If you're wondering how to drive traffic to your blog, make sure you boost your social media shares. In this post, Christopher Jan Benitez shares his tips on how to skyrocket your blog traffic by placing some serious emphasis on growing your social media shares.
Care to Share?
The phrase “sharing is caring” rings true in our everyday lives.
Our ability to empathize with the less fortunate compels us to donate stuff we no longer use to them.
Sharing food with your friends and family means that you care enough for them to partake in your blessings.
In blogging, sharing also means caring, but it’s the other way around.
"Sharing is caring" is true in everyday life, but for a #blogger it's the other way around.
Instead of the blogger doing the sharing, it's the readers who have the power to share your content.
One of the most common ways that they can share your post is through social media. They can simply tweet or like your blog posts on Twitter or Facebook, which means that they care enough to share your post with others.
Just as important, every social share adds up to your total tally, which serves as proof to readers that people found your content helpful.
It is normal for people to gravitate towards social proof and influence their decision making. After all, nearly 70% of online shoppers depend on reviews before making a purchase.
While the statistic above may not apply to all bloggers, the principle of social proof does.
If you are looking for information online about a topic, would you read a post will zero social shares or a post with hundreds of them?
The higher the social shares of a post, the more authoritative it is in the eyes of people. The shares mean that the content was so good that other people cared enough to share it on social media.
Therefore, as a blogger, if you want your blog to succeed, then you need to drive up your social shares to gain the confidence of readers and increase your traffic further!
The social shares conundrum
While the process of social shares sound simple, the implement does not.
First, there is no guarantee that people will share the blog post, no matter how good it reads.
What most bloggers seem to miss out is that blogging is a two-way street.
What most #bloggers seem to miss out on is that #blogging is a 2-way street
You simply can’t expect people to share your high-quality content if you haven’t built steady traffic.
Even then, you can’t expect your content to share itself.
You need to do the bulk of sharing your content on different channels online so your post can gain traction and reach a tipping point. By then, hundreds of people will be sharing your post in no time.
In this post...
1. Setting up social sharing buttons
Sometimes, one of the reasons why your readers don’t share your post on social media is because they can’t.
As a blogger, you should make not only navigating your content easier for users but also sharing it.
Therefore, setting up sharing buttons within your post goes a long way.
There are free WordPress plugins that let you feature sharing buttons of popular social media sites on the top, bottom, or on the side of the content.
However, arguably the best social sharing platform I’ve come across with is Social Warfare.
Social media sharing buttons usually take lots of time to load. There is a potential that your page will load slower when installing the buttons on your site, which could cause visitors to leave.
With Social Warfare’s caching system, however, you don’t have to worry about slow loading times.
There are other glaring advantages that the plugin holds over its counterparts. One of them is the ability to restore Twitter share count on your blog posts.
Since the beginning of 2016, Twitter no longer shows how many people tweeted your post. The removal puts bloggers who rely on Twitter shares for their social proof at a disadvantage.
Social Warfare makes it easier for you to recover Twitter shares, which help add up to your social shares.
Another Social Warfare feature that users will find helpful in increasing their social shares is the creation of clickable tweets. But we will get back to this shortly.
2. “Locking” your best content
Grabbing the attention of your readers is ideally the way for you to get more social shares, if not get readers to commit to your calls to action.
However, their attentions will quickly turn the other way if you use disruptive elements on your page.
Google has made moves to penalize sites that use distracting interstitials, thus hindering user experience on mobile devices.
Marketers and bloggers use interstitials such as opt-in forms to create irresistible CTAs on their site. However, at the expense of this goal, you potentially annoy readers with how you set up your opt-in boxes to appear. Readers normally are not big fans appreciate opt-in forms
While Google’s effort only applies on mobile, you should take this as a sign to learn how to use opt-in forms the right way. At the same time, it encourages you to think outside of the box by finding ways on how to attract and engage their audience through their content.
A non-disruptive alternative to opt-in forms is gated or locked content.
You can lock a portion of your blog post, if not the whole thing. For readers to unlock the gated content, all they need to do is share your content on social media.
The key to effective locking of your content is to incentivize readers for sharing your content on social media. At the same time, you need to lock the juiciest and most helpful content to compel readers to unlock your content by sharing it.
One of the best WordPress plugins for locking content is Social Locker. You can choose from different attractive designs to get the attention of users and share your blog post.
3. Making “tweetable” quotes
As a blogger, your concern is to be read by your audience and make an impact in their lives. By writing about things that matter to them, you have the potential to change their lives for the better.
Therefore, you need to make every word that you type count. Clarity in your writing is most important if you want to communicate your ideas effectively.
One way of doing this is to create tweetable quotes on your blog post.
Quotes are normally short and sweet, making them easy to share on social media. People like bite-size information, which makes tweetable quotes a great tactic to drive up your social shares.
Tweetable quotes is an incredibly worthwhile functionality for you to implement if you're really dedicated to learning how to drive traffic to your blog via social media. When you make your writing clear, concise, and influential, you increase the likelihood that your readers will be inspired to share your content via these social share functions on your site.
Of all social media platforms, Twitter lets you share your quotes from your blog post. While there are some WordPress plugins that perform this function, Social Warfare lets you choose a design that will help your quotes stand out from the content.
In a blog post, you can take some of the most important lines and feature them as a "click to tweet." You can also create quotes that summarize a section in your article.
4. Promoting your post like hell!
Learning how to drive traffic to your blog means nothing if you're not willing to put in the legwork. As mentioned earlier, your post won’t promote itself
You need to do the legwork of manually sharing them on different online channels so your audience can read your content.
In fact, you’ll probably have to spend more time promoting your post than writing it. Applying the Pareto Principle in this context, you need to spend 4x more promoting your content. If you wrote your post in a day, for example, then you need to spend the next four days sharing it.
Aside from driving social shares to your post, the principle works as a way to build for an audience who will regularly visit your blog for updates. Making the effort of marketing your blog posts will help you attract people who are looking for your content and might stay with you for good.
If you are a blogger who only focuses on the writing aspect, promotions can be overbearing. However, blogging is more than just writing if you want more social shares for your blog, let alone have a successful blog.
For starters, you can read this post that I wrote in which I compiled the best places where you can submit your posts to online groups and communities. By submitting your blog posts to the featured site, you also get in touch with like-minded people in your field. Take this opportunity to network with them as well in the hopes of turning them into avid readers of your blog.
You can also spend time tackling some blogger outreach (reaching out to influencers in your niche), making connections, and sharing your stuff.
Once you have manually submitted your blog post to groups and and reached out to influencers, you can move up to automating your social sharing process.
If you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and others, then you should be promoting your content on those sites. While it's possible to share your posts on social media multiple times, manually sharing them is a painstakingly repetitive task.
Thankfully, you can use a tool like CoSchedule that you can access from your WordPress dashboard to schedule your social media posting. You can share your blog posts the whole year if you want so you can maximize the traffic for your posts.
To learn how CoSchedule works as a social scheduling tool along with its other features, click here.
Wrapping it up
It takes a lot of moving parts for your blog post to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of social shares. However, it all starts on how you promote it to your audience.
By referring to the tactics I shared above, you can boost your social shares, which in turn can help increase your authority and influence in your niche.
While the shares are just numbers, social proof goes a long way in shaping the perception of your audience about your blog post and making them care.