Social Media is Dying. Here are 3 Ways to Hack it for More Traffic
According to a recent study by Buzzsumo, it’s not looking too good for social media sharing. Sharing your content on social is down 50% in effectiveness in just three years.
What worked a few years ago is a waste of time today.
Don’t get me wrong, billions of people still use social media. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But the traditional methods of sharing and promoting are dying hard and fast.
Thankfully, I’ve got three ways you can hack it for more traffic, shares, and engagement today.
1. Share Premium (Valuable) Content
Most content that is developed, let alone shared on social media, isn’t very good. It’s why only ten posts rank on the firsts page of Google and the rest rarely get viewed.
Good content is hard to come by. There are four million blog posts published daily, making it harder than ever to find good content. This means simply sharing your latest XX tips blog post on social media is likely going to flop unless you have an already hyper-engaged audience.
But even still, reaching new followers and engagement requires premium, valuable content that is posted often.
Things like infographics, charts, visuals, and downloadable content that normally might require someone to fill out a form. Take this customer service resume for example, from Freshdesk:
This content normally would be considered premium, likely blocked by content gates (forms). Instead, they developed an editable PDF template and shared it on social along with tips to improving your skills:
Another great example of premium content can be seen with Orbit Media’s Blogger Survey, a blog post that took 150 hours to develop. This content was planned and executed with high effort, netting huge rewards on social:
Do you have content from podcasts, long-form blog posts, or videos? Simply repurpose it for social media to drive more value. This type of premium content is a surefire way to increase social engagement and traffic.
2. Reduce Your Posting Frequency
I know what you are thinking: reduce my posting frequency? Isn’t that counter-intuitive?
Absolutely not. The amount of noise on current social feeds is outrageous. Nearly every brand and company in nearly every industry and niche has a social media account.
Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or all the above, social media is saturated with content. And most of it is cheap attempts at driving traffic and engagement.
Posting more seems like the easiest way to drive more traffic: the more content you push on social, the more chances you have to convince someone to visit your website.
But with organic reach algorithms shifting, this isn’t the case. In fact, one study from Buffer proved the opposite: posting less on Facebook generated a 330% increase in engagement over the course of a few months:
Reducing posting frequency by 50% resulted in huge engagement boosts. In the process, Buffer refined what content they posted and limited their sharing to only the best of the best content. Doing so helped them stand out against the noise of social media and provide real value to their followers.
Want more social shares? Focus on posting less often. And when you do post, be sure it’s the best representation of your value and branding. Use a social tool to keep tabs on your social analytics and see which type of content your audience resonates with. Then, going forward, shift your content focus to provide value in those niches.
3. Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content is content created by users that revolves around your brand. For example, if you sell clothing, it’s your customers posting content on their own social profiles wearing your clothes.
As you can imagine, this is huge for your social proof. Content coming from creators and not brands
Similarly, Buffer also uses a branded hashtag and often reposts pictures on their own feed to encourage continued sharing to their audience:
User-generated content can help you reach new audiences similar to affiliate marketing: others in your niche/space are promoting directly to their followers for you!
Try encouraging UGC by:
- Developing a catchy branded hashtag
- Reposting pictures using your hashtag
- Promoting your hashtag on your website, blog, and all social platforms
Social media sharing effectiveness has been rapidly declining in the last few years. What once worked like a charm is now a waste of time and effort.
Want to hack your way to more traffic with social?
Start developing and sharing premium content on social media. Reduce your posting frequency and focus on sharing only your top content. Start engaging your followers and having them share user-generated content to help spread your brand and reach.
Social media sharing might be trending down, but with these hacks, you can reverse the damage.
About the author: Naser Alubaidi
Naser is a growth marketer at Venngage. He is a tech enthusiast with a B.A in Financial & Business Economics and a background in marketing. Naser is passionate about product marketing, strategy, and growth. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.