Agencies and self-proclaimed gurus always talk about how social media marketing is key to increasing traffic to any website. There is certainly truth to this, but there is a lot that goes unsaid. What social media channels are being used? What kind of traffic is being sent to the site? Is this increased traffic doing more harm than good?
First, consider the market for the website. Is the website for a business that specializes in b2b marketing and sales? If so, social growth and power will most likely be slower and less effective than with other consumer or b2c websites. Still, it is worth putting effort into. Typically, LinkedIn is one of the most successful social platforms for business-to-business marketing. That is followed by Twitter. Websites targeting the consumer market are typically going to do better on Facebook and other channels. For them to be found on Twitter, they will need to build up a large following and work hard to be heard over other Twitter static. It does not hurt to try a variety of platforms and see where the business and its message seems to resonate and have the best results. In fact, testing out different social media platforms and finding what works best for a specific business is part of digital marketing best practices.
Another very important factor to consider when trying to use social media to drive traffic to a business website is what the end goal is. If the end goal is to get the visitor to buy something, the efforts may fall short. Social media is a great advertising channel, but usually a poor channel for selling. Building a brand identity and sharing a brand’s message through social media is ideal. Running an awareness campaign with social media as one of the mainstays is also effective. Social media can also point to pages where someone will hopefully convert–a page that offers something for free with minimal information requested in return. If the hope is to get a visitor from social media to buy off that single interaction, it takes another skill level. It will work, but usually requires more creative or aggressive sales strategies such as a steep discount or special offer.
Finally, it is crucial to understand how the incoming traffic from social media marketing is affecting your website overall. Remember that Google has well over 200 ranking factors built into its algorithm. One of those is to look at how people are interacting with the a website. If social media has a link to the site and people are enticed to click on the link, but they are all bouncing as soon as they get there, this will send a negative quality signal to Google and through its algorithm, which could make it more difficult for people to find the website through organic and even paid search results. Bottom line: make sure that the enticement to click on the link to a site from social media is legit and that the proper segment has been targeted.
With those three things in mind, here are a few other basics:
– Use images – people are graphical by nature and images can draw attention on social media feeds
– Grab their attention – people’s social media feeds are cluttered with all sorts of information; find a way to grab attention and stand out from the noise
– Minimize word use – people on social media are scrolling; the message needs to be delivered in two seconds or less
– Do not sell – Use this opportunity to inform, educate, and boost