Are you tired of reading more “new” tips about the same old social media tools? Me too. So here are some of my favorite underrated online tools that can drive traffic to your Web- site and improve book discoverability.
Quora is a crowd-sourced Q&A site that has recently gained a lot of popularity.
The idea behind Quora is that members post questions; other members answer those questions, and members then vote on the answers. If a member’s answer is voted up, the member earns a certain number of points, which can be used for directing questions to specific fellow members or for promoting any question, answer, or post.
Once you have a Quora account, you can choose topics of interest, post your own questions, answer questions, and vote existing answers up or down. Quora recently added a blogging option as well.
Tactics for using Quora include:
- Answering or voting up a question if you discover one in your field of expertise that has not been sufficiently answered.
- You can leave links to your relevant blog posts or articles, but make sure you actually answer the question first. In other words, don’t post something like: “I answered this question in my blog post; here is a link.” Address the question with a short answer, and then leave a link for people to use to learn more.
- Also, don’t answer questions that have already been answered thoroughly. If you see a good answer to a relevant question, vote it up and move on.
- Searching for trending topics. You may discover many unanswered questions about a topic you know a lot about. If you have a blog, use this opportunity to publish one or two relevant posts; then return to answer the questions and provide links to those posts.
- If you do not have a blog, use the opportunity to display your knowledge and link to your book or books.
- Connecting with influencers. Save up points and use them to send questions directly to influencers on Quora. You will be surprised at how many top-level execs and industry thought leaders are there.
Reddit is a crowd-sourced news site that can drive a lot of traffic; but you should take care when sharing and engaging. The Reddit crowd can be a brutal bunch, and people will blacklist you if they suspect you are spamming. Become familiar with the guidelines known as “reddiquette” before you post anything.
When stories, articles, blog posts, and other content are added to Reddit, members vote them up or comment on them. The most popular content rises to the top of a posted list.
Reddit also has interest groups or communities, called “sub- reddits,” for just about any topic you can imagine. These communities are meant for people who have a genuine interest in a topic, and a desire to contribute to the community.
Tactics to try on Reddit include:
- Adding content. The obvious move entails adding your blog posts, articles, book excerpts, and so forth. But think outside the box as well. Your submissions can be interesting tidbits of information, conversation starters, images, videos, and more.
- Before adding content, browse around the site to get a feel for how others share. Look specifically in the categories you imagine your target audience to be browsing.
- Joining subreddits. Poke around to find the kind of community you feel is a good fit for you and your book. Then, when you choose to join a subreddit, check the group’s guidelines before sharing or engaging.
- It’s best to immerse yourself in the community with valuable contributions, which will ultimately lead other members to learn about your books.
- Keep in mind that there is little tolerance for people who pop into a group, post a couple times, then start pitching.
SlideShare is a presentation-sharing site that is often over- looked as a means of driving traffic and improving discoverability. With the right strategy, you can get a lot of exposure from SlideShare — especially now that it is owned by LinkedIn.
I believe one of the reasons SlideShare is overlooked is that most people don’t know about many of its features. For instance, it lets you embed clickable links and YouTube videos within your presentations, and it also lets you embed presentations in blog posts and Websites, and put them directly into your LinkedIn profile.
Tactics to use on SlideShare include:
- Sharing presentations. Don’t get sucked into thinking that presentations need to be boring slides put together for a conference. Get creative about what you can use to get exposure for your books on sites such as SlideShare. Check out what is popular on the site for ideas.
- When creating a presentation for SlideShare, make certain you have links embedded within it—both at the beginning and at the end. Test to confirm that your links are working before and after you upload a presentation. Unlike some other platforms, including YouTube, SlideShare lets you replace existing content, so test and replace if necessary.
- Posting video and infographics. Another sweet feature of SlideShare presentations is the ability to embed YouTube videos. You can embed a YouTube video anywhere within a presentation once the presentation has been published.
- SlideShare also has an infographic feature. When you upload an infographic file as a PDF, the platform recognizes it as an infographic and categorizes it accordingly.
- Think of infographics in this context as storytelling with the graphics and information you already have on hand for your books.
- Embedding presentations. SlideShare presentations have embed code you can copy and place within your Website or blog posts so your visitors can view a presentation without leaving your site.
- You can also add SlideShare presentations in “experience” sections of your LinkedIn profile (see the LinkedIn Help Center).
More of a little-known tool than an underrated tool, CoPromote can be used to get more eyes on your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr updates.
The idea is that you earn points by promoting other members’ content (or by purchasing points), then use those points to launch your own CoPromote promotions. A promotion consists of featuring a specific update on the platform, and allowing the CoPromote team to put it in front of other relevant users. You start with a certain number of points so you can test the tool first, and you can track promotions’ progress.
Personally, I like this tool. I like the idea that promoted updates aren’t simply blasted out to anyone; they are put in front of people who would typically share your updates any- way. I also like that the process is not automatic—members choose which updates they want to share. This feels like an organic and authentic process to me.
Deltina Hay, the current board chair of IBPA, is the author of three books on social media, the mobile Web, and search optimization. A veteran Web developer and new media expert, she teaches five-star online courses at DeltinaU.com.