Secondary Results of Social Media Success

Social Media Marketing is attractive for several reasons, including loads of free traffic and the increased exposure that comes along with it. However, achieving success with the major social media websites can produce many other results as well. Most of them are positive, but not all. Here is a look at what you should be prepared for as a result of hitting it big.


The most popular submissions on major social media sites including Digg, Reddit, and are displayed on , which has a significant amount of traffic itself. So, if you are fortunate enough to get thousands of visitors from a particular social media site, you may also get hundreds or more from popurls. In a few cases I have received almost as much traffic from popurls as I have from on the day that a particular blog post made it to the front page.

Inbound Links

Aside from huge amounts of traffic, inbound links are the most sought after result of SMM. In fact, for many marketers links are the ultimate goal and traffic is just a means of achieving that goal. A successful social media campaign will bring plenty of links from other websites and blogs. Some social media websites are better at leading to links than others. Personally, I’ve had good results drawing links through hitting the front page of Digg and more so than any other social media sites.

Links from Bookmarks

One of the reasons that produces such strong results for link building is that some users publish their bookmarks to their blogs. provides a simple option that allows any user to automatically have their bookmarks published to their blog at the end of each day. Pages that make it to the front page will typically draw a number of these links. To see some in action, pick out a few popular items from the front page, and tomorrow do a Technorati search to check for their recent links.

Higher PageRank

While it’s certainly not a guaranteed result, pages that are successful with social media and draw a significant number of inbound links are likely to receive a higher PageRank from Google. On this blog several of the posts that have had great success with social media have a higher PR than the blog front page. These are the only posts that have managed to reach this level of PR.

Copy Cats

Pages that become popular with social media are much more likely to be copied or stolen by others than the typical blog post would be. These pages obviously get tons of exposure, which means more opportunity to be copied, plus they have proven to be well-liked, which is a big plus for copy cats and scrapers. Stopping this can be very difficult, and from my opinion isn’t usually worth the time. The best way that I have found to combat it is to include internal links to other pages on your website/blog whenever possible. Most of the time when your content is stolen or scraped the links will be left in tact and at least it will be pointing back to your site. For WordPress users, the RSS Footer plugin can help with this too.


Blog posts that do well with social media are almost guaranteed to get more comments than your average post. This isn’t always positive. Social media success will sometimes lead people to your blog that are just looking to find something wrong. It’s not really a big deal if someone posts a negative comment, you can always delete it if it’s in poor taste or inappropriate. You will have less control over the comments left directly at social media sites themselves. Digg is notorious for negative comments even on the most popular and high quality submissions. If you’re marketing with Digg you’ll quickly learn to not even read the comments or you’ll grow some thick skin.

Knowing the Quality of Your Hosting Provider

If you’re unsure about the quality of your web host, get to the front page of Digg and see how it holds up. Most low-cost shared hosting plans aren’t sufficient for withstanding mobs of traffic in a short period of time, and as a result the site will likely go down.

Search Engine Traffic

The inbound links that result from social media success are likely to help you achieve strong search engine rankings for that particular page. Your pages that are popular with social media are likely to be your most productive in terms of search engine traffic as well.

Foreign Links and Traffic

Depending on the subject and format of the page, you may also see a boost in traffic and links from foreign websites. On my primary blog I have had success promoting resource lists for web designers. These posts typically include a bunch of links to resources that will help designers with a specific aspect of web development. Typically, these posts will each draw several links from foreign websites and blogs, and some have even become popular on foreign social media sites. A resource list can still be useful to those with limited English skills, whereas the typical blog post would have no relevance to them. One time I even had a resource list become popular on a foreign Digg clone that sent over 5,000 visitors in one day.

What Did I Miss?

From your experience with SMM what are some other secondary results?

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19 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • sandy thomas, April 28, 2011

    Social media really helps you gaining a lot of traffic, subscribers and even buyers! Just use it wisely :)

  • nicky, May 13, 2009

    Yes, previously people use some other tactics to generate traffic but now a days social media have really boom where we can easily generate huge traffic.

  • Viraj, February 2, 2009

    Good post. Great dessign for the blog. Clean and simple

  • space code, May 21, 2008

    I think its really good exposure to have your blog in the front page of sites such as Digg. Then again, you must make sure that your hosting is good. nothing is more annoying then going to a website that is down

  • Fight Videos, May 13, 2008

    I believe commenting can help increase the traffic for your blogs. As it did to mine. I have just started out so the number is not so high yet.

  • dutch schultz, March 3, 2008

    I have begun to use stumbleupon allot and traffic has been fair but the number of backlinks it has given me is insane. None seem to have any pr value but i cant believe how many I have gotten in a small period of time. Digg is one I have not used as much but I know it is very popular, I have never went to but am going to right now. Thanks

  • mac, March 1, 2008

    social media is a way to help generate good traffics. A right choice of it will result a high rank of your sites. SM like stumbleupon and digg is ussually be the choice of many bloggers. I prefer using

  • Vandelay Design, February 26, 2008

    Good point Wayne.

  • Wayne Smallman, February 26, 2008

    What about an increase in subscribers?

    I’m still getting plenty of visits from past successes that are still converting to subscribers…

  • Ruchir Chawdhry, February 24, 2008

    “Knowing the Quality of Your Hosting Provider”

    I sure came to know about that when my post went hot on StumbleUpon. But really, if someone wants to be successful in social media, they better ditch shared hosting as fast as they can.

  • inspirationbit, February 21, 2008

    Jacob, thanks so much for promoting the Social Media Mega project.

    Vandelay, since you’ve covered different social networking sites in this one article, you can actually submit it to several participating blogs respectively. You can read about the rules by following the link provided by Jacob.

  • Vandelay Design, February 21, 2008

    That’s a good point. Digg pages rank really well and BloggingZoom is going after that type of traffic too.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check it out.

    You’re right. From my experience it is definitely a fickle audience, but if you can get a high enough volume you can still pick up a nice chunk of subscribers. The best I ever did in one day with social media was something like 220 new subscribers.

    I’ve never noticed any of the popurls ripoffs sending significant traffic to me. I’m not sure if anyone else has seen anything real from them.

  • Tim, February 21, 2008

    Hmmm. I never considered the “collateral” benefit of…Not to mention the 100’s of knock-off sites that have mimicked popurls. Pageflakes and iGoogle (maybe) could send similar traffic?

  • Adonis, February 21, 2008

    social media helps to get traffice…pretty good

  • Tom Beaton, February 21, 2008

    The snowball effect of hitting the front page of digg can often then cause a surge from other sites. The hard thing is captivating this vast audience and convincing them to subscribe, and also monetizing. Notoriously fickle are social media visitors.

  • Jacob Cass, February 21, 2008

    You should submit this article to Viviens Social Media Group Project, it would go great!
    is the link.

  • Wayne Liew, February 21, 2008

    Indirect search engine traffic perhaps? Social media sites tend to have more trust from search engines and they are likely to rank higher if the summary page of a content is done properly SEO-wise.

    In this way, the summary page might be able to achieve a rank for a keyword which is proved too competitive for one to achieve with a new blog which might still in Google Sandbox.

    I am still experimenting this effect though.