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Hardly a decade ago, business executives balked whenever marketing managers approached them with social media campaigns. However, in the year 2015, social media marketing insights proved that social media is growing exponentially.Despite the difference in methods and platforms’ modus operandi, social media is perfect for marketing when implemented properly. If you haven’t yet embraced social media marketing, here are some statistics to change your mind:
- In January 2014, a Pew Research Center Internet Project study uncovered that 73% of adult online users rely on social networking websites. 42% of this group had accounts in different social networking sites.
- Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report revealed that 92% of the 2,800 marketers surveyed felt that this tool generated more exposure than their previous efforts. Meanwhile, 80% indicated that they used it as part of their online marketing efforts and successfully managed to generate extra traffic for their websites.
- The same report uncovered that 66% of marketers enjoyed lead generation benefits despite spending as little as six hours per week on different social media platforms.
If you now believe in the possibilities that come with social media, you’re in luck. So, how to create social media campaigns that drive traffic and leads effectively?
Part 1: Traffic-Driving Techniques to Use on Social Media
According to Shareaholic’s Social Media Traffic Referrals for Q2 2014, the top three platforms are Facebook (23.39% in June 2014), Pinterest (5.72%), and Twitter (1.03%). Therefore, if you want to ensure more traffic to your website, consider using one of these channels. To help you boost traffic through each of these, use the following special tips.
In January 2015, Facebook is the king of traffic. This number doesn’t come as a surprise, especially since 71% of internet users have accounts on this social platform. So if you’re interested in directing some of the millions of Facebook users to your website, here are some effective tips you should follow:
- Use Lots of Personalized Visuals – Visuals are important for Facebook marketers. However, don’t rely on stock photos all the time. Unleash your creativity and publish personalized, engaging visuals which your followers may love and connect to.
- Buy Facebook Ads – Facebook Ads promises to increase your website traffic and conversions. Therefore, effective ads that promote your product or service, encouraging users click them and then be directed to your website.Keys to an effective ad are:
o High Degree of Relevance: in Google key word searches, this means that the ad
corresponds exactly or very closely to the query. However Facebook presents a different challenge: users are not proactively searching for products and services by typing in keywords that cue relevant ads. Relevance of Facebook ads is going to depend entirely on targeting. You can identify many specific details about your audience, including“location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education.” In the example to the right, this Macy’s ad showed up on the Facebook page of a woman in her mid-twenties—generally a good target for this cosmetics ad.
o Compelling Call-to-Action: Use language that lends a sense of urgency to your ad. “Click Now” or “Limited Time Offer” and such phrases make viewers feel the need to take a look immediately in order to benefit. The Macy’s ad in our example could have been a bit more urgent, but there is a balance between urgent and desperate. Knowing your both audience and the nature of your product or service in question will guide you to strike that balance.
o Value Proposition: Your ad should clearly highlight what is of value to the viewer and why clicking will bring them value. Macy’s ad hits the nail on the head with large, bold text which reads “Free Gift at Macy’s” situated below the image of the product and telling the viewer that they could get something of interest to them for free.
o Disruption Factor: Again, users on Facebook are not actively shopping. They are engaged in other activities. So, your ad needs to draw them in by disrupting their current activity in a way that’s appealing, not obnoxious. Images, color, font size/color can all make a difference. Macy’s does a good job including a large, sleek image and concise text, with the relevant information first and short explanation afterward.
- Join Groups – Facebook Groups provide your business with ample exposure.By joining different groups, you can have some clearer idea of who the audience is and post in the group accordingly. Other members of the group will be able to view your page, like it and visit your site. So explore the groups and consider what groups your ideal customer might be a part of.
- Stay Human – Don’t make the mistake of treating Facebook as just another promotional tool. The concept behind social media is connection. Your audience wants to learn from you and interact with you. So, feature great information for them and be responsive. Put in the time and treat your followers like friends: respond, and show your appreciation.
According to Shareaholic, Pinterest has around 70 million users, securing its position as the second largest referrer of social traffic. By September 2014, it delivered 5.52% of total visits to different websites. Overall, its share of traffic reached 50.07%, allowing it to top Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Reddit. To increase traffic through Pinterest, use the following tips.
- Include the Name of Your Site on Your Profile – Add the name of your business in both your profile name and username if possible. You may need to verify your account to ensure that your profile appears on top of profile search results.
- Link Only to High Quality Content – Your pins should link back to relevant, quality content, be it images or videos. If you pin with spammy or irrelevant links, Pinterest will demote you and you’ll lose your clients’ trust.
- Be Careful While Using Hashtags – Pin descriptions have a major role in determining the amount of traffic your site receives. However, don’t use too many hashtags as they can turn off pinners and affect your ranking.
- Keep Your Profile Up to Date – To drive traffic to your website, you need to make sure that pinners are engaging and interacting with your pins daily. Therefore, maintain a healthy stream of content without overwhelming your followers.
Though Twitter’s influence and clout have decreased, it’s still one of the top three social media platforms for driving traffic thanks to its 500+ million users. So to make sure that Twitter generates traffic your way, use the following tips.
- Keep Your Tweets Short and Provocative – Tweets are limited to 140 characters or less, making them difficult to write. However, you need to master creating short tweets. Wishpond reports that posts under 100 characters enjoy a 21% higher interaction rate.
- Statistics Speak Louder than Words – Including statistics will strengthen your tweets and make them stand out from the other content your followers receive. You can follow the statistic with a link to your website and influence your followers to head there.
- Don’t Hesitate to Use Mentions – Mentions, which are including Twitter users through @UserName, work as effectively as Facebook Groups. By mentioning prominent companies or customers through these, they may feel generous enough to retweet your post to their followers or return the favor by mentioning you. Once they click your handle, they can visit your website to find out more.
- Promote Your Tweets – There’s no shame in resorting to promoting your tweets. Even marketing specialist Jeff Bullas uses Promoted Tweets to drive traffic to his digital marketing blog. If you’re worried about others finding out, don’t. The icon indicating paid tweets is quite subtle, allowing you to easily spread your content to your target market.
Additional General Tips
Aside from the specific set of tips above, use the following to create a highly effective social media campaign that drives hordes of traffic.
- Listen to your audience and consider their requests, questions and recommendations. This will help you tweak your offerings and later social media campaign.
- Never post a video, text or picture unless it’s very useful Study your audience and post what they’d like and be willing to share.
- Always engage your social media followers and friends. In order for your campaign to be a success, consumers need to be able to connect with you and be involved in discussions related to your niche.
- Continuously track the success of your social media campaigns. Each platform has its own metrics tracking dashboard, so make use of it to determine whether you should tweak your campaign or offer similarly popular content.
- Staying consistent is important for retaining followers, attracting new ones and generating traffic. So publish religiously without overwhelming your potential visitors.
Part 2: Using Social Media to Generate Leads
‘How to Generate Leads from Top 4 Social Networks’ by CIO.com’s Matt Kapko identified Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as the best three social media platforms for generating leads. To help marketers successfully tackle this difficult task, Zoodikers Consulting released an infographic detailing important lead generation techniques for each of these networks.
According to ReachForce, 39% of marketers generate leads through Facebook.However, in order to become part of this statistic, you’ll need the following techniques:
- Competition and Contests – Your fans will love the idea of winning something after answering a question or fulfilling a task. You can ask them to share the contest to their own list of friends, expanding your reach beyond your existing clientele.
- Offers – Use the ads page and the key ads tips above to make offers your customers won’t refuse. Make sure to be creative with both your written content and images to increase your offer’s chances for success. Offers are also an opportunity to collect information about both influencers and potential customers, so consider what sort of information you want to require in exchange for the offer. Create your associated landing page to gather that information; and, most importantly, make sure your landing page actually corresponds with the advertised offer. There are few things that bother people more than a “bait and switch” ad.
- Brand Evangelists – In order to generate leads, bring your existing clientele closer and involve them through discussions and offers just for them. You can thank them for their participation or ask for feedback to show that they matter. As a result, followers will become loyal to your brand and endorse it on your behalf to generate leads.
- Special Codes – If you have physical stores, you can provide your Facebook fans with special codes or phrases which they can use to get discounts or special offers. Once others discover your discounts, they’ll want their share as well. Therefore, you’ll gain a new fan and a new customer.
By July 2014, Instagram surpassed Twitter by the number of users. What further makes it perfect for generating leads is that images can be embedded in other social media sites such as Buzzfeed or Facebook. To attract potential customers, use the following methods:
- Showcasing Corporate Social Responsibility – Aside from images depicting your products and services, add photos of your employees engaging in social responsibility initiatives. This will show that your business does more than just sell; it actually takes the time to do good for the community. By winning people over, you can win their business as well.
- Adding Faces – Introduce your staff by putting up their pictures in a quirky or professional collage depending on your niche. Adding a human face to your brand makes it feel more accessible, guaranteeing more leads in the future.
- Personal Hashtags – If you can’t find a hashtag you like, don’t hesitate to create a personalized one. You can even create a series of hashtags to make your brand visible through search. That way, you can generate leads since your current clientele will make your hashtags viral on your behalf.
- Contests – Contests are very popular even on Instagram. You can create a photography contest that reflects your niche and ask your followers to share it. You can also use the winning pictures for your own business purposes, hitting two birds with one stone as a result.
In the ‘How to Generate Leads with Social Media’ infographic by QuickSprout,Twitter was responsible for 82% of leads generated from social media websites.The following methods were used to achieve this:
- Lead Generation Card – Twitter has created its own lead generation system and rolled it out in the form of Twitter Cards. These can be expanded to flaunt rich media or useful tools without directing your users to other sites or platforms. As a result, your followers can retweet your offers easily and generate leads on your behalf.
- Events Hashtags – Use hashtags to share your opinions on a certain story or create a buzz around a topic. For instance, Arby’s hitched a ride on the #GRAMMYs hashtag when Pharell Williams wore a hat similar to their logo by tweeting: “Hey @Pharell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs.”
- Promoted Tweets – Promoted tweets allow you to target your audience by gender, geography, language, interest, and other criteria. These act as ads, appearing on your followers’ timelines, relevant search results, and even third party clients such as HootSuite.
- Promoted Accounts – You can attract new followers by investing in a promoted account ad. According to the same infographic, three in four users are more likely to make a purchase from brands they follow or engage on. Promoted accounts deliver just that while allowing your business to reach relevant individuals.
Additional General Tips
Aside from what you discovered so far, use the following tips to generate leads via social media.
- Don’t limit your leads generation efforts to only one social media network. Expand to blogs, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest, or whichever platform your audience uses the most.
- Use keywords to target your audience and alert search engines to your presence.
- While creating content, have a strategy in hand and be focused and consistent. Also let your expertise shine to make your potential leads believe that your brand is truly the best.
- Track results all the time to gauge how effective your efforts are so far.
- Engage with others. Re-post, re-tweet or link interesting articles. Also respond to questions and comments to foster connection and create a strong community.
While it does require time and effort, using social media campaigns to drive traffic and leads is worth the investment. So don’t balk or hesitate to work on these aspects to ensure the success of your business.