Your social media audiences are among your highest-value prospects and customers. What seems as simple as a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ is actually a big statement—the decision to connect with your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram is an expression of support.
If you were running a brick and mortar storefront, you wouldn’t greet your most loyal customers with a half-hearted or generic ‘hello.’ You’d probably give them a warm welcome—and even a big hug.
The same holds true for a digital context. You want to give your most loyal and engaged audiences the best brand experience possible. To that end, here are 5 ways to optimize your site for social media traffic.
1. Create engaging content
For many, social media is the ultimate brain break. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest help consumers catch up with friends, browse interesting photos, and discover trending stories. They’re not necessarily in the mood to research and buy, which is why a ‘hard sell’ is definitely not the approach you want to take.
If you want to drive people to your website—and keep them around—you need to create compelling content in the form of educational blog posts, entertaining videos, and interesting visuals. While you may not facilitate an immediate sale, you will encourage your audiences to come back—and maybe become customers down the road.
2. Listen and learn
A high proportion of your social media traffic will consist of visitors who are learning about your brand for the first time. While some audiences might follow your company on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, others will arrive at your site through content that their friends and family are sharing.
This initial interaction will be a strong data collection opportunity. Learn what content new audiences are consuming, what products they’re browsing, and where they might be experiencing points of friction.
This knowledge will help you figure out what content to deliver and how to improve your website experience.
3. Harness the data collection opportunity
After visiting your website for the first time, audiences are likely to forget about you. That’s why, in collecting data about your audience, you should also consider using a retargeting program—so that you can continue to reach your audiences on social media and other channels.
Retargeting will help you prolong the lifespan of your initial audience interactions. Rather than bombarding your prospects and customers with a wealth of information at once, you can parse out the dialogue based on pressing questions and buying intent.
4. Implement a personalization strategy
Now more than ever before, marketers have a wealth of individual-level data. By personalizing interactions with your audiences—and refining your strategy with every new data point—you’ll position your brand to deliver a thoughtful digital experience.
To start with personalization, segment your audience into target groups—by social media traffic source, as an example. Before digging deep into individual data, examine traits that members within each segment have in common.
As one example, consider the experience of Gardener’s Supply Company, a site that helps millions of gardeners find supplies, outdoor equipment, and apparel. Gardener’s saw high-volume traffic to its homepage from social sites but noticed low conversion rates among visits driven by Pinterest.
The company wanted to find a way to tackle this point of friction and convert more audiences from Pinterest. By launching a targeted pop-up for Pinterest audiences, Gardener’s Supply tripled conversion rates. Additionally, the pop-up was used to gather permissible email addresses that Gardener’s Supply could use for remarketing.
The next step to segmentation is personalization—targeting audiences with individual-level rather than group-level data.
5. Respond to audiences in real time
The biggest challenge that marketers face is the ability to personalize experiences by targeting audiences in real time. Instead of promoting a one-size-fits-all offer, case study, or piece of content, listen and respond to your visitors’ needs.
An effective real-time strategy will emerge from the steps outlined above. Monitor audiences on an individual—and group—level to learn about their interests, points of friction, and favorite pieces of content. From this information, you’ll be able to respond to specific needs and connect with your social media audiences in a way that adds value.
Social media is one of your most valuable traffic sources—you need to make sure that your audiences stay engaged and progress through your conversion funnel. Success is dependent on the level of precision and personalization that you’re able to provide in your messaging. Aim to learn, listen, respond, and engage.