Social Media is hit or miss, it can bring you massive amounts of traffic or a trickle. It all depends on many factors, most of which are out of your control. Despite this, it’s important to participate in social media websites, mostly because of the valuable backlinks that they provide. Some, like Stumbleupon, will bring you reliably steady with the occasional spike.
Unfortunately, many bloggers make the mistake of not integrating social networks into their WordPress blog. Here are a few of the basic social media sites that you should have integrated into your blog:
Beyond blog comments, Twitter is a fantastic way to connect with your readers. You should get as many followers as you can because they become a massive audience for your content. You can integrate your blog into Twitter by using tools like Twitterfeed that will publish your blog RSS feed on your Twitter feed whenever you publish a new post.
You can also install WordPress plugins that put your Twitter feed into your blog sidebar, create a TwitThis button in all your posts and put a Twitter badge in your sidebar. Twitter can be a great source of steady traffic once you gain a large enough following, it just takes time to develop it.
Believe it or not, Facebook can be a great source of traffic for your blog. The first thing you should do is integrate your blog RSS feed into your own profile so that your close friends and family can see what you’re up to. Next, you should create a fan page for your blog that will get searched by the search engines. It’s also not a bad idea to seek out Facebook groups in your niche and post comments and links to your blog. Don’t spam the groups as you’re likely to just piss them off, but participate in the conversation and encourage people to give your blog a visit. Facebook also lets you put a badge on your website so that people can connect with you on Facebook.
Digg is the Holy Grail of social media. Getting to the front page can bring upon riches beyond what you can imagine. Well, actually no it won’t. But if you make it the front page of Digg, you’ll get a huge spike in traffic, create awareness of your blog and you may even pick up a few new readers. Diggers are notorious for not clicking ads, so expect your ad click through rate to be low.
Sadly, it is a very difficult task to make it to the front page of Digg. Such a thing requires many different factors to align, with a little magic thrown in for good measure. But just submitting your blog content to Digg is worth the effort as Digg backlinks are incredibly valuable. Usually when you submit your post to Digg, the Digg page will rank at the top of Page 1 for the topic your post is about (of course this is not always the case).
It takes five minutes to submit to Digg, then stick around and participate in the community, you’re more likely get further if you do. It’s also a good idea to submit your posts to sites similar to Digg such as: Reddit.com, Propeller.com, Sugarloving.com, etc.
Stumbleupon is by far the most addicting social media service on the net. It’s a simple concept. People tell Stumbleupon what they’re interests are then the algorithm will take them to websites they might like. What does this mean for the lowly blogger? It means highly targeted traffic. This is great if you’re in a specific niche. If the right people Stumble your content, you could get a huge burst in traffic.
Mostly though, Stumbleupon will send you reliable hits every day for people interested in your website. To get on the Stumbleupon train all you need to do it download the Firefox tool bar, register for an account and start Stumbling. A good word of advice, though, is to Stumble other people’s content, not just yours. Only Stumbling your content is a great way to get no traffic at all from the service.
Be forewarned, once you start Stumbling, it’s very hard to stop!
It Doesn’t Hurt To Try
If you are worried that you won’t see any benefits from these sites, I highly recommend trying them anyway. It may take some time before you see results but once you do, you will become addicted to them.
What’s your favorite social media site you use with WordPress?