Before we kicked off this whole 21 day website traffic series, I asked all my friends in the business if they’d help me out with a retweet or a Facebook share.
Two days later I had 1,042 visits to the kick off post, for this blog series.
You tell me… Does it work?
The argument might be made that, that it’s easy for me because I have so many friends in the industry. But I was not born with those friends, and I had to build up relations with them just like anyone else would have.
If you’re willing to put in the time to put out quality material, build relationships, and engage with your audience than social sharing can be an explosive free traffic source for you.
However, it’s not just about asking friends to click that button for you. Or even just asking your readers to share your material.
Anyone can get a few people to click a button, but unless there’s more going on your campaign will fizzle out and die. You have to design your content to be shared in order for the shares to continue.
Going Viral Is Not a Lottery, It’s a Science
23 months ago aka almost two years ago I wrote a blog post specifically designed to go viral on StumbleUpon. Today it’s gotten over 2,000 “stumbles” thanks to my extra little bit of effort.
Here’s How I Did It
First I thought about the types of people I wanted visiting my site. Webmasters, marketers, SEO’s, bloggers, and the like.
Then I started thinking about whats important to them or often thought about.
Anyone with a website today is either obsessed or at least paying close attention to Google and their websites relationship with the behemoth.
Now that I had the topic I just had to figure out my angle. I decided that designing a new Google would be pretty catchy, so I whipped up a little image in Photoshop. Below is what I came up with…
After publishing the blog post, I stumbled it myself and asked a few friends too as well. Then just an hour later I already had 108 visits, 78 of which came from StumbleUpon! IT WAS A SUCCESS!
Why Did It Work?
Because it had the “Hey this is cool check it out” factor to it.
People like to share things that make them look good, get a reaction, or means something to them.
I knew that Google was a major part of my audiences lives and I knew they would have friends that felt the same way. When I redesigned one of their most visited websites and actually proposed some good ideas for it, they couldn’t help but show their friends.
It gets them a reaction, and people like when their friends talk to them or say “hey that thing you showed me was cool.”
Two years ago Twitter and Facebook were around but they weren’t as big as they are today. If I were to recreate this campaign I would tweaked it a little to be more easily shared on those networks.
What’s kind of funny looking at this image two years later, is Google has added a strong focus on being able to choose which type of content you want returned in your search results.
Two years ago it was much more buried, which makes you wonder… Did they see my site from one of the Stumbles?
Remember This When Planning a Social Sharing Campaign
- Choose an audience you want to appeal too, in my case it was website owners
- Focus on whats important or often thought about, to that audience
- Create something that is conversation worthy on that topic
- Make it easily shareable via social sharing buttons
- Seed the movement with the help of friends or buying a few submissions
With those 5 steps, some practice, and some creativity you should be able to get your content to spread virally, on purpose, just like I did.
Internet Mad Scientist