Social media sites have been offering advertising programs for a while now. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide business owners with the means to promote and reach targeted audiences on their sites. The programs are becoming quite popular because of the results they’re able to deliver. Additionally, it’s a new way to reach your audience and may help you extend your advertising strategy beyond Google.
Why Social Media Advertising Works
In addition to the fact that millions of people access their Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts daily, they’re also accessing the sites on their mobile phone. That means that as an advertiser on one or more of these sites, you’re getting in front of your audience on a fairly consistent basis.
Unlike other advertising mediums, it’s new so it grabs their attention. Some types of advertising can begin to lose their potency when users become accustomed to them. Their eyes barely glance at the ad before they move on. Social media advertising is new and therefore it’s effective.
Social media also has the unique ability to market directly to highly targeted prospects. For example, Facebook makes the following statement, ‘While most online advertising provides about 38% targeting accuracy, Facebook, on average, delivers 89%. On Facebook, you’ll only pay to reach the right people who’ll love your business.’
This is because Facebook and other social marketing sites allow you to segment your audience. You can create ads based on your prospect’s location, age and gender, interests, and connections. For example, you can advertise specifically to people who have joined a Facebook event. In some cases, you can also find people who are similar to your best customers and create ads specifically for them.
Social media advertising is also generally less expensive than many other advertising opportunities and tactics. You reach more people and get more response from those people. Social media advertising also provides analytics, whereas some advertising methods do not provide this and make advertising efforts a guessing game.
Without analytics, you just don’t know if your ad worked or not. With any type of advertising for an internet business, analytics are essential and a clear-cut way to identify which ads are working and how well. You stay in control over your budget and your results.
If you have an advertising budget and strategy, consider adding social media marketing to that plan. You may be surprised at the results. It could change the way your business approaches advertising.
Driving Traffic to Your Website
Social media is a fantastic tool to help start conversations with prospects and customers. However, if those customers don’t transition to your website then you may not be reaching your sales and marketing goals. A few tweaks to your social media strategy may help you gain the traffic you desire.
1. Make Your Content Searchable
Sites like Twitter allow you to include tags in your posts, aka #hashtags. Pinterest allows you to identify categories and include tags. Use these features in your post so that your prospects can readily find your information. This simple tactic will help attract more people to your social media profile and subsequently more people to your website.
2. Obvious Contact Information
You might be surprised how many business owners have social media pages and profiles but their website address is a real challenge to find. It’s a simple thing; make sure your URL, email address, and even your phone number are on your site. Be completely transparent so prospects feel comfortable trusting you. Additionally, the more obvious your URL is, the more likely a prospect is to click on it and visit your website.
Give your social media followers a reason to visit your website. Host a special promotion for them. Give something away, or hold a contest or sweepstakes. For example, you might offer a printable coupon for Facebook followers only. In your promotion, include a link to the promotional page.
4. Value Driven
Before you post anything on any social media site, make sure it provides value to your audience. If it doesn’t have a clear benefit, don’t post it. That means often keeping personal posts and business posts separate, unless your personality and personal life are relevant to your brand.
Test and track your posts to identify which posts generate the most traffic and interest. Also consider including a call to action and a link in some of your posts, and test and track those as well.
Some social media posts should lead directly to your website or blog. Include a few sentences teaser on your social media page and a link to read more. You can do this on any of the social media sites, from 140 characters on Twitter to tantalizing paragraphs on LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.
There are dozens of tactics for using social media to drive prospects to your website. At the end of the day, it requires two key steps. The first is to make sure you’re providing value to your prospects. The second is to test and track your result so you know what works.