Yesterday, as I signed up for yet another social networking site, I couldn’t help to think that the craze was going a little overboard.
Other than taking up an abundance of time, sending some visitors our way, and making us keep track of more passwords, what are social networking sites doing for us?
What is it about the possibilities within these sites that make us continue to register, use, and network? It’s not backlinks.
Do you know that most social networking sites use the no-follow tag on links? This means you’re not getting those all important backlinks by just bookmarking. So, what are you doing it for?
Using Social Networking Websites Wisely
You’re saying duh, I can hear you, I know I can.
Have you read the multiple posts floating around out there saying that traffic from StumbleUpon and the alike is worthless?
The blogger proceeds to explain about this huge bounce rate on their site that is the direct result of social networking sites.
Let’s discuss some key points in choosing to use social networking sites, how to pick which ones to use, and how to use them in a way that lowers your bounce rate.
Not all social networking sites are created equally. Explore the community before you jump on the bandwagon of using the site. You’ll find that while all social networking sites typically cater to the majority of people, some have a more target niche audience. Know who is using the site, what they like, and how you fit into that mold. If you’re blogging about cats and the social networking site is mostly about gadgets, you may get some votes for your article but your bounce rate will be high.
There’s more to all these networking sites than just saying you like a post. Take a minute to write a review of the post, even if you’re just copying/pasting an excerpt of the post for the review. If you show that you bring in quality bookmarks, you’re likely to be favorited by more people. More friends, more favorites, means more traffic even when it’s not your post making it to the front page.
Use social networking groups to find people with like interests, become a favorite of one of the top users of the site and see what they like. You’ll want some of those “big” people on your site to know what they like when you’re submitting your own posts (when allowed).
Give, Give Freely
You want people to befriend you and add you as a favorite. But people won’t do that if you don’t actively use the site. For example, joining StumbleUpon and simply looking at other bookmarks isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to stumble sites, write reviews, and participate in groups.
When you’re active on a site, like StumbleUpon, there is a limit to how many friends you can have (200 for free users). Make people want to know you, when they want to know you, they want to know your site. Bookmark articles that you find useful, informative, and well written.
This is huge. If you’re the first to come across a post to bookmark, choose the category to place the post inappropriately.
This very simple thing is the key to getting sticky traffic from social networking sites.
While in theory, this seems to fit, the majority of the blog posts in this category refer to how popular a person’s name is, world clocks, population, etc.
While I’m more than appreciative of the stumble and some visitors that came to TargetMeet because of it, what would the result of that stumble have been if it was tagged differently?
If someone sees that the last time you visited a site was a month ago, regardless of how often you’re submitting bookmarks, they’re not likely to become your friend. There is a need to visit these sites, use them, and actually do the networking parts. It’s not enough to just have your StumbleUpon toolbar up and stumble sites. This is a good start but it’s not the finish line.
Look at everything the site has to offer. Visit more categories on the site than the ones you’re interested in. You may find that you have the possibility to network with people outside of your niche if you can find again for the both of you. Browsing through the different tags on the site will also help you to better understand how to tag the sites you’re bookmarking. Basically, the point here is to become familiar with each social networking site.
When you’re writing your posts, reference your networking pages so that people can see what you’re interested in. There have been many times, including in this post, where I have mentioned a social networking site and linked directly to my profile page.
By linking your social networking profile pages, you’re giving your visitors the opportunity to network with you on another site. You’re giving them reference points for things that interest you online. By giving this information out, you’re making yourself more likable and easily approachable by other bloggers for some one-on-one networking.
Social networking is time-consuming. Set aside time in your days and weeks to effectively use all the sites that are out there for bloggers. Know what you’re getting into before you just jump in it. The end result will be better than you expected.