There’s no doubt that businesses small and large need a social media presence in order to stand abreast with their competition. But that is hardly enough.
Social media is now a leading channel for business marketing, and it’s important to learn the required skills in order to make the most of your social presence.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can create an effective social media strategy that will drive more traffic back to your site.
Social media has various advantages for businesses:
- Online visibility
- Audience interaction
- Brand recognition
- Building trust and authority
- Social proof
- Conversion and sales
- Customer support
But one major advantage that I realized for myself is an increase in website traffic. I’ve mentioned this earlier, but wanted to reiterate it again.
One of the top traffic sources for this website is Pinterest. It’s quite unlikely since I’m not as active there as I should be. And yet, it keeps driving new visitors to my site.
While each social media channel works differently, they all have the potential to bring traffic back to your website. Let’s look the steps you can take to create a social media strategy that boosts your website traffic.
Step 1: Set Goals & KPIs
Since traffic generation is going to be the core purpose of your social media strategy, it’s essential to set goals to ensure you are heading in the right direction. Set long term and short term goals for each social media channel that you plan to be active on.
Here are some examples:
- Get a 10% click-through rate for links shared on Facebook.
- Increase number of Twitter retweets by 20%.
- Each new article pinned on Pinterest must have at least 1000 repins within a month of publication.
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is an important parameter that helps you gauge whether your efforts are bearing fruit or not. Here are a few KPIs you can set for each of your social networks:
- Follower interaction – likes, comments, shares, retweets, repins, etc.
- Click-through rate – number of people who click through a link and visit your website.
- References – other social profiles that reference your site in their posts.
These KPIs can be tracked – either through in-built social media insights, an external tool or Google Analytics set up on your website.
Step 2: Create Business Profiles
I recommend starting off with just a couple of networks, because it’s best to master a few first with the resources you have, rather than become overwhelmed with too many at once.
Here are the major social media channels you can choose from:
- Facebook – most popular network out there.
- Twitter – great for connecting with others in your niche.
- Pinterest – topics like crafting, DIY, photography, fashion, travel and food are popular here.
- Instagram – ideal if you capture a lot of pictures on a daily basis.
- Google+ – a sophisticated network that gets your brand recognized.
- Periscope – for shooting spontaneous live videos.
- LinkedIn – great for building a professional network.
- YouTube – to build a repository of videos.
I know there are so many more networks out there, but these are the most popular, so you can start off with a few of these.
Wherever possible, create business profiles rather than personal ones, as they come with additional perks. Business social media profiles allow you to view insights about follower activity and even promote your posts for a cost, if required.
Make sure your website is updated in the profile, so followers can easily click through and visit your site.
Step 3: Plan Social Media Content
This is where the rubber meets the road. We know that content is crucial for building website traffic. So if you want people to engage with you on social media, and click through to visit your website, consistently give them good content.
Everything you share on social media (your own content or from external sources) needs to fall under one of the following categories:
It’s best to plan your content in advance, and have a healthy mix of your own content and external content. The ideal ratio is 60:40 – 60% of content you’ve created and 40% of content from other sources.
I use a handy social media editorial calendar to plan out my social media content in advance. It’s a simple spreadsheet, but it drastically streamlines my social media sharing schedule. You just need to keep filling it up in advance, so you don’t have to scram around at the last minute looking for content to share.
Step 4: Procure Required Tools
In case you hadn’t heard, social media can be quite time consuming! You might have just logged in to Facebook to share a post on your page, but end up going through your newsfeed, wasting precious minutes of your work day.
This is where social media tools are useful. It is possible to do a great deal of social media activities away from the actual site. There are various free and premium tools available for scheduling posts on social media, curating content to share and analyzing user interaction.
- Facebook in-built scheduler
But there are tons of other good tools out there that can help you streamline your social media activities. Here are a few lists where you can find them:
- 17 Tools That’ll Take Your Social Media Marketing Results to The Next Level by QuickSprout
- 44 Social Media Tools Recommended by the Pros by Social Media Examiner
- The Big List of The 61 Best Social Media Tools for Small Business by Buffer
Step 5: Analyze Insights & Refine Strategy
Periodic assessments of your social media strategy are essential if you want to keep making progress. Set apart time on a monthy/quarterly/annual basis to see what’s working for your social media channels and what’s not.
If you don’t see much traffic coming in from a particular network, refine the content you post or the time it’s scheduled to leave a better impact. Much of it comes down to trial and error. With most social media channels changing their algorithms every once in a while, you’ll have to keep updating your social media content plan as well in order to stay on top.
It’s never too late to refine your social media efforts to get the best results. We hope this article has given you clarity on how to frame your social media strategy so you can bring in more website traffic.
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