Social Media Experiment (Nov. 07 - Jan 08)
In late November 2007 I embarked on a journey into the depths of social media marketing. This journey is far from over but I believe that I have gathered enough evidence to prove without a doubt that social media marketing has the potential to launch a website from 0 visitors to more than 500k unique visitors and almost 1 million pageviews in as little as 3 months.
I would like to share with you my experiences and also give a few pointers to other looking to use social media as a launch pad for their website.
The Path To Enlightenment
My path towards social enlightenment was an accidental one, I found StumbleUpon in 2007. As many StumbleUpon members can attest it is a very addictive tool. I quickly became a stumble addict stumbling into the late night hours. It did not take me long to realize the power of StumbleUpon and that if used correctly it could be a great tool for driving targeted traffic. This is a brief synopsis of the past 3 months.
By chance, I suppose, around the same time my own site was in 'beta' I was also spending a lot of time stumbling. So like anyone new to social media marketing I stumbled all of my own pages (Bad Idea). I then realized that some people could drive large amounts of traffic to my site with a single stumble and that is when I realized that your 'profile' means a lot (Power Profile). So on my quest to make my profile more powerful I became very active in the community (Stay Active). A side effect of my increased activity was making friends within the community that had similar likes and dislikes (Be Social). Once I had built a network of friends and increased my activity within the community I could better see what the community wanted and this lead to better content on my website which in turn payed off with increased website traffic (Content Is King).
Tips & Techniques
So, you want to be the next social media rock star! Here are some tips to help you go from 0 to 500k and make friends along the way. What are you waiting for? You to can increase your website traffic by 1 million pageviews if you carefully follow the following advice.
Don't Act Like A Spammer
This should be obvious! You hate spam and so does everyone else. You may think that what you have to say is worth hearing but if you go about it the wrong way it will be considered spam! For those new to social media marketing, no one wants every other page that they see to be your website even if it is a good site. Keep things diversified and do not over submit your content. It may seem counter intuitive but over submitting can actually hurt you more than help you.
Active In The Community
To be successful in social media marketing you must become very active within the community (I don't mean spamming!). You must stumble into the midnight hours, digg deep, reddit again and again, sphinn it off and blog like a mad man/woman. If you are active people will take notice and all the things you were looking to gain will seem as though they just fall into place.
Network Of Friends
In my opinion the most important part of social media marketing is your network of friends. To be a social media rock star you must acquire a diverse network of friends who are also active in your community. By having a strong network of active friends you will be able to quickly disseminate your content through many levels of a social network. The important thing to remember when selecting friends within a social network is how diversified their connections are with your own. If you and your friends all have similar connections then your potential distribution network is not as large. By maintaining a network of friends who also have other friends you will have a better chance of your content going viral.
A power profile is not something that is reached by gaining X number of diggs, votes, or stumbles. To truly create a power profile you must become a valuable resource within the community. When building your profile focus on the quality that you bring to the network and not the volume that you bring. You will better spend your time finding or creating quality content rather than submit large volumes of content hoping something sticks. Quality will bring trustworthiness and being trustworthy will help build a following which in turn will make your profile a power profile.
Content, Content, Content
The most important thing to remember when attempting to market your website through social media services is that 'content is king'. If you are looking to use your rock star status to promote your own website then you will need to focus on the quality of the content that you provide. Your content should focus on your target niche and should provide value clearly and quickly. You should also use your social network to help mold your content after submitting listen to the feedback you get and use it to produce higher quality content.