1. Don’t try to be dugg
Everyone wants to be dugg, but that’s almost impossible for small blogs. You’ll need a huge amount of votes in a limited time to get it to the frontpage, which is really, really hard for small blogs. So don’t focus on the big guys. There are a lot of social media websites where you can get on the front page with 20 votes or even less. Of course, they send you less traffic than digg, but to be dugg is a lot harder. Over time, the small social media sites will even get more traffic to your site than digg will.
2. Use Social Media sites in your niche
Try to use social media sites that are in your niche. That way a huge amount of the visitors of the social media websites will be interested in your articles. Also, social media sites which focus on a specific subject are always smaller, which means that you can get your article at the frontpage more easily. Here are some great round-ups of Social Media Sites, categorized by niche:
- Top 198 Social Media Sites by Niche
- 50 Top Niche Social Media Sites, and Their Power Accounts
- 83 Social News Sites – Categorized By Niche
- Social Bookmarking Sites for All Occasions
3. Place nice Social Media Buttons in/under your posts
Placing nice looking Social Media Buttons somewhere in or under your post is very important if you want to use the Social Media sites effectively. I don’t regularly quote myself, but this time I make an exception.
When I browse websites, I don’t regularly go to digg to vote for a website, but when I see a button, I’m happy to click when it is a good article. It’s about providing the user a simple way to give kudos to an article they like.
I hope I’ve made it clear why you should place the buttons somewhere in or under your post, if you want to use social media sites effectively for your blog. Almost every internet user is lazy. They won’t go to a social media site to give you kudos, unless your article is exceptionally good. YOU want your visitors to vote for you, the least thing you can do in return is to make it easy for them to do so.
You should make the social media buttons visually appealing too. For inspiration: I’ve written a Showcase of Social Media Buttons. Some good examples:
Snook.ca: These two buttons got a nice place in the article footer. The ma.gnolia icon fits great with the green colour.
I love Typography: Four small black and white buttons with smooth rounded corners. Nonobstrusive and stylish.
Ars Technica: A nice homemade digg button with an counter included.
4. Submit your own stories
As I mentioned before: Internet users are lazy. So submit your own stories to the Social Media Sites you use and don’t let your visitors do it for you. It will take some time before a visitor, which will submit the post for you comes to your site and you will miss a lot of important votes by not doing it yourself.
I see a lot of small blogs with social media buttons for 10 or more sites under every post. If your blog is not so big that you can get on the frontpage of every site, why use so many? Don’t let your visitor decide where to vote for your article, decide it yourself! Choose the two (or three) most effective sites and just place the buttons for those sites. That way, your votes won’t be spread out over a lot of sites, but will be concentrated and have more effect.
Getting a lot of traffic from Social Media sites is not that hard, even if you have a really small blog. If you use Social Media effectively by using these guidelines, you can get a lot of visitors to your site and make your blog more popular.