Most corporate executives and organizational leaders recognize that they should be doing something when it comes to social media strategy.
They see everyone else tweeting and snapping and Facebooking, so they hop on the bandwagon, posting updates at a furious, yet totally random, pace.
But what they don’t realize is that social media is, in many ways, like sports: You only succeed when you have a defined social media strategy.
When done properly, a social media strategy can drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and help you directly engage with your clients and customers. Social media marketing can be a powerful tool in your digital toolbox.
Without a social media strategy, however, you’ll simply end up spinning your wheels in the digital muck without making any real progress.
To help, we’re going to show you how to develop a game plan. A path. A clear way forward. You’re going to discover how to make your social media strategy drive valuable traffic to your website and vice versa.
Content That Supports Your Social Media Strategy
It’s absolutely essential that you create fresh, compelling website content on a regular basis.
There are several reasons for this:
First, search engines like Google prioritize websites that regularly deliver fresh content. After all, if Google were constantly serving up stale MySpace sites dating from 2006, it would lose users quickly.
If you want your site to stay at the top of Google search results, fresh content is a must.
When it comes to keeping your content fresh, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Significant changes have a greater impact on freshness than just altering a few sentences.
- In addition to updating older content, add 20-30 percent new pages to your website every year to keep your “freshness” score high.
- Updates to the main body, above-the-fold content have more impact than other lower-priority areas of your site.
- New content means more people will link to your site, which in turn increases your freshness score.
In addition to improving your rankings with search engines, creating fresh content also directly serves your social media strategy. When you regularly produce engaging blog content, that content can then be shared through social media. This, in turn, drives more website traffic, which generates more social shares, which builds brand awareness.
It’s like the Circle of Life, except with less Elton John singing and fewer lions.
In addition to writing blog posts, it’s also great to publish infographics, videos, and other interactive content on your site. These types of media tend to generate strong engagement and more social media shares. Think of all the funny cat pictures that get shared every day…
Social Sharing Buttons on Your Website
Integrating social sharing buttons on your website enables visitors to share content easily from your site on their social media accounts.
When adding social sharing buttons, it’s crucial to think through the placement. Ideal positions include above blog posts, on left or right sidebars, below blog posts, and within the post itself.
Placing share buttons at the top of posts is ideal because they’re visible and obvious. While some people prefer to put them at the bottom so that readers see the buttons once they finish an article, the reality is that few people will read to the bottom. Keeping the buttons at the top increases shares and visibility.
However, be careful not to go overboard when adding social sharing buttons.
While it may seem cool to have a button for sharing on a trendy and obscure social network like Adobe’s parody platform “Woo Woo,” it’s best to stick with the most popular ones – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp, along with an oldie but goodie, e-mail.
Should You Send Website Visitors to Your Social Media Accounts?
It’s a good thing when people visit your social media accounts from your website…
… unless it’s happening at the expense of your website.
When visitors leave your website to visit your social media accounts, they are moving up your conversion funnel, away from your lead generation form, services page, etc. Sending visitors to your social accounts can actually hurt your business if you’re not strategic about it.
Only direct people to your social accounts when they are an integral part of your marketing strategy. Ask yourself:
- Do you post content on your social accounts regularly? In other words, is there at least as much relevant content on your social accounts as on your website?
- Do you engage with users on those social accounts regularly (interacting with people, building relationships, etc.)?
If you’re not doing both of those, then you should hesitate before sending visitors to your social accounts—and away from your website.
On the other hand, you should send visitors to your social media accounts after they’ve already become a lead or customer. They’ve already taken the desired action, so further cement your relationship through social media.
Your social media strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. All you need is a defined strategy and one impactful first step is by using it to boost traffic to your website, helping you achieve your business goals.