Content may still be king, but relationships are definitely queen.
No one can vouch for this better than blogger, Ti Roberts who gained nearly 2,000 visits, 400+ Facebook likes, 117 Retweets and more shares in just 3 weeks of re-launching her blog.
I met Ti about a year ago when she reached out to me via social media. I would see tweets from her here and there, but one in particular got my attention. It read…
So I clicked the link to see what Ti was up to.
First of all, her posts are fun to read because they are enthusiastic, bubbly and even sprinkled with some humor here and there. Her posts draw you in and take you on a ride — especially the one about her SEO allergy.
So clearly, that’s the first thing she has going for her blog. But what I want to focus on is how Ti is really taking advantage of social media marketing.
And when I say taking advantage of social media, I don’t mean just setting your posts to go out on autopilot via HootSuite and re-tweeting a few links here and there. I’m talking about full-fledged engagement with actual people on networks like BizSugar, Scoop.it and others.
Ti’s Advice For You
So I asked Ti to share her three most important tips for someone who has not had much success with social media. She’s so chock-full of advice, she upped my offer and gave me five tips instead!
Here’s what she said….
1. Don’t Skimp on Quality
Your first focus has to be on creating epic content. It’s not required that you have pages and pages of content, but you do need to have at least some content on your website that’s of high quality before you begin driving social traffic.
You want to be able to give the visitors something of value to digest so you can at least peek and sustain their interest once they arrive. If you have truly epic content, it’ll naturally get shared and start building up some viral momentum.
I only had 2 posts on my blog when I began really focusing on driving traffic through social media. Even though I only had 2 posts, they were both high quality content that shared some extremely valuable traffic generation tips and strategies.
Those posts alone started taking on a life of their own and began building up some viral buzz. I got several comments on both of those posts, plus many of my visitors began linking back to them naturally.
It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.
The time that I put into my posts definitely shows, and I always make sure that I infuse my personality into my writing. I used to damper my writing style for the purpose of SEO and because I thought it was more important to get a lot of posts published quickly.
However, I learned that it’s the time that I put into my posts and my unique personality that sets me apart. I’m no longer afraid to let my true personality show through in my writing. I regularly spend 8 to 12 hours on the post that I create (4x times longer than I used to).
There’s more leverage in just 2 high-quality post that really give value and shows your personality then 10 dry SEO’d to death posts.
2. Build Authentic Engagement
Find an active community within your niche and begin to really get involved with the culture. Authentically engage and interact with the community.
Don’t just do surface interaction because even though you’re sitting behind a computer, people can see right through it and know when you’re being fake.
Open yourself up to making true connections with the members by actually taking the time to read their content and leaving thoughtful/insightful feedback and comments.
In your comments, engage the writer and the existing community by sharing examples of how you can relate to the content through your personal experience.
I initially began to do this on BizSugar.com. I became very active within the community, doing the exact things I described above. I put myself on a set schedule and didn’t deviate from my routine.
Consistency and a high amount of quality interaction will allow you to stand out from the crowd and begin getting some recognition.
Through my activity on BizSugar, it only took me a week to get noticed and become a featured member, which naturally got me more exposure.
One thing you can count on is that you will catch the attention of the members in the community that you’re interacting with and gain their respect. This allows you to build relationships with a tribe of like-minded people who will naturally rally around you. And then you can begin to support and promote each other’s content.
3. Connect With Influencers
Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with influencers within your niche. In my book, this is a mandatory part of gaining leverage and creditably in social media.
You can’t afford to get wrapped up in yourself or be paralyzed with intimidation when it comes to blogging and driving traffic through social media.
Connecting with influencers not only helps you rev up your traffic but it allows you to gain creditably 10x faster.
I began connecting initially by consistently leaving high quality comments on their blog posts and sharing their content with my social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
Then I started doing Top 7 or Top 10 list posts sharing things that I learned from them: i.e. Traffic tips, content creation tips, etc. Every time I did one of these posts, I’d always link back to them, either directly to their site or the specific blog post that I learned the tip from.
After I published my post, I always sent them a personal email as well, telling them how much I appreciate the content they shared on their blog and letting them know that I just included them and their blog in my latest post.
If the post you’ve written is any good, naturally they’ll share it with their social networks because you’ve included them. This is how you can begin getting on an influencers radar and start building connections with them.
4. Build Social Proof
Building social proof is actually simple to do. I used to think that this was the hardest thing to do in social media, but it’s really not, at least not the way that I decided to do it.
What I do to build my social proof is simply track, document and celebrate any kind of success that I had. This is what I started to focus my weekly traffic case studies around.
All I did was make note of (take screenshots) and document any kind of interaction I got on the social networks, from how many people “liked” and retweeted my posts to any notable influencers that shared my post with their social networks.
Additionally, I began to keep track of my daily marketing activities: including any blog commenting and interaction I did with influencers on their posts, as well as any mentions/comments influencers made on my blog posts.
The point of building social proof is to build trust. Collecting and documenting all of this social interaction and then compiling them into weekly traffic case studies is a fantastic way to build proof and trust very quickly.
Don’t feel that your results aren’t good enough or aren’t worthy of being shared. Your results are your own and you should celebrate them. This is how you start building your story and begin attracting an audience who’s engaging and interacting with your content.
I love doing this and as I went along I really began to look at it like an adventure – documenting and chronicling some of my most exciting and notable business moments into my cyber scrap book that is my blog.
I’ve found that building my social proof in this way has quickly gained the loyalty and trust of my readers. It’s not because I’ve had the best results in the niche, it’s because I’ve proven that I know how to produce some level of results and I’ve been extremely transparent in sharing them with my audience.
One thing that I have noticed, especially with influencers in the blogosphere is that if they see that you’re really putting a sincere effort into creating great content and building up a true business and community, they will take note and begin helping you even more.
Opportunities for even more high leveraged social proof will begin to open up to you that you never saw coming, such as my being asked by Lisa to provide tips/strategies for this blog post.
5. Show Appreciation
With blogging and driving traffic through social media, I’ve learned that it’s vital that you show your appreciation to EVERYBODY.
Not just to the influencers that interact with your content, but everyone who has anything to do with helping you expand/grow your blog and knowledge.
This is the exact approach that I’ve been taking in my business. Every post that I’ve read since the re-launch of my blog has expanded my knowledge base and has enriched my blogging experience.
From the influencers to the up and coming bloggers, I’ve taken the time to comment and interact on their posts and let them know my appreciation for their content.
Don’t be afraid to share other people’s content as well. Share it freely and endorse it even. Let your social networks see what you genuinely learned from that person and their content.
I’ve even gone as far as featuring 10 bloggers I connected with through BizSugar and sharing specific things that I’ve learned from them as a result of reading their blog posts.
This shows true commitment and helps me to always remember to edify and uplift other bloggers and show my appreciation for all that they contribute to the blogosphere.
It’s important that you never take your audience for granted. Go above and beyond to respond to every single comment that you get. Give your commenters a shout out in your posts. Do everything that you can to show your appreciation and make them feel important.
I make this a constant part of my weekly traffic case studies. I always mention every commenter I get for the week and every voter I get from BizSugar.
This is helping me build a strong culture around my blog because I realize that they don’t have to interact with my content so I want to make sure they know that they’re valued.
This is how you build a true loyal community that will continue to rally around you and share your content with their social networks.
Share Your Strategy
So how are you using social media today? Are you an active user like Ti who consciously works to build relationships or are you a more passive user? Share your experience and strategies!