Social media traffic doesn’t exist

social media traffic

Social media traffic: building a community

Forget that title already, it’s something which will just confuse you and lead you up the garden path of a low traffic site. Social media is not about traffic, in the main, it is about relationships and community, both of which sell.

Social media is about, being social, not really generating lots of Internet traffic, that can happen, but here what is more important is quality rather than quantity. I remember the days when myself and colleagues were seeing this name “social media” put forward, we were then calling it Web 2.0, this was back in the mid 90s, I saw the name stick, and whilst I’m still not totally convinced it is the correct term, it has certainly stuck.

Fast forward several years and here we are with gurus, pros, and software trying to “measure” influence, reach, engagement and various other quantities. You’d be wise to be very cautious with all of that and instead concentrate very specifically on what works for you. If one single social media time-investment works for you, generates sales, that’s a good thing. If an activity builds brand awareness for you within your local marketplace, that’s a very good thing. If you can build relationships with people using Twitter, facebook, G+, Pinterest etc that’s a good thing. If people ask on these platforms for a service relating to yours and the crowd recommend you, that’s a very good thing. If other businesses like, engage and share your content on facebook with their own network that is a very good thing.

The point I am making here is that I suggest you do not get bogged down with measurement and statistics, sure those things are important if you are spending money, you need to know what your returns are for spend, but don’t sweat over it. Instead spend time working out a strategy, no matter how small, no matter how simple, and try it, then tweak it. Don’t do social media randomly, you’ll get nowhere and frustrated.

A social media strategy?

Absolutely, this is just a simple way of having some clear ideas of what you will do, when you will do it, and where you will do it.

Here are two very simple examples:

Facebook

  • Create 4 posts per day that contain an image or video. With each video or image ask the followers to share this with their friends. Yes, people do need telling.
  • Use Facebook as the business page itself and make friends with 5 other businesses every day, engage with their content as your business.
  • Link up real life events, take pictures of the people, then share this on your Facebook page and “tag” the people in the image. Tell them you will be doing this.
  • Share other businesses content onto your page and link them in clearly, make them feel special.

Twitter

  • Tweet 10 times a day, friendly positive tweets, not always about products, be helpful.
  • Follow 10 people a day within target markets.
  • Twice a day recommend other services, they will love you for that and do it in return.
  • Use hashtags to tie your content into a wider audience.
  • Use Twitter as a search tool, set up searches to find people talking about the products and services you sell, they are out there, you have to find them. Once found, become a part of that conversation.

These are very simple, easily achievable lists. What you need to be thinking about here, and this is VITAL, is building a community around your brand, absolutely building a friendly, social environment, where the crowd very much feel a part of what you are doing. If you can build a community you can mobilise the community to do things for your business. Yes, we do really want to do things for our brands, we want to have a relationship with your products, we want to feel a part of it.

Building a community from scratch is not an easy thing to achieve mind you, it takes time, patience and skill. You can get some head starts though if you already have an existing off-line community. Then it is merely a question of moving it online, getting the people engaged with your digital platforms of choice, and it doesn’t have to be all singing and all dancing, choose just one to begin with.

Have you got a community already?

Think about it, all your current customers, how long have you been trading, do you have records of customers, transactions, mailing lists, telephone numbers. How can you take all of that highly valuable data and bring these people out of the woodwork to your digital platforms, because they are on them. Now is the time to make this data pay.

Create a campaign to target all of your past and present customers, tell them what you are doing, tell them you value them being a part of your community, tell what to do, tell them where to do it and why you value them so much, and keep telling them, reward them.

This may be a brave new World for you, connecting your customers, allowing them to communicate publicly about your business, your products, but that’s the point, that’s the power of social media, be strong, believe in your business, believe in your service, and MAKE sure your service delivers with perfection.

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In the image above we have the following lovely people: Lloyd Davis, Mitzi Szereto, Phil Campbell, Janet Parkinson, all wonderful people, go follow them if you use Twitter.

Chris Hambly

Chris Hambly is CEO of Social Media Mafia.