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Social Media Week - How to drive traffic on the cheap with social media

Social Media Week - How to drive traffic on the cheap with social media

By William Peebles, Top Click Media

Social media marketing is clearly the “in” thing. Companies and SEMs who can harness the various social media platforms, such as Digg or Stumble, can drive vast quantities of traffic to their sites, dramatically extending their company brands and even improving their search engine rankings.

On such sites content is dictated by users rather than editors. If users submit a story, and if other site members like it, they vote for it.  The more votes a piece gets, the more prominently the site will feature it. Stories with enough votes can end up on the front page. Because these sites are so popular, the sites containing these stories can receive server-busting levels of traffic (50,000 visitors in a day is not unusual).

The attraction then for businesses to garner such levels of traffic is clear. What’s even more appealing, however, is that it can cost very little to do so.

Whereas SEO is becoming increasingly expensive, with large corporations splashing vast amounts of cash to cement page one positions, social media is, for the most part, about content. If the content submitted, in the form of articles, videos, etc., is suitably engaging and tailored to the preferences of a particular social networking site, then a company can prosper without busting the bank.

For the social media spendthrift, article submissions are certainly the way to go. They require very little but some creativity and the following killers tips:

Use a tasty headline

Headlines are certainly a major factor in scoring big in the social media sites.  People will click on your article based on the headline, so it must be as appealing as possible.

Keep it brief

time is of the essence. The social media surfer has a serious case of ADD. They want to be engaged 3 seconds ago. Describe in as few words as possible what your article is offering and how the next five minutes of reading will improve their lives, or at least entertain them. 

‘How to’ headlines and articles are great

For some reason, as long as the subject matter is sufficiently interesting and people can find out how to achieve something important, they will generally read on.  Sometimes diggers or reddites will vote for your site without even reading the content, as long as the headline is engaging.

Keep the content concise and to the point

In a nutshell, the attention span of social media surfers is very short.  In fact it would barely fill a nutshell.

Quickly fulfil the promises made in the headline in a timely and concise manner.
Lists work really well. Most people when landing on a web page, don’t read it, they scan it for relevant information. Give them what they want quickly, then they’ll give you what you want quickly - a vote!

Choose your topic wisely  

Different network sites are disposed to different types of subjects. For example, articles about technology or left wing politics tend to score well on Digg. Take your time to research what types of articles feature well on your chosen site.
Articles that comment on topical events often score well. If you can respond quickly to an event that everyone is familiar with people will read and vote for it.
Get your article submitted by a powerful digger/stumbler 

Social network sites are communities 

As in all communities, some members hold more sway than others. Individuals who have strong track records in making submissions, which have bought in numerous votes, will be highlighted on most sites as high profile submitters. If your article is submitted by a member of such an elite group then your article will very likely figure more prominently. 

If you don’t know such a high power digger there are companies with high profile accounts who will submit your site for a fee – just don’t get caught!!! 

Make your article as easy to share as possible

In order for an article to score well, obviously it needs votes, and many of them. Therefore make it as painless as possible for someone to vote for your content. Place submission options directly below the article. Also give readers the facility to email your article to a friend. The code required is very simple and will go along way. 
And that is basically it: A bit of creativity, patience, study and smarts can go a long way in this burgeoning universe.

What’s great about these sites is that their algorithms are set up to enhance the community. If you can create something that adds value to the community then you can certainly prosper without digging (excuse the pun) deep into your pockets!!!!


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