Want New Subscribers, Fans, or Clicks? Get Social.
It’s been an interesting past few weeks for me in terms of keeping a marketing blog. I’d like to share with you a few successes, and at the same time show you some things that can help you gain more interest for whatever you’re doing online.
Whether you’re a marketer, a blogger, an artist or an online retailer, there is a huge amount to gain from getting social. Yes, the bulk of your time should be spent on the task at hand (focused on making the best content or product), but if you want a stream of new interest for what you’re doing, you should definitely be engaged in social media.
There are tons of blogs, social networks, and bookmarking sites that will let you do this, but really you can get creative with the ways you contribute to the social web both internally and externally of your own web property.
Let’s look at a few tangible examples of how being active in the social web has benefited me recently:
- TopRankBlog, a massively popular marketing blog has ranked me in their BigList, which is a list of the “best search marketing blogs on the net.”
- A user (jboitnott) on Digg.com submitted my post on BrandTags, which went popular and made page 1, leading to my highest traffic day yet as a blogger.
- Ken Kadet wrote an article based on a comment I left on his blog, which led to some great conversation.
- Chris Brogan gave me a shout on Twitter (he has 8,000+ followers) for a post I wrote on cold calling and started some good conversation there (I linked him because he tweeted that he was in the middle of a boring sales pitch and thought it might entertain him).
Now, I wouldn’t have gotten any of this interest/exposure unless I had a strong focus on the content here. Without having quality writing if you’re a blogger, music if you’re an artist, or videos if you’re a producer – you can be as active in the social web as you want without return. But, I also wouldn’t have received this type of exposure unless I was active in the social web on these specific networks and contributing to them in the right ways.
Here’s an analogy which sums up what I’m driving at: think of what you’re creating as a cake, and the social web as the icing. If what you’ve made is tasty (compelling), being active on the social web is like the icing on the cake. But, you need to have a good cake first, having the icing without the cake wouldn’t make sense, and just doesn’t work.
I’m really interested in how people find and share things, and write about it frequently. I never really expect my own stuff to be shared, so it’s always really neat to me when it is. I never expected a post here to get to page one of Digg, I didn’t expert Lee Odden to include me in his TopRank blog list, I didn’t expect that Ken would write an article based off one of my comments, and I never thought Chris would relink something I sent him. It all happened orgincally without ever asking, and (I’m hoping) it’s because:
- I am focused on producing content here that I’m passionate about.
- I am genuinely interested in participating in the social web and other people’s sites and networks. It is just as exciting for me to leave a comment which draws more discussion on someone else’s page or network as it is for me to write something here.
I’m not in any of this for traffic, rewards, or links. It’s just something that I find infinitely compelling and interesting. And, I think that’s what generated this interest. But I won’t lie, it’s all exciting stuff.
There are rumors circulating around the web that you have certain connections to get exposure, links and traffic from social media, and there is some truth to this – they definitely help. But, there is no reason you can’t build connections in these places yourself. You just have to get social.
You can generate this same type of interest for what you (or your clients) are doing online in any niche, but only if you have a real, honest passion both on the social web and on your own web properties. Anything fake will quickly be seen for what it is and ultimately fall flat.