Social media is a key cornerstone for any digital marketing strategy in 2017.
A robust, plugged-in presence on multiple social networks is vital for establishing your brand as a relevant, active thought leader in your community. It’s a great, effective way of immediately connecting with your fans, followers, and customers, making your business accessible and better-equipped to share positive PR, or, conversely, to quickly address any negative feedback that may crop up.
And while image is everything on social media, it’s not the only thing. Social media isn’t just the icing on the digital marketing cake, it’s that rich red velvet, too.
Maybe we’re making this too complicated because it’s nearly lunchtime and Jason brought in donuts today. The point we’re trying to make is that social media is a substantive, lucrative channel for marketers in its own right. It doesn’t just have to be a mouth-piece of set dressing; instead, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their ilk can all be vital and discrete parts of your conversion funnel.
These platforms are uniquely equipped to drive hot leads to your site, where they’re more likely to become lifelong customers. What’s more, all of this referral traffic greases up your SEO efforts, and can act as confidence-boosting “social proof” on your landing pages.
But you won’t see any of these incredible results if you don’t put in the work. Ready to start seeing the many benefits of increased referral traffic from social media? Here are six strategies to try now:
1.) Link to Your Own Content
A common theme on our own blog is the importance of creating content for your business. The content, itself, can drive traffic to your business. However, if you are merely sharing and resharing the content of others, you may be providing value to your followers, but you aren't providing much action for your own business. Give yourself a chance to convert fans to customers by creating content they want to read and using social media as your delivery mechanism.
2.) Engage With Your Community
At its core, social media is all about connection, in the form of sharing, commenting, and liking. You’ll never encourage participation with your content – i.e., meaningful clicks through to your website – if you don’t get out there and make your presence known. Respond to questions and comments and be truly social on social media, and you’ll see more engagement. Plus, spreading your reach on social media gives you more opportunities to provide access to your content. Try joining a professional’s group on LinkedIn, or sharing your information with a community group on Facebook. Don’t just be a Howard Hughes shouting out from the privacy of your own page – get out and engage!
3.) Share Posts Multiple Times
How do you scroll through social media? If you’re anything like us, you often glaze over and miss tons of great posts on your endless feed. Catch these users – as well as the ones who use social media at different times of day – by sharing your content multiple times. Leave plenty of space between shares, and consider who you’re trying to reach. For some guidance, check out this compelling research on the best times to tweet.
With that in mind, don’t spam your users! Think about how annoying it would be to see the same post shared over and over again. Switch up your language from post to post, and consider taking different approaches entirely. Can you reshare the same link with a GIF or a video instead of a static image? Can you theme your content to create a logical chain of posts that tells a story? Get creative!
4.) Give Users What They Want
Social media is a prime avenue for active online “listening,” the process in which you study, research, and adapt to the behaviors of your target audience. Once you’ve put in some time getting to know your clients, you can more effectively personalize your marketing to suit their needs. What kinds of articles do they like to read and share? Do they respond to numbers and data or to emotion?
And be sure to keep on top of the types of media that are going to draw user attention. Posts shared with images, for example, see significantly more engagement and clickthrough than those without. Keep on top of trends – like the burgeoning importance of autoplaying video on social media – but don’t feel as though you need to hop on every passing bandwagon.
5.) Treat Social Networks Differently
It can be daunting knowing where and how to spend your attention on social media. We call this sensation of paralysis “platform overload,” and we’ve written a handy guide on how to combat it.
The biggest takeaway? Knowing your primary goal on social media will be vital to deciding where to put your focus. B2B companies, for instance, should concentrate on LinkedIn, the number one social source for B2B lead generation. Organizations or practices targeting younger audiences, in contrast, might want to look into Snapchat, Pinterest, or Instagram marketing, which promote brand recognition and engagement, though not necessarily clickthrough.
6.) Think About Mobile Users
We use more screens than any generation in history. Your brand has to be ready for the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, or you’re liable to be left in the dark. Take efforts to make sure that your social media profiles – including your images, videos, and ads – are optimized for mobile users. Make sure your cover photo on Facebook conforms to the right dimensions, for example, and shoot your “live” videos in profile, rather than landscape, as the long view is better for mobile scrolling.
And you’ll never actually see the fruits of referral traffic if your website isn’t mobile optimized itself. Users will instantly leave a non-responsive mobile site, increasing your bounce rate; more to the point, mobile users will abandon your site entirely if it takes more than 6-10 seconds to load.
Ready to put an integrated approach to social media and content marketing to work for your brand? Geek is here to help! Drop us a line today to see what our social media strategists can do for you.