In the world of online marketing it’s all about getting found and having a presence. Good SEO (one means of getting found) has always been about making your site and its content more relevant for search engines (obviously) and also users. Social media (another way to get found) is all about online engagement and connecting with your audience. Combining the two makes for the perfect recipe. And thus (through simple math) Good Search Strategy = Engagement=Use of Social Media
The problem isn’t that social media is useless, but you have to think about what conversions are of value to you. Consider the following value metrics:
- drive people back to your site
- receive large amount inbound links
- appealing to early adopters
- build customer relationships
- learn what your clients want, need and think (help set and meet expectations)
- manage online reputation and brand
- increase traffic from various sources
- share/distribute content yourself, and via others, word of mouth
- chance to position yourself as the best
- have honest conversation and feedback (priceless), that’s why most (successful) industry giants are now involved
- rewarded emotionally
- it’s fun (can’t deny it)
- gives small business the opportunity to leverage themselves
In every one of these cases the feedback and the metrics are coming from real people that I can reply to, hear back from and with whom I can strike up a conversation. I can legitimately justify why updating my status and adding more people to my friend list, replying to feedback and building relationships are valuable to branding, marketing and bottom line metrics for the company. Understanding all of this, and gaining that insight helps promote more conversion driven focus on your site. It helps you interpret what brought your visitors to your site, how the user first became engaged, potentially why they care…it makes all the SEO work worth it and helps those engaged users become “active” through your site.
Other things to consider:
- Find a social medium that works for you, testing and tracking are extremely important.
- Some social media sources, especially Twitter is hard to track because traffic sources are often from other tools used to connect to the application and therefore don’t always register the same with Analytics.
- Good content naturally spreads.
- You have to track visitors, leads and customers.
- Set realistic expectations – Social media cost per conversion is obviously much lower and there tend to be fewer conversions overall. The social media conversion rate almost always is less than SEO because it’s just not the same.
- Outside of time, social media is low cost. Just track how much time you spend and the leads from sources.
Part of any process of converting a visitor to a lead is nurturing and engaging that individual. While Twitter or Facebook may not be the medium for everyone, there is plenty of opportunity to become engaged, and really the question should be, can you afford not to partake?