Social media marketing is the process of promoting your site or business through social media channels and it is a powerful strategy that will get you links, attention and massive amounts of traffic.
There is no other low-cost promotional method out there that will easily give you large numbers of visitors, some of whom may come back to your website again and again.
If you are selling products/services or just publishing content for ad revenue, social media marketing is a potent method that will make your site profitable over time.
Those who ignore the efficacy of social media usually fall into three categories; the ones who don’t know much or anything about social media, the ones who are interested but don’t know how to use it and those who don’t believe in the value that a social media strategy can bring to any site or business.
The Value of Marketing Through Social News Websites
For those who don’t understand or see the value of social media websites, let’s take a look at the benefits of creating viral content and effectively promoting them through social media channels.
Developing link baits and successfully getting it popular on various social media websites like Digg and StumbleUpon will lead to multiple benefits for any website:
• Primary and Secondary Traffic. Primary traffic is the large amount of visitors who come directly from social media websites. Secondary traffic is referral traffic from websites which link to and send you visitors, after they come across your content through the social sites.
• High Quality Links. Becoming popular on social news websites like Digg or Reddit will get you a large number of links, some of which may be topically relevant, some not. A good story can realistically acquire a large number of high quality editorial links, most of which cannot be easily bought.
Now let’s translate this into tangible benefits for your website:
1. Links = Better Search Engine Rankings.
When a website receives a large number of natural, permanent links from trusted domains, it develops authority. Search engines trust it. If you optimize your linkbait and website structure properly, you can easily start ranking for competitive keywords, which will in turn bring in search engine visitors.
Do this often enough and your search traffic will undoubtedly increase. In a sense, you are obtaining these quality links through borrowed trust. Many bloggers and webmaster still think that if an article is on the Digg or del.icio.us homepage, then it’s probably worth checking out and referencing through a citation link.
A new website may find it difficult to gain links from a critical mass that is not familiar with it but a trusted social news resource makes it easier for links to come in, because the community and buzz has somewhat ‘certified‘ the value of the site. Note that the actual strength of the article is still of utmost importance for all.
2. Primary + Secondary Traffic = Community/Supporters.
Some people claim that social news websites only send useless traffic, visitors that will often just view a specific webpage and click away. Yes, that’s usually the case. Sites like Digg are notorious for their poor bounce rates: many visitors drop in for the article and then leave after reading it. StumbleUpon is much better in this aspect.
But don’t mistake this with a lack of interest. Your subscriber figures will often take big jump up and then stabilize after a few days. If your entire site is relevant to the general interests of the social media website, there will always be a handful of social users who will start to track your site in order to submit future content.
Detractors also ignore the power of ultra targeted secondary traffic. General sites or blogs in the same niche will link to a story that’s popular on social sites, because it adds value for their readers or users. This is done naturally on a daily basis for many.
While primary traffic usually comes in a larger volume, I would argue that secondary traffic is more valuable. Why? Because links from other websites bring visitors who are very likely to be interested in your content. These citation links demonstrate recognition of your site in the eyes of others. It builds your brand.
Think of the social news site as a platform or a soapbox. As something that gives you a chance to be heard or read, even for a brief moment of a few hours. The people who are drawn to your message will visit your site and recommend it to others.