The extent by which the internet has grown in the past decade comes as no surprise at all. What’s more is that the last 5 years have seen an even more exponential effect of this phenomenon. The year 2016 saw in increase of internet users from 3.4 billion globally from only 413 million in 2000.
By 2019, this number of global users reached 4.13 billion. I’m going to give you a minute to let that sink in.
As the world population progresses into this dynamic, the advent of social media has only proved to be symbiotic in relation with the surge of internet use and its popularity.
The current status of this shows us that globally, 3.81 billion people actively use social media.
But what’s the implication of such evolutions? The world is becoming more tech-friendly, and that’s causing an increase in Facebook accounts. How does that have any effect on you or your business?
The answer is simple. If you had to set up shop anywhere in the world, where would it be? You’ll want to do so in the one place that can guarantee maximum footfall for your business. This is why there exists a disparity in commercial space houses between say, malls and the outskirts of the city.
If it’s not clear already, social media is like the much coveted mall- only with the not-so-high rent advantage. Everyone’s there and constantly seeking something- and it’s up to you to capitalize on that to make the big bucks for your business.
Yet, despite the happy-endings that are visible by taking advantage of social media for marketing your business, did you know that 40% of small business don’t employ the use social media at all, and of the ones that do, 38% choose not to integrate it into their digital marketing strategy?
If you’re that someone who falls in the above category and not only looking for arguments that strongly support the employment of social media strategies to further your business, but also solutions on how to do so- just keep doing what you have been until now- read on.
The very first thing that you can use social media is to increase your brand presence- aka, increase traffic to your site, blog or Instagram handle.
1) Directing Referral Traffic
The only solution to drive traffic to your site is not just through the use of search engine optimization. SEO is something that takes time and often something that requires to be integrated with social media, blog posts and other forms of marketing.
This is why it’s important to build a momentum for your site which requires driving organic traffic and not relying on Google to do so.
One way that you can do this it to guest blog on industry related blogs. The idea relating to guest blogs is to publish content off your website in order to drive more traffic to your website.
This is done through featuring guest posts on your own blog- as well as writing content for another company’s website.
It might seem like a foreign concept, but it’s mostly done to boost domain authority using external links, build relationship with industry peers and through these, attract traffic to your website.
Getting guest blogging to work requires you to write content that’s relevant to your niche- thereby allowing you the ‘expert’ title in your relevant field. It’s also equally important to do this under your own name, because that’s the only way you can build your brand. Ghost-written content often has no value, and that’s again, because it doesn’t have a fact attached to it.
You should also try to keep in mind that this content should be made publicly accessible. It’s not just about creating the content but also allowing it to reach people- so that it makes the process of driving traffic a lot more efficient.
You can also link to the sites of people who’re in your niche and these will appear on their radar. It’s just another way of letting them know that you exist in the industry and that you’re making that presence felt.
2) Link Building
Just like I spoke about how SEO must be corelated with social media to show positive impact, the same goes for using social media to have an impact on SEO.
In the previous point, I spoke about linking your guest blogs. This where I talk about it is and why it’s beneficial.
Link building is just a process of driving traffic to your page through ‘linking’ with websites or blogs which have similar content- and usually higher up on the visibility section. If I had to speak tech, I would say it’s basically a method of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.
By establishing high-quality links, not only do you ace the SEO game but also keep ahead of your competition.
Let me explain how.
Search engines basically use links in two ways:
- To discover new web pages
- To help determine how well a page should rank in their results
Since search engines have crawled pages on the web , they extract certain content and add it to their indexes. Thus, they feel that if the relevant keywords are sufficient and the content is good, they also take into account the number of links that point to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites.
Think of it like contact building in the real world. If there is a customer who likes your product offering and quality, and added advantage to him is just how relevant you are in your industry and the network you have. If your network is top-tier and the very same network recommends you/ acknowledges you, the customer immediately feels reassured of your deliverables and brand.
In the same way, supposing that you wrote a blog that has some great content and getting large amount of shares. Some of the people who have gone over your blog may produce similar content and link back your original post as a source. Search engines will consider that fact and then rank it higher to other such unlinked posts out there.
3) Retarget Audience
Once you have strategies in place to attract new traffic onto your website or blog, how do you reassure your business of those potential buyers who didn’t convert to customers for your brand?
If earlier you had the brand’s attention at say 70%, retargeting is the mechanism to drive it to a 99%. This is also extremely relevant because users don’t convert from visitors to buyers in the first go.
Often people who end up using Facebook or Google AdWords to run a retargeting campaign make the mistake retargeting almost everyone who lands on their site. The problem that this poses is that it widens the audience so much that the percentage of conversion just doesn’t reach a significant level.
Specific URL Re-targeting
That’s why you should pursue focused retargeting. This means you could make the use of specific URL visits to do so.
For example, supposing that you’re looking for some exceptional souvenir and gifting items to gift to your friend. There’s a website that you come across, you like their products, but the pricing doesn’t suit you too much or you simply want to explore other options.
A few days later, you receive a retargeting add from the website which talks about the importance of quality and aesthetics for gifting. They’ve immediately captures that point you were keen on: the quality, and found a way to educate you about how this product can add value to your life.
Making the use of Facebook and Google AdWords can actually make for a
diverse customization experience, because it allows your brand to target whatever the said customer was skeptical about.
Retarget existing customers:
Another strategy involving retargeting is to retarget existing customers. Now obviously, it sounds absurd, since this pool already is a part of your existing consumer base- yet, the fun is only when you can maintain their loyalty.
For example, every few weeks, I receive an ad from Nykaa. Now, as someone who is not only a compulsive shopper but more than attentive to their various notifications regarding promotions, discounts and sales, why does it make sense for them to retarget ads towards me?
The answer is to constantly upsell me regarding their products, to remind me of what I’m missing if and when I’m not shopping from them and reiterate their relevance in my shopping experience.
4) Driving Conversions Through Social Media Handles
Another point that’s important when making use of social media for your business to understand that tradeoff between traffic and conversions. Attracting traffic to your website allows your brand presence to grow but conversions obviously lead to more sales for your business.
You can employ use of some of these techniques to drive conversions for your business using social media:
1) Add CTA: CTA or calls to action are just one step further when making yourself really accessible to your customer. Your product may be brilliant, and your ad may reach a potential customer, but then what?
Allowing a solution wherein your visitor have a specific place to go, be it for inquiries or orders or even making your page easy to read with reference to your services, products and most of all, your brand.
2) Contests: Most people don’t really understand why brands are willing to just give away their stuff for free or participate in situations where they have to offer discounts on their products. Yet, brands are famous for doing so and that’s only because they’re trying to provide with a tease of their product before you get completely invested in it.
Yet, they do in turn receive something from it- since their conditions usually involve reposting, tagging friends, commenting and other such activities that drive traffic to their website. It’s kind of like a cost on advertising, except it’s undertaken through the cost of the product itself.
5) Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a kind of another diluted form of search engines, except that they tend to group interests, hobbies, ideas etc. based on keywords. They’re simple and easy to use but because of this fact, many people tend to overuse them.
It’s important to remember that more hashtags don’t mean more engagement for your brand. Relevant hashtags tend to take the lead in that case. Similarly, make sure that you the same hashtags for each of your posts- in case of a brand or company- since they too tend to have an adverse impact on engagement.
To get a better idea of what hashtags to use you can research variations of your hashtags to see how to alternate things around a bit. Moreover, apart from different hashtags, it’s also important to play around the reach that they present. Employing a set of say, 15 hashtags in a post, each with a 50k reach, that’s highly specific to your product or service, or vice versa is not the way to go. In fact, you should mix it up a bit, having a few with a lesser reach for a more target specific audience, and others with a larger reach for attracting more traffic.
The above few strategies if not completely fool-proof are definitely some of the most successful and proven tactics that come in handy when establishing a small business- or expanding a present one.
If the use of the internet and social media has taught us anything, it’s the fact that we’re constantly evolving, and while evolution has many names, strategizing your marketing techniques to stay ahead of the game is just another one of them.