Social media marketing is a great way to humanize your brand and connect with your target audience in an unobtrusive and personal way. A strong and loyal social network can help spread your messaging strategy and defend your brand from online trolls, not to mention drive sales. But a lot of companies are approaching social media marketing from the wrong angle. It’s not just about how many Fans or Followers you have, or how many people Like your content on a daily basis. In the end, social media marketing should help drive traffic to your site and increase your conversion rate.
Why Likes don’t matter
When social media marketing first burst onto the scene, the only real tangible way to measure your campaign success was to see how many connections your company could create. The Facebook Like was the end-all-be-all benchmark of success. However, as social media has matured, the Like isn’t worth nearly as much as once believed. For instance, many companies will offer a promotional deal via Facebook, where users can get a sample of a new product or discount code if they Like the company. But how many of those users are actually interested in building a rapport with your brand and how many are just doing it to get free stuff? Many companies see a quick decline in the number of Likes they have once the promotion is over. The simple truth is that a Like doesn’t mean a consumer is actually interested in what you have to say.
Facebook Shares are much more valuable to a company. When someone Shares your content by posting it to their Facebook wall, they are broadcasting to their network that this content is valuable in some way. Peer recommendation is a powerful marketing tool that can help push your content in front of a wider audience. The more frequently a piece of content is Shared, Tweeted, posted and so forth, the more trust that content has with the search engines as well.
Social is the path, not the destination
Social networking sites are a great place to interact with current and potential customers. It’s an even playing field where large brands are expected to play by the same rules as the consumer. Getting a user to click through to your social profile means you have something that they want, but don’t just let them stay there. Social profiles should be looked at as yet one more gateway to your main site. If you are going to post blog posts to your Facebook page, don’t publish the whole post. Leave a teaser snippet that captures your audiences’ attention and them pulls them through to the actual blog. Invite visitors to check out you latest products on their respective product pages, allow them to sign up for your company newsletter and more.
Don’t push traffic away
If one of the goals of a social networking site is to drive traffic through to the main site, than why to do many website ask visitors to head back to those same social sites? While you want to be able to connect with your audience on a social media site, do you really need to have a huge “Like Us on Facebook” button taking up valuable webpage real-estate? Once someone has arrived to your site, you should be focused on getting them to convert, not following you on Twitter. Getting social connections is a secondary goal of your website.