I have spoken to many of our Melbourne based web design clients recently who are confused as to how social media can, and should work for their web sites and businesses. I believe the main point of social media should be to drive traffic to your web site. This might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but I have seen many instances of late where sites are driving existing visitors away from their site to social media.
I think once you have someone on your site you should do everything you can to keep them there, not send them away. Not to say we shouldn’t have social media links on our sites but I believe they shouldn’t be one of the first things you show your visitors or something you keep pushing at them.
What Is Social Media?
So lets start from scratch and define social media. I found this definition on Wikipedia and I think it covers the term pretty nicely:
“Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. Social media is defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.”
So Which Social Media Sites Should We Use?
I’m sure most of you are aware of facebook, twitter, instagram & possibly google+. While doing some research for this article I realised that there are many more than I realised, wikipedia’s list has literally hundreds, and more are being added regularly.
Obviously we can’t use all of them, so where do we start? I think the choice of social media platforms becomes pretty clear when you think about someone’s specific business, for instance a photographer would obviously choose to use platforms like instagram, where as a doctor probably wouldn’t use image based platforms. Google+ on the other hand is a platform that seems to suit every business type, as it is more of a business listing with the ability to post articles and images as an add on.
If you are struggling to figure out the best social media sites for your business call us for a chat.
Social Media And SEO?
This is a confusing topic, if you “google” this (and I have) you will get many varied opinions. There is a lot of debate as to the value of social media on SEO, however it seems everyone agrees that increased traffic definitely helps with SEO. I think this point proves that social media can help but requires a fair amount of work to get that traffic happening. I will be very clear here, SOCIAL MEDIA TAKES TIME.
Be Sure To Give People Valuable Information
When posting on social media, or your site for that matter, it is really important to give your visitors valuable information specific to your business/industry. The whole point is to engage with the kind of visitor you want and keep them coming back for more. If you purely drive traffic to your site but have nothing of interest for your visitors this will produce a lot of “bounces”. This means people visit the front page and leave straight away, generally never to return. This doesn’t help anyone.
Ok, Time To Pull Out Some Stats!
This is always fun, I think stats are often a way to clarify things. I found some stats published on Hubspot that were quite interesting:
- “92% of marketers agreed that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013.”
I think on the surface this could seem like social media is getting better. I think what is actually happening here is we are starting to understand how to use social media better and therefore we are seeing the results on our businesses.
- “80% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic.”
This is interesting. There is a potential that the other 20% either didn’t get the social media right or didn’t have a way to track the increasing traffic. I believe if used correctly social media will increase traffic. The issue is how do we get it right and then track the results? If you need help with this give us a call.
- Of those who have been using social media for at least 1 year, 69% found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
One thing I have personally found is that social media is time consuming and doesn’t happen overnight. I think if you are interested in seeing if social media is going to work for your business you need to give it time and allocate at least a few hours a week to post useful interesting information. And lets face it, if you are passionate about what you do it should be fun writing articles about your business and posting them for you customers.
Thanks for reading, and of course if you need any further information or just want to have a chat give us a call. +61 3 9016 9784
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