Content marketing has taken off lately. While marketers can and should align their Surprisingly, many of my clients are initially so focused on building their email lists and ranking higher in search engines that they lose sight of bigger issues when it comes to growth. If all of these alternative ways to get social marketing traffic have one thing in common, it’s that they are actually really old-school when you think about it. They treat social media marketing as exactly what it is at its core: a globalized version of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, which is basically the oldest marketing tactic in the book. #1. Read Socially What does it mean to read socially? It means incorporating social media into your everyday online reading routines. There are numerous browser extensions that make this super-easy, whether you’re using Buffer, Hootsuite, or just social media accounts directly. In fact, daily use of Google Plus “+1” browser extension is a big part of how Jimmie Lanley got 10,000 G+ followers. Lanley crossed the 10K mark in 21 months, essentially through +1ing and commenting on articles she found useful or interesting. If you’re a consultant, you can always offer to take over the client’s G+ account for a week or a month, etc. This makes it easy to demonstrate how easy it is to drive social traffic by organically engaging with everything you find interesting, whether it’s about topics specific to the client’s product or services, or just about business growth in general. As you start seeing success with reading socially, then it’s time to start watching socially and listening socially too. All media is fair game, from audiobooks to videos. #2. Be Smarter Than a Smartphone Updates! News! Notifications! They’re all great, but they aren’t driving traffic to your site. They’re just reporting on what’s already happened. Stop focusing on analytics 24/7. Stop focusing on other people’s likes, whether from your customers or your business partners. And instead use your smartphone to start focusing on engaging with other people in your industry over social media. This is basically an extension of point number one, but with a special twist: sometimes the “story” you want to share with your company’s followers is actually what’s happening right in front of your face. In other words, a picture! You likely already have a favorite photo editor on your phone, so use it to take funny workplace pictures or something that humanizes your business, such as the sunset as seen from your office’s roof. And if you happen to be running an ecommerce business or any kind of company with physical products that can be captured on film, share pics of everything, from the manufacturing process to the setup process for an “official” photo shoot. Behind-the-scenes looks are a social media win-win. #3. Use Social Toolbars Not quite a web form, not quite a social stream, social toolbars are the easiest way to drive social media marketing traffic. They even work when you’re offline, and they have the added benefit of encouraging web visitors to buy your “complete package”: follow your company, like your company, engage with your current posts, and then come back to your website and spend more time with your product. The cycle then repeats. There are a number of customizable social toolbars that come pre-installed on live chat apps, customer support apps, and apps designed to get user feedback. Using a social toolbar on a customer support app is especially useful in creating an engaged social media audience for your company because it encourages people to share their recent experiences with your support team. A customer tweet about your awesome customer service will go further than anything else in terms of encouraging new signups and increasing conversions. #4. Offer Pre-Populated Tweets in Email Messages Pre-populated tweets (or pins or posts…) might not seem like an alternative strategy for social media marketing, but using them in email certainly is. And it can be even more effective than the best newsletter you’ve ever written (sorry, but it’s true!). You can encourage users to share a pre-populated message directly from their dashboard or account on your app. But there’s a more effective way that works for every type of company. Use marketing automation software to send personalized messages. You can even segment the list based on different customer interests, then send a tweet for them to share that has something to do with those interests. Just be sure that whatever contact management system you’re using is able to track which social networks a customer uses. Otherwise your beautifully crafted, pre-populated messages will not make it past the inbox and out into the great big world of social media! And one final word about alternative methods for social media growth. Remember what your parents taught you: Giving is its own reward. You might be tempted to offer discounts or rewards in exchange for social media promotion, but this can end up encouraging the people who are least naturally motivated to spread the word about your company. I hope that these alternative methods are useful to you and your growth hacking goals. Don’t hesitate, put them into place today! And if you have other ideas, drop me a line or add a comment here. Images: “woman hand pressing social marketing icon on blue background with world map/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? 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