Social Media Marketing 101: Easy Social Media Tips That Will Grow Traffic To Any Blog

Social Media Marketing 101The success of any blog hinges on its popularity, but how do you build a high-traffic blog? In order to achieve the kind of authority, respect, and earnings most bloggers dream of, you will need to find ways to expose your content to as many potential visitors as possible.

Most importantly, that traffic needs to be the right traffic. If you can pinpoint your target demographic and convert them into loyal fans who visit regularly, your blog will consistently grow.

Of the multiple different promotion tactics available to bloggers, most choose to leverage social media. With the number of social media users across different channels today (Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), there is a wealth of potential traffic waiting to be tapped. Unfortunately, most bloggers absolutely fail to engage potential followers because of a few basic mistakes.

Below are some simple but underutilized social media tips to help promote your blog.

Schedule your social posts at optimal times

I admit that I am guilty of not doing this. After I finish a good blog post, I want to share it with the world. I am often impatient and tweet about it immediately, even when it’s 10pm. However, in order to make the most impact with your posts on social media, you need to publish them at optimum times.

According to QuickSprout’s Neil Patel, you need to publish the posts on the following days and times:

  • Facebook – Thursday and Friday at 1 pm (to get the most shares) and 3 pm (most clicks)
  • Twitter – Mondays to Friday for B2B, Wednesdays to Sundays for B2C at 12 pm and 6 pm (for most clicks) and 3 pm (for more retweets)
  • LinkedIn – Tuesdays to Thursdays at 10-11 am, 7-8 am and 5-6 pm
  • Pinterest – Saturdays at 8-11 pm
  • Google+ – Mondays to Fridays at 9-11 am
  • Instagram – Mondays at 3-4 pm EST

Despite the statistics, this isn’t necessarily indicative of how your audience may behave during these times. For instance, stay-at-home moms are likely early risers because they take their children to school and may look for entertainment online in the early morning and afternoon. Suffice to say, you need to post and test for yourself.

Use the right message for your posts

Treat your social media posts like you would a headline. You will need to craft the appropriate message that captures the attention of your target audience because engagement is part of every social platform’s algorithm, determining the reach of your Tweets and how relevant/important your account is.

For example, UpWorthy and BuzzFeed appealed to the curiosity of their audience with captivating social media messages called “click-bait”. With titles like “Really, Facebook? Really?!” and “I'm pretty sure my heart just melted”, the popularity of their Facebook updates has garnered them millions of fans and visits.

When coming up with your social media posts, refer to these different headline strategies:

  1. Surprise – do something unexpected
  2. Questions – initiate action from readers
  3. Curiosity – encourage readers to find the solution to a question
  4. Negatives – avoid superlatives (e.g. best, biggest, greatest) and use the more powerful opposite (e.g. worst, smallest)
  5. How to – appeals to the innate desire of everyone to be better and more knowledgeable
  6. Numbers – online readers like big lists and appreciate set expectations
  7. Audience referencing – feels more personal (ex. “Is This The Dream Vacation You’ve Been Waiting For?”)
  8. Specificity – specific figures require research, thus making your headlines more credible

The best part is that these headline strategies can also be used to develop blog post ideas.

Use hashtag and mention features

To further increase the reach of your social updates, you may choose to use popular hashtags related to your posts or the hashtag for someone’s account name. This way, you can leverage trending topics or get the attention of an influencer who may re-share your update to their larger audience.

According to social media app start-up, Buffer:

  • For Twitter, 1-2 hashtags is ideal, resulting in 2x more engagement.
  • For Instagram, 11+ hashtags get the most interactions, with 79.5% per 1K followers.
  • For Facebook, 1-2 hashtags result in 593 average interactions per post compared to 416 for 3-5 hashtags, 307 for 6-10, and 188 for 10+.

Join groups and communities

To amplify your social media efforts, you can join Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities, Triberr, and other niche communities or forums related to your industry. Finding the right social groups can offer you extremely targeted traffic and higher conversion rates.

Keep in mind, however, that you can’t manage being an active member of 50 communities. Pick the top 5 to 10 groups with the largest user base and become a prominent contributor. For instance, help group members solve their problems, discuss industry news, offer to promote great content from other contributors, and only plug yourself when relevant. Most communities work within certain guidelines so be giving, thoughtful, and altruistic before asking for anything in return.

When it’s all said and done, you will have established yourself as a credible expert in the field with relationships to other influential bloggers in your niche, and what better way to grow your blog than to piggyback off other successful bloggers willing to share their audience with you.

Include social sharing buttons prominently, but hide low share counts

Each WordPress social media plugin offers its own pros and cons, but two basic features to always keep in mind is the location of your buttons and whether the plugin offers the option to hide low share counts.

Location is important because you really never know when a visitor is going to stop reading and consider your content sharable. Now, I’m a firm believer in never giving my audience an excuse to not share my content, so I place social buttons at the top, bottom, and side of my posts. I also try to avoid making the decision difficult and confusing, so I only include 3 or 4 different social buttons.

For example, if my blog is targeting business professionals, I include Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and then Facebook. If the blog caters to consumers of both genders and all ages, I incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

Additionally, I prefer to hide low share counts, if the option is available with the plugin. This is because posts that do not have many shares discourage readers from being the first. On the other hand, you should always proudly display posts that have gone viral because each represents social proof that other readers have found your content useful or enjoyable, thereby encouraging new readers to continue sharing your blog.

Track and measure results

This is likely the simplest, yet most overlooked step in any strategy. Given the wealth of information and tools available to bloggers, it is a shame when we don’t take advantage of feedback to improve. After consistently applying the tactics above for a month, bloggers should review their Google Analytics data to find which mediums referred the most traffic and the engagement or value of that traffic in relation to time on site, bounce rate, leads generated, email subscribers added, and ultimately revenue. Using the data, bloggers can refine their performance by focusing more time and energy on the most effective referral sources.

The use of social media in blogging only continues to grow, and serious bloggers can’t afford to forego the exposure and free traffic. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a social media guru to build a following and earn visitors. The basics will jumpstart your strategy and help you learn what works for your target audience.

What simple social media tips and tricks have been the most successful or biggest wastes of time for your blog? Please share in the comments below!

Author Bio: Gary Dek is the founder of StartABlog123.com, where he provides a free step-by-step tutorial on starting and growing a blog. Gary enjoys helping others build successful online businesses via content and social marketing.

Social media tips that will help you grow your blog traffic

Comments

  1. says

    [ Smiles ] Great post, Sue.

    I have one issue though, your colleague Gary could gave been more specific with those times; he could have specified whether they were Eastern, Central or Pacific (which would have allowed me to differentiate those times); because not all of your readers are based in the United States of America.

    I am based in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the time is somewhat different from where you are.

    However, I would have to experiment from my end to find out when are the best times to post on social media.
    Renard Moreau recently posted…Guest Blogging Project AheadMy Profile

    • says

      Excellent point, Renard!

      I will ask Gary to update the post with time zones for the best posting/tweeting times.

      Thanks for pointing it out to us and for your comment.
      Sue

    • Gary says

      Hi Renard,

      The optimal time to post is early afternoon in the time zone with most of your audience. Most of these studies reference the US market so I don’t have the ability to provide additional data for international use.

      To find your top traffic hours, use Google Analytics, pick a day, choose Audience > Overview, and change the time period from “Day” to “Hourly”.

      • says

        Even I asked about the time on Quicksprout’s post when that article was published. But my comment (a simple comment asking what time reference was used in the infographic) was deleted; maybe those big guys ignore a small reader like me. And thanks Sue for these social media tips.
        Rajan recently posted…How VPN Service Protects Your Online FreedomeMy Profile

        • says

          Hi, Rajan,

          We love your comments here anytime! Gary did a great job on this article.

          Sue

  2. says

    Good guide for social media marketing.

    If you want to get massive traffic from social media for free without spending a single dime, persistence is the key to succeed with it.

  3. says

    Hi Sue and Gary

    Great tips. I use buffer for scheduling. Spend a few minutes to schedule my shares and I am set for the day. As you mentioned, the best times will vary depending upon your audience. You need to play around a bit.

    To add to this post, I think sharing influencer’s contents is also very essential from social media point of view. There are few good free tools that allow you to do this. Twibble and twitterfeed are the ones I use.

    Regards
    Neil
    Neil recently posted…19 expert blogging tips to avoid blogging mistakesMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Neil.

      I’m heading over to check out Twibble and Twitterfeed now.
      Sue

    • Gary says

      I will definitely check out Twibble. I currently use Twitterfeed on a limited basis because it’s free, but it’s so slow and frustrating.

    • says

      I’m so lucky to get great guest bloggers like Gary.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

      • Gary says

        You’re too kind, Sue. Thanks again for having me! =)

        And thank you, Brigitte!

  4. says

    I’ve use Twitter for long time and my tips that tweet a short message with enough details and good hashtag, it could bring to you a lot of traffic and repeat traffic because more readers will retweet it for other people.
    Alize Camp recently posted…Extend Apple Watch’s battery with Reserve StrapMy Profile

  5. says

    Great tips as usual Sue, but what about reaching visitors from other parts of the world. Should we not be posting during the wee hours to reach that target market? Thanks Robert
    Robert recently posted…Mystery Island VanuatuMy Profile

    • says

      Good question. I’ve seen studies where when bloggers do that, they get more engagement. Let’s see what Gary says.

      Thanks for your question!
      Sue

    • Gary says

      Hi Robert,

      Why not post the same update multiple times? That’s what most of the top bloggers do because, while there are peak usage times, not EVERYONE in your audience is going to be online at the same time. I would share the same article 3 to 5 times after publication, and 1 of those updates can be for your overseas audience. After all, the whole point of Twitter or other social mediums is to increase online exposure.

  6. says

    Hi Sue, And nice to meet you Gary!

    You have given me a lot to think about. Although I do have certain times I share on various social sites, I did a little tweaking a bit the last few weeks. Many readers of mine come from different time zones so I tweaked things earlier and found I have had better results.

    The times you shared I will keep in mind, but it does come down to our followers. I have been doing a little bit more focus on this lately and am still playing around with it. My blog had to be tweaked a day earlier – better results. My Facebook also had to be put on an earlier schedule because I had many followers from the UK.

    I think when it comes down to it all we have to follow a certain guideline and not just throw things out there.

    Treating our social media posts like a headline is one of the best take-aways I found here. Makes so much sense. Thanks for all these tips that are easily to apply.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Are You Reaching Your Goals?My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Donna,

      Thanks for the informative and thoughtful comment.

      We really have to tailor everything to our individual audiences. And you need to follow your numbers and analytics to know what works the best.

      Great advice, Donna!
      Sue

    • Gary says

      Thanks for sharing, Donna. I really don’t have anything to add to what you and Sue said – you are both exactly right. There are general guidelines, but every blogger’s audience is different. You have to analyze your own stats and test to see what works best for you.

  7. says

    Hey Gary,

    Great information here. I too think the biggest action that most people tend to overlook is checking their analytics.

    I wasn’t doing this for a long time although I was getting some decent results. The probably was that I didn’t know why I was getting those results, and if I was gaining or losing track with my blog.

    Now I check my analytics at least 2 or 3 times a day. With that said i can see why I’m getting the results i want, and make those necessary changes in order to improve!

    Thanks for the share Gary and you have a great rest of the week!
    sherman smith recently posted…5 Hypnotic Elements To Write An Effective Call To ActionMy Profile

    • says

      Good point, Sherman. That worked for me also, but I only check once a day 🙂

      Thanks for your comment,
      Sue

    • Gary says

      Agreed – a lot of bloggers really don’t analyze their results. They just keep doing the same things over and over again expecting that it will eventually catch on or have success with it. They build websites with their behavior in mind and not necessarily their audience’s, and that’s really the benefit of analytics – you get real feedback and can adjust your tactics. You obviously get this because you are getting the results you want so congratulations on that! =)

  8. says

    Awesome post Gary!

    And thanks so much for featuring him Sue Anne!

    First of all Gary, as I was reading your extremely practical and solid tips, about the typically best times to try and post on the various social media platforms.

    It quickly became crystal clear, why that saying, “work smarter not harder!” Is so powerful and practical. Because even though you may be diligently sharing and or posting your own content on the various social media platforms.

    Just by carefully adhering more closely to your proven advice, you can definitely improve your results, with the exact same effort!

    Thanks so much for teaching us how to correctly leverage our time and efforts better!
    Mark recently posted…So How Do Savvy Entrepreneurs Consistently Spot Those Seemingly Hidden Opportunities?My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Mark,

      Love it – “work smarter, not harder: is something I strive to do. It does help to leverage our time/efforts.

      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Sue

  9. says

    Hi Gary and Sue,

    Great points.

    Being consistent is really important it seems when it comes to social media.

    Truth be told I just hired someone to take over the management of my Twitter and Facebook pages for just a bit, and I can’t wait to see what difference he can make for me.

    Not only you have to know what you’re doing, but its such a time killer.

    I’ll be sure to make sure I follow all those rules when I get back to it.

    Thanks for the tips.

    • says

      Hi, Sylviane,

      You are right – consistency is the key! Congrats on hiring someone for social media – you’ll have to tell us how it goes. It is a time suck when you are having a busy day.

      Thanks for your comment today.
      Sue

    • Gary says

      Hi Sylviane, awesome that you hired a virtual assistant to manage your social media. Hope you get the results you want and please, definitely come back to share any additional tips!

  10. says

    Hi Gary,

    The Groups and Communities bit is a biggie, as people who seem to be social – and join relevant groups – get so much out of social media, including oodles of blog traffic. If you’re hanging somewhere you should hang with like-minded people, right? FB Groups and G Plus Communities are where your ideal readers are chilling, so make sure you join niche specific spots and you can’t help but to drive solid traffic through these sites. Chatting is key, or sharing, so give away plenty of free content through your posts but more important, comment on relevant updates and share other people’s posts. Ask questions and share answers. Be useful, by helpful and take a genuine interest in folks and you will rock it out online, no problems, using social media marketing.

    Great post G!

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Make Money Blogging: 19 Fascinating Bloggers to FollowMy Profile

  11. says

    Hi, Sue, thanks for these tips. Many good ones to follow!

    I wonder what you think about the importance of following social media times? I suppose it’s important for people concentrating on one local market but with the internet there’s a market awake at any time of day. Does it matter a huge amount? I try to post at different times, and buffer for other timezones, should I be concentrating on one?

    • says

      Hi, Donald,

      We’ll ask Gary and I put another post from Kim in the comments about timing.

      I think you have to do your own testing on it. See what changing the times brings you. I use Tweriod for Twitter times that shows my specific audience and when they tweet.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

  12. says

    While I know it’s not “one size fits all,” I love the specific advice on posting times and hashtag use provided in this post.
    Kenna Griffin recently posted…This Week’s Media JobsMy Profile

  13. says

    Thanks for another helpful detailed article. I have also observed that curiosity and surprise play big role in attracting visitors and engage them with content. It also help turn visitors into subscribers.

    One more thing I have seen that it help decreasing bounce rate as users engage with content and also comment counts will increase.
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted…5 Ways to Get 10x More Retweets on TwitterMy Profile

  14. says

    Hey Sue,

    Great guest post article! I love the part about Twitter with hashtags. While 1 – 2 hashtags are great, try to make them a little ‘mixed around’. At times, I don’t use hashtags and they get some sort of engagements.

    Just to ensure no overly promotional type-of-thing.

    Shared and shared again!

  15. says

    Hi Gary
    I saw you several on different social media and finally got you here. Thanks Sue Anne for featuring this gem of social media management.

    You covered the first point very rationally by adding in tips given by Neil that optimal sharing time on each social media varies from audience to audience. For contents on retirement plans, it is better to share in evening as mostly old timers sleep early.

    It is also a point to be noted to join a few groups instead of just becoming a part of the aimless herd. The criteria should be a group with maximum active members as I also observed many groups with thousands of members but only a few hundred are active.

    Thanks a lot for sharing these very useful tips to take maximum benefit of social media to boost blog traffic.

  16. says

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  17. says

    Hello Sue Anne and Gary, great tips!

    This a great start to social media for those just starting to get into it. As they will become more advanced many publishing tools will spring up and newbies will be tempted to use these aka hootsuite, buffer, etc. but it’s really best to manually and make authentic updates and strategic times.

    Why?

    Because a few meaningful connections on social media is more valuable than many followers who really don’t care or know what your brand and you are about. Plus, what would happen if you schedule a tweet about your book promotion at a time when the rest of the country is talking about a major event like the Boston bombings? You had it scheduled before hand and now your following is wondering why you’re trying to promote yourself during a time that’s inappropriate.

    Thanks for this and I’ll be looking forward to reading more and sharing my ideas!

    • says

      Great points about not automating too much, Ben. I agree that less is more.

      Thanks so much for commenting!
      Sue

  18. says

    hash tagging is one of the great way to get a huge amount of visitors and followers. I’m using Hash tags and it’s results are awesome. i also suggest this technique to all of my fellow bloggers and webmasters.

    joining communities and groups also works great. but there is a thing to be look that we must use only those groups and communities which are sharing great content. I saw many groups on Facebook and Googleplus producing spam and irrelevant content.

    Great post and thanks for sharing with us.

    John

    • says

      Hi, John,

      Great point about hashtags. I have just recently started using more of them and Gary did a great job explaining how to use them in this post.

      You are right about the communities and groups.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

  19. says

    Great advice. I stopped posting my links in Facebook groups because Facebook started to warn people that my website might be harmful. It took me awhile to solve the problem, but now it works fine, and I just share in a couple different groups. Reddit can also be awesome if you know which sub-reddits have the type of traffic you need. Most of the time Reddit traffic doesn’t convert, but there’s still a chance that it will. I have been trying to find the right sub-reddits for my Taiwan posts, haven’t had much luck so far, but I know I’ll find that special sub-reddit eventually.

    • says

      Hi, Timothy,

      I have a blogging friend who was using StumbleUpon to drive a lot of traffic. He found that the traffic bounced off his site much too quickly. You need to watch that also with Reddit before you spend a lot of time on it.

      Thanks for this comment!
      Sue

    • says

      I’ve had some luck also with Reddit, Timothy. Hit or miss, right?

      Thanks for your insightful comment.
      Sue

  20. says

    Great Post, I am looking for genuine readers and followers on my blog. And you have shared such a an informative post. I will share all your points in my infographic and giving credit to you as well. I hope it will be fine with you.

    • says

      Hi, Savita,

      So glad that the post helped you. I’m sure that Gary will be fine with it as long as you give him credit (like you say).

      Thanks for your comment and remember to share the infographic with us.
      Sue

  21. says

    Each post you make on an social media marketing is an open door for clients to change over. When you fabricate a tailing, you’ll all the while have admittance to new clients, late clients, and old clients, and you’ll have the capacity to communicate with every one of them. This is truly a great post.

  22. says

    Great post, Thank you sharing your experience. These tips are really going increase my website traffic specially hash tag.

  23. says

    The main thing of a business blog should really be to add visitors to your email.thanks for sharing a knowledgeable post.

  24. says

    Great post now I Understood the advantages of hashtag. Keep posting very nice!

  25. says

    I have a question related to social media. According to you which are best social networking platforms for driving traffic?

  26. says

    Hi Sue,
    I read your whole content and found it very interesting for me and my social media marketing. Targeting customer through social media is very effective and you have put useful tips to target it.
    Regards
    Manoj Singh Rathore

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