blog: Social Media Marketing

September 8, 2011

Increasing Web Traffic Through Social Media: Spiders and Bots and Eyes, Oh My!

Kari-Lynn O’Neil —social media Strategist

For the average business owner, Internet marketing isn't why they went into business. Start throwing out web optimization terms like black hat, white hat, spiders and bots and you have their head spinning like a tornado in the land of Oz. Technology changes so rapidly that as soon as they understand what you're talking about, your off spouting all new terms! Well, get ready for a head spin and another trip down the yellow brick road…

website trafficThose who fear eight legged creatures and things that creep through your site will enjoy this fact: In the United States, approximately 25% of all web traffic starts from social networking websites. Yep. Because these websites allow users to add favorites, friends, followers, links, photos, quotes, recommendations/reviews, tweets and videos, you could think of it as enriched, super charged FREE search engine marketing (SEM). Can you imagine how much you'd pay for an ad like that? So why are companies continuing to snub social media marketing and spend more on SEO and SEM, filling their website with unreadable content for bots and spiders instead of eyeballs?

Well, remember not so long ago when that guy (you know this guy) who said, "Websites? My son has a computer in his room in the basement. He can build us a website. See all those people with cellphones? What we need is bigger Yellow Page ads!" And the son built a website with dancing 'scotty dogs with bows' border, 3D type on black background? It's like that for Social right now. Let me warn you: just because so many of the social media tools are free it doesn't give you permission to be sloppy with your brand. It may be the only impression a customer ever has of you. If you truly have great products or services, and you're scratching your head as to why you aren't seeing more growth, you'd be a great candidate for Social Media Marketing. All the SEO or SEM can't compete with great word of mouth marketing and passion that come from a great customer experience. Social Media Marketing can, and it catches on like wild fire. People want to be engaged with brands like yours and they recommend you for free to their network of friend and family who have similar interests.

One only has to take a few moments to observe behavior in our society to see the power of social media. People surf through social networks on the recommendations of their friends because they don't have time to research companies on their own. 51% of purchases are made from businesses who are "liked" on Facebook and 60% are likely to recommend a business they "like" on Facebook. And that's just one Social Network. A B2B can create a relevant blog, post it on their Facebook Page, several Linkedin groups and Tweet it, upping web traffic 47% in a day. We've had blogs reach Japan in less than 48 hours where a fan took the time to translate it for us! Of course if you don't have the right followers and the article isn't worth passing on, you won't get much traction. But that's why investing in a Social Media Marketing expert makes sense. Ask any SEO expert if they can optimize your website with $0 in PPC generate 47% increase in traffic in one day. Social Media is a powerful revenue generating tool in the right hands and a fun waste of time to dabblers.

In our economic times, many businesses are at an uncertain fork in the road. How many competitors will take "Mr. Yellow Page's" path, and how many will have an eye towards the future growth of their company? It's anyone's guess. One thing is for sure, First in, wins. Once a fan is loyal they don't say, "Aw. Look at this poor guy with no fans and a homemade Facebook page. I think I'll be their fan instead of the one has sweepstakes, events, pre-sale peeks for fans, gives me coupons for being loyal, knows my name when I buy, gives me tips and ideas, has all sorts of cool stuff I love to see and share with my friends." This is a savvy bunch, and they don't keep stragglers clogging their network.

Social Media Marketing is marketing. It involves strategy, research, analytics, branding, relationship management, PR, copywriting and design, which is why it's not working for "do it yourselfers." Doing it right however, more than pays for itself in ROI and increased revenue based on a continually growing, loyal customer base. Loyal customers that could just as easily follow your competitor if you aren't careful.


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