You want to drive traffic to your website, right. So SEO and Google Ads is the way to go? Wrong! But that’s the obvious choice, and what Google and all the SEO marketers out there will have you believe. However, there is a better, more effective and cheaper way – social media.
I know, you’re thinking, “social media, but that’s for kids and staying in touch with friends”. That kind of was true when they were first created, but who says that those people are not your customers or influence your customers. Now there are many different kinds of social media, and you need to find where your audience is.
Don’t ignore SEO
That doesn’t mean you should completely ignore SEO and paid marketing, they’re still important. But you should put it into perspective. Most of your users are going to be on mobile, and most of them are using social media. You want to actively drive website traffic to your site, but SEO is passive marketing relying on guessing what your potential customers are likely to search for. You need a balanced mixture of social and SEO to be most effective.
As of October 2019, there were 4.479bn active Internet users, 4.070bn (90.9%) of those are mobile. 3.725bn (83.2%) of them use some form of social media, up by 1.07%, and of those 3.660bn are mobile. So from that, we can determine that 81.7% of global Internet use is on mobile social media, up by 1.8% since July [source]. That’s where you need to be too.
Why Social Media
So why am I saying to use social media to drive traffic to your website? Well, simply put it’s much more effective. People will visit your site organically after you’ve already built a relationship with them. Therefore, having that relationship makes conversion to a sale much easier. People buy from friends and brands they trust.
There are so many different forms of social media available for you to market your products or services, but choosing the right mix for you can be a bit daunting.
Firstly, you need to know who your market is, and who the influencers are for your market. Then, you need to know where your market and influencers hang out online.
Social Media Sites
Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular global social media sites:
|Rank||Site Name||Monthly Active Users (million)|
Advisory: Platforms identified by * have not published or updated their user figures in the past 12 months, so data may be unreliable.
Note: Platforms identified by ** do not publish MAU data, user data for these sites is based on unique monthly visitors.
…and those are only the ones with over 175 million users. However, they’re not all going to be applicable to you or your business, it depends on what you want to achieve.
Know Your Market
It may be that in your industry or the people you want to market to have a niche social media site they like to use. In those cases, the main social media sites may be mostly irrelevant, or at least of limited use. So, you as a business owner, website manager, or community manager should know or find out where your customers are.
Just like you would if you were thinking of opening a store; you would research the location with regard to footfall, parking and drive-by visibility. Likewise, it’s the same with social media marketing, you need to research your location(s).
Know Your Influencers
Influencers are critically important in any social media campaign, they influence the buyer to buy. So, if you ignore your influencers then your messages will have their reach severely restricted.
Sometimes, the social platform you should be posting to could be counter-intuitive. The main source of referral may well come from your influencers rather than from direct communication with the buyer.
To be effective on social media you need to be consistent. That means, posting regularly and maintaining a consistent message. Also, you need to post frequently, otherwise your message will be lost against the background noise. However, don’t post too often because that will just annoy your potential customers. So, you need to assess the social media channel and work out what would be an appropriate frequency for you to post.
Your posts to social media should not be just advert after advert after advert, you will soon get unfollowed, muted or blocked. And that’s the last thing you want, because then your message will never get through. Don’t forget, your aim is to drive website traffic, that’s where you will convert your prospects to customers.
Help Your Customers
By “help” I don’t just mean be helpful, you can be entertaining too. That’s helping them feel happy. So, the majority of your posts and content should be helpful in some way, whether that’s directly helpful by explaining how to use your product. Or indirectly, by being helpful showing your product or service being used in context. For example, if you market drinks, show them in an environment where they are being enjoyed, not just a photo of the bottle, no matter how cool-looking the bottle is.
Authenticity is King
In the social media world, authenticity is king. You must believe in your product or service. More than that, you must truly love your product or service, it’s the best there is and you will prove it. However, never lie or exaggerate in your posts, you will be found out and shamed. So, you must never forget that social media gives everyone an equal voice and the posts never go away, they’re there in perpetuity. Forever!
Social profiles and branding
You can have multiple social media profiles, a brand profile is always a good idea. However, your brand profile should only really be used to publish evergreen content. That’s the regular, repeating message you want to push out, a bit like radio adverts. The majority of your posts should come from personal profiles, you can set one up specifically for work if you want to keep it separate from your personal home life. Make sure your personal profile has a good photo of you, and a bio explaining who you are and what you do for your brand.
Everyone who you trust to promote your brand within the organisation should be posting on the social media platforms you choose. You can have one person dedicated to one channel, which helps with consistency, and they will then become known on that channel and better at using it. This approach also helps share the workload, social media can take a lot of work to get right. So, if you have just one person doing all the social media they’re going to struggle to keep up and will lost consistency.
Avoid bots and cheating
Never be tempted to use bots or automatic multi-platform posts, the content you post really needs to be native to the platform you are posting on. Each social media platform or channel has its own nuances, etiquette, and style. So, for example, posting Instagram type content to Quora just isn’t going to work. However, you should re-use or re-purpose your media assets, which will save time and help with consistency across platforms.
Drive website traffic
So, here’s the good bit. You want to drive all that social traffic to your website so you can convert your prospects into customers. Offer them “free stuff” in your social media posts with a call to action. However, don’t post a call to action in every post, you need it to count when you do.
You should always have a link to your website in your social media profile (bio). But, don’t just put the website up there, you want to be able to track where your traffic is coming from. Use a URL shortening service with a unique code (UTM parameters) for each link you post. That way you can monitor what is effective, and what isn’t. Then you can adjust and adapt to make your ROI more effective and drive more website traffic.
When you do post a call to action in a social media post, make sure that you use a URL that takes the prospect directly to the most appropriate page on your website, and as soon as you can try and capture their details (email and name as a minimum). Don’t forget, use a unique URL shortener on each post so you can monitor where the click came from.
Don’t forget, most of your social media using customers are going to be working on a mobile platform. So, make sure your website is perfect on mobile, otherwise all your effort will be in vain because they will click the back button in seconds.