How To Use Social Media Marketing To Drive Website Traffic And Improve Brand Awareness
Social media has matured to the point where it can be called a technology in itself, with its own dedicated vocabulary, terms and concepts. It was first used as a means to share information among friends and colleagues. As the technology grew and users’ requirements increased, it moved into the realm of internet marketing. These days, it has become one of the most potent advertising tools available online. According to a recent study, social media marketing contributes approximately 50 percent of the web traffic, and has the potential to increase that figure substantially. That’s a big claim!
Social media marketing has evolved into an intricate marketing strategy that combines elements from various online marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Social media platforms have also become a strong platform for the exchange of ideas and information across industries, making it important to create a social media marketing plan that addresses your goals, objectives and target audience. Marketing on social media platforms requires you to consider not only the content you want to share but also how you intend to distribute that content. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Digg, have gained in popularity because they offer a way for people to get to know one another and share opinions or stories. There are a number of advantages to using these sites as part of a social media marketing plan:
o Engagement – No matter what you are selling or promoting, without engaged users there will be no sales. The best social media advertising plans take this into account when developing an engagement strategy. Engaged users will typically share content or comments on a regular basis, often leading up to a review or update of the products or services offered by the company. Such engagement is key to generating interest in upcoming advertisements and providing companies with a consistent source of targeted traffic.
o Branding – By far the biggest benefit of social media marketing campaigns is that they increase brand awareness and name recognition. Many small businesses rely on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms to gain exposure to their target audience and, consequently, gain new customers. As brand awareness and loyalty is built, brand name recall and profitability increases. Ultimately, this leads to increased website traffic and higher page rankings which can ultimately lead to higher search engine rankings and, ultimately, more traffic and more profit.
o Expanding the Audience – The greatest advantage of social media marketing campaigns is that they expand the target audience an online marketer can feasibly reach. For example, if a small business owner has a website that serves a particular niche in a specific city, state or country but lacks the resources to advertise to this audience through traditional means, then a social strategy would allow them to take their message to this market via social media. Additionally, these platforms provide marketers with the chance to reach audiences who previously did not have access to their target market. Again, this leads to more website traffic and higher search engine rankings.
o Use of Social Ads – A social media marketing campaign can also use social media marketing ads in order to gain more website traffic. This can be done by developing an online brand campaign that uses ads within social media conversations. These ads can be used to promote sales, demonstrations, discounts or any number of other things that the marketer believes will attract new visitors. In some cases, social media marketing conversations may even include the direct promotion of products or services. Again, this leads to greater brand awareness and higher website ranking.
o Expanding the Target Market – Another benefit of social media marketing campaigns is that small businesses are able to target their audience more effectively. Many small businesses rely on SEO (search engine optimization), however, the process can be very time consuming and many businesses cannot afford to dedicate their full time SEO to a single brand. By using social media marketing, a small business can target their audience more effectively, thus maximizing their brand exposure and their conversion rates.
Small businesses are increasingly seeing the benefits of using social media management tools and platforms. Many small businesses want to take advantage of the opportunities that social media allows them to create greater brand awareness, drive greater traffic and improve their website rankings. Using social media management tools and platforms allows small businesses the opportunity to work smarter, not harder. These platforms provide users with the ability to share and receive real-time information from their favorite brands and generate quality results. Once a business learns how to effectively manage their social media marketing campaign, they will reap the benefits for years to come.