All too often I see articles published online claiming to show you how social media will ‘drive traffic’ to your website. The truth is that if you’re expecting Twitter or Facebook to be some sort of magic traffic tool, then you are going to be very disappointed.
The simple reason for this is that social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, aren’t designed to drive traffic to you site. Their purpose is to facilitate and encourage communication and, from a business point of view, to allow brands to engage with their customers more easily.Social Media is a Powerful Tool
Used correctly social media can indeed be a powerful weapon in the arsenal of any businesses marketing strategy. However, used incorrectly it will achieve very little, if indeed anything at all.
The essential factor that nearly every business underestimates is the time and commitment that managing a successful social media campaign requires. All too often social media strategies play second fiddle to PPC and SEO, but now more than ever, social should be seen to be just as important as every other digital marketing consideration.
The reasons for this are two-fold. Firstly, as you would expect, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks provide an excellent platform on which to connect with consumers. They allow your customers to connect with you more easily than ever before, whilst at the same time allowing you to reach out to them.
This interaction is extremely valuable in many ways. Not only does it help to build your brand and promote your products and services; it also allows you to monitor changing trends, react to consumer demand and nip complaints in the bud quickly, whilst publicly displaying excellent customer service.The Future of Search?
Secondly, social media sites are now widely believed to be a growing influence on search engine ranking factors
. It is strongly believed that major search engines, such as Google, are adapting their algorithms to account for factors like Facebook shares, likes, tweets and now of course Google’s +1s. This is because the powers that be believe that these social signals are a hugely powerful guide to what’s hot and what’s not – and if you think about it, they are probably right.
This buzz surrounding this topic is the fuel behind the kind of sensationalist blog posts I referred to at the beginning of this article. Whilst such posts are based around a common belief that social media will have an increasing impact on your sites ranking within SERPS
, what they neglect to tell you is that managing a successful social media campaign requires huge commitment and a great deal of patience.Put in the Effort to Reap the Rewards
Building a successful social media campaign takes time and effort. If you’re expecting to put together your own business pages with the hope that traffic will ‘flood in’ – it won’t. For starters, you need to engage with your audience, not just once but constantly. You have to to ‘earn’ followers by interacting with them, responding quickly to questions, requests, comments and even complaints. When dealing with social media, it’s no good getting back to someone tomorrow. In a world where people are connected permanently to social network sites via Smartphones and tablets, they expect a response immediately.
So demanding has this sector become that social media is now a full time job
. Big businesses now view social as one of the most important ingredients in their digital marketing mix, with major brands such as Coca-Cola, Disney and MTV leading the way. However, it’s still not all plain sailing for the big boys - just ask McDonald's about their now infamous #McDstories
So there you have it - The truth about Social Media – it really isn’t an easy
way to generate huge amounts of traffic to your site. No, it’s much more important than that!
So, if you’ve lost faith in social media, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Remember; it takes time and commitment, but the rewards for that investment are well worth it. And, if time is somewhat of a scarce commodity right now, don’t be afraid to come and speak to us here at 9xb – you can even drop us a tweet