7 Simple Strategies to Increase Web Traffic from Social Networks
When I joined the Vision del Cine marketing team, we set a clear goal: increase our news portal’s web traffic. But how to achieve it? We didn’t have a big budget, and we didn’t know where to start. Finally, we developed a strategy whose result was very positive: we were able to increase the number of visits from Social Networks by 150%! In this post, I will tell you how we do it. Here we go!
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1. We Reuse Content to Expand our Reach
When we began to study the case of Vision del Cine, we discovered that sharing an article about The best films of the year only in January prevented our new followers and fans from reading it. In other words, by posting just once, we were missing out on getting the most out of content that can yield much more. To correct the situation, we decided to change the strategy and re-share the content on Social Networks.
Since each social network has its characteristics and rules, we established a particular re-publication frequency for each of them. For example, we decided to tweet about a post five times a week, each using a different title. In the case of Facebook, we determined to share it three times a week and other times.
Learning the repost pattern for each account was very difficult, so I made a table that simplifies that task. Then I share it with you so that you use it as a guide with your content.
Even though the table made our work much more comfortable, memorizing was still an impossible task. That is why we used Postcron, which allowed us to schedule Facebook posts, schedule tweets, and post on Google+ following the established pattern, to be able to update accounts automatically for weeks.
2.We Identify the most Convenient Times to Publish
The essential point was to define what were the best times to publish to ensure we reached the bulk of our viewers on social networks. We understood that the same content posted at different times, in some cases, exhibited much higher traffic levels than in others. For that purpose, we decided to investigate the best times to post on each social network.
To see your Facebook statistics, you must go to your Fan Page. In it, you will find, at the top left, a tab with the title Insights (next to your Notifications). By clicking on it, you will see the graphs and metrics of your page.
After identifying our best schedules, our app’s “Default schedules” function to publish on Facebook and Twitter was very useful. With it, we were able to establish the previously defined publication considerations according to each social network. Using this function saved us from having to enter specific times each time we schedule a post.
3. We Discover our Best Content
We immediately began to test different content types to determine which were the most shared and popular among the audience. For this, we use a great tool: Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo agrees to you to enter a topic or domain in its search engine, after which it provides you with a report about which are the most shared content on social networks. That way, you can quickly know what content caused your audience’s most significant impact and, consequently, define the type of post that your audience demands.
Once you enter the keyword of your interest, Buzzfeed displays the impact that content had on each of the social networks. It includes the number of times it was shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+, and how many times Tweeted. The tool also allows you to apply geographic, language, and temporal filters for greater precision.
After analyzing the contents of Vision del Cine on Buzzsumo and considering the impact of each post, we discovered that:
- Our best time to post is between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
- Our articles on Premieres are the most shared.
- For example, “The ten best films of all time” are by far the most shared content.
Obtaining this information was very useful for us to decide which content was best for us to republish. It also allowed us better to define the profile of readers of our site.
4. We Vary the Degree to Republish Content
When we had to publish the same content several times, we understood that it was essential to provide something different or unique in each post. It maintains the interest of the audience and helps to avoid becoming a spammer. Taking this into account, we define different types of degrees to present the contents from other approaches. These are the typologies that we established (I suggest you apply them in your posts!):
- Quote an essential or controversial line from the article: “I didn’t like working on that movie,” said the actress. Read the full note at (insert your URL).
- Propose an attractive invitation: “Read the latest article on our site.”
- Use an impressive title: “The most-read a note of the week.”
- Through the useful list format: “Do you know which are the ten highest-grossing films in history?”
- Write “shareable” titles: “The best actor in Hollywood says goodbye.”
5. We Mention the Protagonists of our Posts
Evaluating the performance of Vision del Cine on Twitter, we discovered “the power of mentions”: After mentioning in a tweet an actor, director, or producer present in the linked article, most of the time, the person gave us a retweet. In this way, all his followers could find out about our note’s existence, read it, and share it. Thus, we always incorporate it as a strategy to schedule tweets that include mentions to the protagonists.
For that reason, I recommend that you mention in your tweets the characters you talk about in your articles whenever you can. That little detail can take your post very far and help you add new followers.
6. We Publish in Facebook Groups
Another essential point of the strategy was to take advantage of Facebook groups: ideal free tools to segment the audience and retain users. Indeed, given that people are looking for spaces of belonging where they can share their interests, we decided to take advantage of this circumstance and create local groups for film lovers, for example: “Classic Cinema Lovers of Argentina” or “Cinephiles of Madrid.”
We immediately began to provide our content through them, selecting which articles to share based on each group’s specific preferences. Thus, we noticed that member users were much more interested in our proposals and shared them and their friends’ community.
An advantage of automatic posting to Facebook groups that we found very beneficial is the greater reach that the groups have. Every time it is published in them, all members receive a notification and see the news in their newsfeed. The key to our achievement was to create many local groups for different cities, focused on specific interests, and use them to promote our content.
To keep all the groups updated, we used Postcron, which allowed us to post on Facebook automatically following scheduled schedules. The process was pretty quick as we went through a series of steps to prepare all the month’s posts.
7. We Optimize our Site to Increase Web Traffic
In addition to executing the steps described, we realized that it was essential to optimize the site to follow the strategy implemented. We are mainly concerned with retaining new visitors to attract and improve our website’s general user experience.
Thus, since our second traffic source was Social Networks, we were struck by the high bounce rate that the Vision del Cine site had. The bounce percentage is the number of times a user has left the place on the Home or entry page without interacting with it. To find out what was causing this situation, we decided to review and tweak our website, with the idea of offering the public reasons to stay. It is the checklist that we created to optimize the site:
It must be Comfortable and Navigable:
It must have a clean appearance, which allows the user to easily distinguish where they should go to find what they need. Menus must be clear and orderly. Also, it must have an internal search engine and thematic categories that order the contents.
It must have Social Buttons:
At the beginning and end of the posts, users must access controls to share your content on social networks (mainly Twitter and Facebook). Since Vision del Cine works with WordPress, we use AddToAny, a super complete social button plugin that you can get here. You can install AddToAny directly from WordPress: you have to go to Plugins, select Add New, and search for AddToAny. Then press Install and finally, Activate Plugin.
Another exciting Plugin that you can add to your site is Select Text Social Share WordPress. After installing it, your readers will publish phrases from your article on Twitter and Facebook by merely selecting the fragment they want to share and pressing the corresponding icon.
It must have Buttons to Follow you on Social Networks:
As in the previous point, the public must always find access to your Twitter account, Facebook, etc. to start following you immediately. An easy way to bring about this is to use Metro Style, a WordPress plugin that allows users to follow your accounts on the most popular social networks. The installation procedure is the same as in the previous case.
It must be Navigable from Mobiles:
We noticed that a large part of the traffic came to the portal from mobile devices. So it was necessary to optimize it to navigated from telephones. As shown in the image below, more. And more users are using this type of technology, so I strongly recommend applying this setting on your site.
After applying this simple 7-step strategy, we increased Vision del Cine’s web traffic from Social Networks by 150%. It revealed the importance of Social Media as a means to spread the site. You can also multiply the visits to your website! You have to follow the recommendations I shared with you in this post, and you will soon see positive results.
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