Driving traffic — as well as driving revenue — to your blog is likely your top concern. You’re constantly assessing different advertising and marketing strategies seeking the Holy Grail: tons of blog visitors that convert into dollars.
And while you may be using social media to boost your blog’s brand, you may be unsure as to whether you should invest in paid strategies on social media. You’re hearing mixed reviews, and don’t know where to start, if you should start at all.
There are actually a few ways you can invest in social media. Some ways are legit while others you should stay away from. Here, get the lowdown on which paid tactics can increase visitors on your blog…and which you should run away from.
1. Buying Followers Isn’t Going to Help You Hit Your Goals
It may be tempting to buy social media followers. After all, it instantly makes you look more successful, right?
The fact is: numbers do not equal revenue. Spending money to get thousands of followers is a “pray and spray” approach. Those followers are not likely to be your target audience, and there’s no guarantee they care about what you’re publishing on your blog.
Buying social followers also puts your social media accounts at risk because sites like Twitter are cracking down on this behavior. You risk your profile being shut down entirely if you engage in what is illegal behavior.
It’s simply not worth it.
A better way to get followers is to search for hashtags that relate to what you write about on your blog. If you write about healthy food, follow people who use hashtags like #healthyfood, #healthylifestyle, or #instafood, because they’re in line with what you’re talking about on your blog.
There is one way to attract more followers on social media by paying, however…
2. Social Media Ads May Boost Followers (Legitimately)
Social media sites recognize the fact that people want more followers, and so to capitalize on that fact, they’ve created the genre of social media advertising. With social ads, you can achieve one of several goals:
- Boost followers (particularly on Facebook)
- Drive traffic to your blog
- Get email signups
- Get engagement on social updates (likes, shares, clicks)
The great thing about social media advertising is that it’s pretty affordable. You can run a test campaign for about $10 to see if it helps you achieve your goals, and then decide how much you want to spend for a longer campaign.
Facebook, in particular, is great if you want to get more readers for a particular post. Because sponsored posts live in users’ newsfeed, your sponsored blog post looks like everyone else’s
For best results with social media ads, decide what you want to achieve. Set a number goal: maybe you want to boost a blog post to get 1,000 reads. Carefully choose your target audience (social ads are great because you can zero in on exactly the people you want to see your post), and measure results to see if you hit your goal.
3. Working with Influencers Can Pay Off (and Doesn’t Necessarily Cost Anything)
Another strategy to make your brand go viral is to work with social media influencers. These are people who have established large (or largeish) and engaged audiences. If they tell people about your blog, people will read it. You can quickly reach far more people working with influencers than you could through other means…and they’ll be your targeted demographic if you choose influencers in your niche.
There are influencers who charge for their services, and others who don’t. Neither is necessarily more effective than the other; it just depends on what you’re looking for. If you think you need Kim Kardashian to pump up your blog, she will help you reach millions…and will charge accordingly.
On the other hand, there are hundreds of influencers in your niche with smaller, dedicated networks that charge less or nothing at all to work with you. If you sell products, you may be able to offer influencer products in exchange for a review (disclosing, of course, that exchange).
The benefit of working with influencers (paid or not) is that they’ve built trust with their audiences, and the people who follow them don’t feel like they’re being advertised to, so they’re more likely to check out a brand the influencer recommends.
Be selective about which influencers you reach out to. You only want influencers who have audiences that match the demographics of your blog, otherwise you’re wasting your time. Find creative ways to work together: product reviews, a link to your site, or even an interview to introduce new readers to you and your brand.
Whatever channel you choose to promote your blog on social media, realize that there’s really no such thing as overnight success. Marketing your brand takes elbow grease, so as long as you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll see results. Stay on top of social media trends so you can jump on new opportunities to reach your audience through social before everyone else does. And watch your analytics: pay attention to the channels that drive traffic and invest more time and money into them for even better results.
Susan Guillory is the President ofEgg Marketing, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites includingForbes,AllBusiness, andCision. Follow her on Twitter@eggmarketing.