media calendar to redirect followers to your site, without overdoing it by only promoting your latest post.
Promoting resourceful content is just as successful when freshly published as a year down the line if you dedicate some time to rewriting enticing titles. Change up an old post’s headline to make it relevant to the latest trending topics, use it as a caption for Instagram, promote some excerpts on Twitter or take it to Pinterest to give those beautiful product shots new life. Your guide on ‘8 bullet-proof tips to pack for any occasion’ is almost a year old, but it can still be relevant. ‘My top tips for packing for Fashion Week’ or ‘The only guide you need to pack for Coachella’ will all turn your evergreen content into seasonal unmissable reads.
You’d be surprised to see what a new title or a shiny brand new image can do for old content, and social media is just the perfect setting to do so. If you want to take it even a step further, make sure you have deep-linked within your promoted content so your readers are drawn to stay within your site for longer once they get to your blog!
5. Listen to your audience
If you want to know exactly what your followers are after, the first thing you have to do is watch carefully. What are their doubts and questions in your comments section? Which images or tutorials are performing the best on Pinterest? Is there a common thread running through your social media feedback?
If every time you do a messy bun with an outfit you get complimented on it, don’t wait for the request: publish a post on your ‘2 minute guide to the perfectly messy top bun’ and let your followers know their comments inspired you.
They key to tapping into your audience’s interests is more often than not sitting in front of you just waiting to be explored. And if it’s not, don’t be scared to ask for opinions and questions in your posts or hold a reader’s survey.
I hope you found value in these 5 actionable tips to get your Social Media Followers over to your blog! Remember the best way of boosting your blog activity in any platform is always to think of your readers first…and, of course, to stay true to your identity and carve your own e-niche within the blogosphere.
If you want to take your blog to the next level, and learn more about engaging with your audience or generating great content, you can join our free 5-day email course here. Our #cd2016gamestrong course is filled with more actionable tips, case studies and real examples from our chloédigital members, so you and your site can benefit from top blogging lessons learnt through working with the top style publishers in the industry.