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Make Social your Primary Traffic Driver

2 July 2013 BY

We’re really reaching a tipping point with social and the method of Discovery is changing. At A4U Europe in Amsterdam, Simon Penson from Zazzle Media discusses how to use social media to maximise your traffic.

Social has been building an army, and is being headed by Mr Zuckerburg – he has better data than Google and is the one man who can beat Google and data manipulation. Social data takes things to a different level. Access is also improving. The audience is growing and there are now better ways to reach that audience. APIs are also improving making it easier for developers to use that data to improve their own user experince. Twitter has recently launched ads to the public and will be coming out of beta soon. Promoted tweets also provide a great analytics dashboard and, although simple, can see which tweets are the most engaging. Lots of agencies are creating their own tools. Zazzle has made their own: Social Profilr.

Direction is needed

Where to turn? There are so many social networks appearing and focus is needed to find which social network is right for you to invest. Experience is the best way to find which networks are the best for you. Google+ is useful for search, but has a lot to do to play catchup to Twitter and Facebook. For 90% of us – the choice is Facebook.

Why Facebook?

3 key attributes – scale, data access, and targeting. But what’s the strategy? Use the 3 phase approach – grow, engage, monetise. It’s not that linear but it’s a great typical model.

Grow

Some ways the most important, but in other ways not. You need a large audience but you need to understand that audience. Try to get access to the API, but if you don’t, use the Facebook Power Editor. You can then use data to find a fan’s interests so that you can tailor your ads to those interests. Ensure your content strategy is aligned with those interests too. For example, you can look at an audience’s favourite TV shows so that you can even have a specific attitude or feed back to the client things such as sponsoring a TV show that is high in share.

Concentrate heavily on content – it’s the first thing people will see beyond a loud CTA when visiting a landing page. Know what you need to create and have it produced in time for the paid investment.

Engage

EdgeRank defines engagement – and is basically their own algorithm. If you do it well enough, you may even earn yourself your own online stalkers of the brand (aka evangelists). They will help you leverage network effect and is done without your help. Make sure you have great content to help the audience engage.

Top tips to increase engagement:

  1. Use images – they work best and are given the most influence
  2. Host competitions – and use content based competitions targeting specific audience
  3. Exclusive offers – creating something exclusive gives more opportunity to share
  4. Polls work – create content that results in more activity
  5. Curate greatness – share others’ content and act as an editor – don’t just publish your own content.
  6. Listen and join in – be involved with as much conversation as possible.
  7. Test your timing – there’s no set rule for this. Set different content and different times, use insight to improve
  8. Video can be key – Vine and Instagram now illustrates how important video is, especially the fact that audiences share video more than any other media
  9. Get the hippo involved – get the most important within the company as much as possible. From audience perspective it instills trust
  10. Webinars help connect the brand with the audience. Use Google Hangouts
  11. Have variation in content. Don’d just randomly post updates as there will be no engagement. Have big ideas. Quality is better than quantity at this point.
  12. Geolocate – create a regional content strategy. Jobs are a great example – you can target audience by industry, job title and location.

Monetisation

Editorial vs advertising is the common problem. Try to find the balance of producing content and making money from it. Invest in vertical pages and add in affiliate links into lesser important pages you create specifically for that goal. Use existing channels to push people to social – it really works. Track shares in analytics – use _tracksocial(). You can also use the URL tool builder or GA config by Raven.

AUTHORED BY:
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Alex Moss is the Director at FireCask, an online marketing agency in Manchester specialising in Search, Content and WordPress development. Alex is also the Co-Founder of Peadig, a WordPress framework powered by Bootstrap.