Recently, a client of mine asked “how do I get traffic with social objects?
My short response is this. Instead of focusing on traffic, first think about how you can create value and get your customers attention through relevant social objects. Give me three minutes and I’ll explain in detail.
First – Listen for topics your customers want
A good place to start is by with your current clients. Keep a pen and paper at your desk. Every time a client asks you a question, make a note of it. Pretty soon you’ll have a long list of questions. Go through your list and look for the questions that are repeated. These frequently asked questions (or FAQs) will tell you what customers want to know.
The web is also a great place to look for topics. You can use Twitter’s advanced search screen to find a number of topics, influencers and keywords related to your profession. Look for the kinds of questions people are asking. Since these conversations are happening in real time, you’ll have a head start on being relevant. You might have to read between the lines to really identify problems so spend some time listening and monitoring these real-time research subjects.
You could also look on your Facebook page. If you don’t have an active client base there, look for insights from other more active communities. Google Trends is also a worthwhile place to search for words an topics that are common or breaking out.
Second – You Versus Anyone
In broadcasting school, students are taught to speak to the audience as though there is only one person listening. Instead of using phrases like – has anyone ever heard of this? Replace the generic identifier with word you.
I hope as you’re reading this, you find this information more personal and more relevant. I hope that this article feels like it was intended for you, because it is. It’s not meant for everyone, just you. When I speak to you directly, the message is more powerful than if I were trying to appeal to everyone.
Third – Make Media
The trouble with social media is that it has so many meanings. Let me clarify my position on social media and please feel free to add in your thoughts in the comments below.
Media – the means of communication that carry’s a message
Social – something shared by allies
So social media is a message carried by a medium that can be shared among allies. A social object is anything that gives two allies (or people) a reason to talk to one another instead of someone else. This blog post is a social object. If you were to share it, it becomes social media.
This make media part is really what generates traffic. However, instead of thinking about traffic first, I believe getting your attention is a better starting point. If I can get your attention, then I’ve done something important. When I get your attention with a relevant social object, you’re more likely to tell others about it or click the share button. Getting your attention is the first, and most challenging part. Once I have that, traffic will eventually follow.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to proactively share this post. I may email it to you directly. I could ask you to sign up for my blog updates. When you sign up, you’ll automatically get an email update every time I post a new article. I could @reply you on Twitter and hope that the public are intrigued by the title or hashtag as well. It also doesn’t hurt for me to share this post to my own networks or mass distribute it through autodelivery programs like IFTTT.com or dlvr.it . In any case, being proactive helps generate traffic.
How did I do? Does this help you understand how to generate traffic and create value through social objects?