Social media—a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. It’s a thick slice of a pie chart that displays how most of us spend our daily time, but not just by consumers looking to pass the time or search for entertainment.
Research from Social Media Examiner reveals that 93% of marketers list business exposure as the best benefit of social media marketing, along with generating leads, recruiting loyal customers, and others.
Social media marketing provides your audience with a familiar and straightforward way to interact with your content. Over time, it helps you build a relationship with that audience, which leads to increased customer loyalty and brand awareness.
As you grow your follower count across social media platforms, you can reach more people and even rely on word-of-mouth marketing to bring in new customers.
You must use your social channels intentionally to promote content—which has to be engaging, shareable, and visible.
However, the real hurdles you’ll have to jump include how to effectively strike up conversations, increase your visibility, and ultimately generate leads through consistent digital content creation.
Here’s how to make the jump higher and the land softer.
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash
How to Generate Traffic for Your Website Using Social Channels
1. Choose the Appropriate Social Media Platform
Different businesses have better luck with different social media platforms. This largely boils down to the industry you’re in and requires a study of your target audience.
Use demographics (number of children, marital status, educational level, ethnicity, religion, income, gender, age, and location) to determine your audience's personas and favorite social channels.
Some questions you can ask include: What do they dislike? Is my audience career-focused? Do they hop on trends? Do they engage with content on social media? What drives them?
If you need help finding the answers to these questions, you can utilize digital listening tools to track keywords related to your niche.
It’s also important to note: you don't need to have an account on allsocial media platforms.
Only join those that will assist you in achieving your goals. While setting up an account is free, managing it takes a lot of time. And it’s better to focus your efforts on the platforms that best suit your business.
Twitter and Facebook are excellent platforms for B2C (business-to-consumer) brands. For instance, if you have a bar and look up a hashtag like "beer," you'll see what people in your locale discuss when it comes to the services you offer. From there, you can respond to questions, give tips, make suggestions, and even do a little self-promo by using the @ symbol to chime in on relevant posts.
B2B (business-to-business) companies might opt for LinkedIn. Even in this sphere, the primary element is the person: businesses are groups of people, and you’ll have better luck treating the channel as a networking opportunity than solely a promotional tool.
Pinterest's primary focus is visual elements such as photographs and infographics. Therefore, you can use it to post anything visually educational and relevant to your business.
Lastly, retailers prefer Instagram since it provides an excellent opportunity to display their products.
2. Determine What You'll Be Publishing
After selecting your preferred social media channel and creating a profile, the next step is creating content and publishing it.
The big question is, how do you do that?
First, you can go through your competitor's social media accounts to see what they're doing and then brainstorm how to do it better than them.
Finding your brand's voice is crucial, as this will help develop a posting approach. Leverage relevant skills.
For instance, if you're great at Photoshop or photography, share your best photos on Instagram and Pinterest.
Some of the most commonly used content creation tools (and for good reason) include:
Skitch for screenshots Canva for graphic designing MyBlogU to generate concepts for social content Infogr.am for infographics
Generally, visual elements such as images, GIFs, and videos get more likes, reshares, clicks, and views than text content.
For example, on Facebook, images get 53% more likes, 84% more clicks on links, and 104% more comments than posts without visual content.
To make your posts even more eye-catching, include short text, emojis, hashtags, and visuals whenever possible to get more interaction.
And as for timing, keep it consistent and try to post similar types of content, save one day on which you publish something different to see which format has more audience engagement. Once you’ve tested several different types, rotate out the underperforming ones and create more with the highest.
If you have the budget for it, investing in Instagram influencers promoting your content to their audience is a great way to bring in traffic and build your own social media platforms. However, this works best for businesses that have a budget set aside for marketing rather than startups that are on a budget.
3. Establish Your Posting Schedule
According to data from Smart Insights, 4.62 billion people around the world now use social media. This means that more than half the world uses social media (58.4%)—with the average person using at least one every month—social media has countless opportunities for every business.
This chart, by Datareportal, shows the exponential growth social media has seen in recent years.
And as a marketer, that statistic simply means you HAVE to meet your target audience where they are.
But it doesn’t stop there—knowing the best time to publish content has a major effect on the visibility, level of engagement, and overall success of your efforts.
Posting at high-traffic periods allows for more visibility. But if too many other creators are also taking advantage of that peak time, you risk being drowned out amidst all the noise.
So, how do you establish a schedule for content publication?
While a few studies claim that there are specific ideal times to post content on each channel, the only way to determine the perfect one for you is through trial and error.
Publish content throughout the day using content scheduling tools and determine which days and times yield more engagement.
4. Add Referral Links to Your Social Channels
Each social media platform has a small area designated to tell your followers more about you.
Whether it's called an "about section" (on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn) or a bio (on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter), you can insert links to your page in this segment. This way, your followers will know where they can go to see more from you. This is the easiest way to direct social media traffic to your website.
Most social platforms allow users to put more than one link on their social profile. This gives your audience plenty of options, assisting them in finding relevant information and minimizing any friction in their quest to learn more.
However, you’re limited to only one link in Instagram and TikTok bios. But the good news is that you can circumvent this by placing a link dedicated to a landing page where you can highlight other relevant links. Platforms like Taplink, Linkin.bio, and Linktree offer this service.
You could also link to your opt-in form page to bring in new subscribers. This would be the best use of that link since the people added to your list will be subscribers you can then build a relationship with over time.
There are multiple email marketing platforms like Constant Contact that you can use to send out newsletters to your audience. Alternatives to Constant Contact like Sendinblue, Active Campaign, and HubSpot email marketing are also great options.
For example, Amy Porterfield does this in her Instagram bio where she links out to her linktr.ee profile.
When you visit her linktr.ee profile, you get quick links to her latest podcast, her email list, and more.
What Amy does well is he offers all her Instagram followers a freebie if they opt-in to her list. This gives them a nudge in the right direction by providing them with a valuable product at the sole cost of signing up for her list.
Another great way to promote your email list or drive traffic to your website is by creating weekly stories on your account that include a Call To Action. You can learn more about how to do this here.
5. Tailor Your Content According to Each Social Media Channel
The more time you spend on social media, the more you’ll come to learn that each platform has its own unique characteristics. They draw in different audiences and take on their own individual tones, formats, and trends.
Tailoring your content (and overall messaging) to each one isn’t something many people do. So by capitalizing on these differences, not only will you stand out from competitors, but also better connect to each one’s user base.
Suppose you write a blog post that you plan to share on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. By simply copy-and-pasting the content onto all three, your Facebook post might receive a high click-through rate while brief and to-the-point Twitter users scroll right past that wall of text.
On that same note, sometimes it’s impossible to use the same content. Case in point: Twitter’s 280-character limit.
Every social channel has unique advantages based on your objectives, audience, and content type. If your engagement isn't where it should be, consider reviewing your overall KPIs and social media goals.
6. Actively Interact with Your Audience
Connecting and engaging with your followers and target audience on social media serves a myriad of purposes, from pitching your solutions to getting almost instant feedback to improve customer experience.
Sometimes, you have to quit thinking of engagement as a KPI and remember it's a reciprocal action. Of course, you want to see followers interact with your content—but they either won’t or will stop if you don’t engage and interact with them, too.
It’s actually a seamless process and is simpler than many marketers make it out to be. A few pointers to keep in mind are:
- Social media isn't a one-way street. Don’t let your audience do all the commenting—respond!
- Don't ignore your audience—interact with them constantly, or you risk losing them.
- Only 11% of clients get replies from online brands—be the difference and make a solid, long-lasting first impression
- Approximately 34%of clients prefer social platforms for customer support
If you couldn’t tell by now, creating social media accounts is just the first step. The actual work comes with managing it. Luckily, you can recruit the help of social media management tools to help you sort out and accomplish many of these simple yet time-consuming tasks. Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash
7. Post Viral Content
Any content you find relatable, enticing, or unique on social media has the potential to generate more traffic. Plus, viral content brings the opportunity for increased website traffic. The only problem: creating it isn’t a walk in the park. Bear in mind that not all content you publish can be viral, and there are a few parameters your content has to meet:
- Social media users must be inclined to share your content
- People must share the content to reach the maximum audience
Here are examples of viral content that social media users engage with the most:
- Human appealing posts: Viral food or recipe videos have taken over social channels. These mouth-watering videos usually leave us wanting more. These posts have one thing in common: they appeal to the human senses.
- Memes: Everybody enjoys engaging with hilarious content. Most social media users enjoy and welcome content like funny captions, GIFs, funny videos, and photos with amusing text. You can easily integrate these memes into your products or brands. Ensure you use it for publicity and fun; keep off sensitive topics as they may stir controversy or ruin your brand.
8. Customize Your Publishing Frequency for Each Platform
A firm grasp of each social media algorithm and its functions is vital to driving more traffic to your website and social media. Your posting frequency can either help you build an online community around your brand or it can mar your efforts.
Facebook: Facebook's algorithm doesn't like it when users post the same article several times a day; therefore, it's best to publish a few high-quality posts.
Twitter: Since users usually log in and out of the platform throughout the day, you can publish your top articles on rotation several times a day. This way, many people will see them when they log in to the platform.
LinkedIn: A conversation-based approach on this platform encourages shares and comments. This way, you can publish up to 8 posts daily and still get high engagement.
Instagram: This platform serves as a window shop for your goods; however, inserting a link in your bio can drive substantial social media traffic to your web page.
It is important to remember that consistency is essential to staying relevant in the digital world.
While social media marketing is a sure way to drive traffic to your web page, it takes time. Customer-oriented is the best way to succeed, and digital platforms are only game-changers if you use them correctly.
Freya Laskowski https://twitter.com/freyalaskowski
Freya is a personal finance expert and founder of theCollectingCentswebsite that teaches readers how to grow their passive income, save money, improve their credit score, and manage debt. She has been featured in publications likeBusiness Insider, Fox Business, the Huffington Post, and GoBankingRates****