Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it's no passing trend.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing and Advertising for Web Traffic - Part 1*
1. Social media posts drive targeted traffic.
Whatever your industry, segment and audience, a substantial portion of your customers and leads are on social. A recent Pew Research Center study found that 68% of American adults are Facebook users. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, 78% use Instagram and 45% are on Twitter. Even among Americans 65 and older, 37% are social media users.
Having access to all those customers helps you boost traffic, particularly for new site content. When you post a new blog or update your homepage, it can take a while to get traction with Google. That means very few customers will know the new content is there until the next time they’re searching for your product or service.\
Social media posts provide an opportunity for the public to find your new web content and click through to your site.
And because those posts will primarily show up in the feeds of followers and people interested in your product, that traffic is typically very targeted. It won’t just boost your traffic numbers — it will bring in the type of visitors you want to attract.
The traffic benefits of social media marketing can be dramatic.
We’ve seen a single link on Reddit drive over 20,000 visitors in one weekend, and StumbleUpon links (R.I.P.) increase daily page views from single digits to hundreds. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on that?
2. Using social media for business boosts your site’s SEO.
Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. Although your killer content strategy is the most important factor in your search rankings, driving traffic to your optimized pages will cause them to climb much faster.
A lot of times, this can be as simple as re-sharing evergreen content (of course, in addition to sharing your new content when it goes live). We recommend each post be re-shared once a month — a task that doesn’t have to be as time-intensive as you might think. With Facebook’s scheduling tool or Hootsuite (for Twitter), you can set the entire month all at once and you’re done.
3. Social media can increase your reach via quoted experts.
This is one of our very favorite benefits of social media marketing. Let’s say you used HARO to find relevant experts for your latest blog post. Perhaps you quoted someone with a killer social media presence. Of course, you’re going to email them a link to the post when it goes live and encourage them to share it, but leveraging your own social media channels will help you go the extra mile here.
In your tweet and Facebook post sharing your new content, be sure to tag the experts you quoted so they see it pop up in their notifications.
Doing so makes it far more likely your source will share or retweet the link to their thousands (or tens of thousands) of followers, which drives traffic back to your website. It’s a win-win all around.
Social Media Is THE BEST Tool to Connect with (& Learn From!) Consumers & Industry Leaders
4. Social media marketing helps you understand your audience.
Part of what makes social channels like Twitter and Instagram effective marketing tools is the interaction you have with your customer base. By reading their tweets and status updates, you’ll gain insights into their daily lives and consumer behaviors, and answer questions such as:
5. An active social media presence builds relationships with your audience.
Consumers see Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as social networks, not marketing machines.
That can be a challenge when you’re first developing your social media marketing strategy. A lot of companies instinctively take a hard sell approach, inundating their followers with discount offer codes, new product announcements and customer reviews. Then, when the account only brings in modest traffic gains, they assume social just isn’t a good fit for their brand.
But customers don’t want to be pitched to — they want authentic engagement.
When you stop seeing social as a way to pitch your customers and start seeing it as a way to connect with them, it can transform your brand. You help customers by answering their questions, entertaining and informing them with relevant content and even forming bonds over shared interests.
You’ll build connections with industry leaders and influencers, providing great stories for reporters, top notch products for promoters and interesting topics for experts to share with their followers. Over time, you’ll become more than a brand — you’ll become a part of a community.
And that comes with serious ROI. If you’re following social media marketing best practices, you’ll get a ton of exposure. That exposure brings in new leads. Over time, those leads become followers, followers become customers and customers become dedicated brand promoters, continuing the cycle.
6. Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting.
Why advertise on social media?
Because social media platforms offer highly targeted ads, which can be customized around your customers’ needs. Facebook ads, for example, can target customers by factors like age, location, education level, industry and even user behavior — e.g. the pages a user has liked. Using an ads management tool like HubSpot will give you even more insights into your ad campaigns. Connecting your ads to a CRM will allow you to see exactly which ads are turning prospects into customers.
(*Part 1 of Kari De Phillip's excellent article on social media)