It’s no secret that social media can be a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website. But do you know the best methods? And do you know how to tweak those best methods in clever ways that are not being used by everyone? Here we share a few sneaky tricks for leveraging social media to send your audience flocking to your website…

Build relationships

There is no sense in talking about leveraging social media for increased web traffic until we talk about building relationships. Relationships build audiences. It’s alarming how many businesses and marketers forget the 80/20 rule. Three out of four social media posts should put your audience first – not you. Not your business. In order to build an audience, you have to answer the questions your potential clients are asking. These types of posts have to be driven by what your audience wants to read, not what you want to promote. “How we do what we do” posts are a great way to build audiences too. Be transparent, profile your staff as real people doing real things, and give your audiences that behind-the-scenes content that makes them feel special and “in-the-know.”

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Don’t be afraid to post things that are marginally or completely unrelated to your business too. Share articles written by sources other than your business if it will genuinely appeal to your audience and don’t be afraid to kick the occasional funny meme into the mix. Nothing builds relationships quicker than making your audience laugh.

Use an editorial calendar

There are several tools available that will help you schedule posts across all of your social media platforms. Doing this ensures consistent posting, which is vital when it comes to a social media presence that drives traffic to your website.

Scheduled posts should be a mix of evergreen and trending topics. Trending topics focus on innovation and new products and services in your industry. Evergreen topics profile helpful information that is always useful. By example, a plumber could schedule a post about new features on ductless HVAC units as a trending topic and schedule a post about how to winterize outdoor hose bibbs as an evergreen topic.

Study your competitors

We told you these were sneaky tips! Check out your nemesis, er – biggest competitor on social media. Cruise through their posts. Look for things like audience size and make notes about which posts are getting the most engagement. What level of imagery are they using – stock or professional? How often are they posting? Study your competitors, figure out what they are doing right, and do it better.

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Ask questions in your posts

As we all know, people LOVE to share their opinions on social media. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. This not only encourages engagement, it’s an excellent way to see what is on the minds of your audience. You can use their answers as fodder for future posts! Let’s say you are a Realtor. You can post interior design shots and ask questions like, “How do you feel about this two-person tiled shower? Would you love to have one or does it look like too much work to clean?” If several people comment that they like the shower but it might be too much work, future posts could be around easy tips for cleaning tile showers or maintenance-free showers.

A final tip when it comes to asking questions in your post — REALLY put some thought into your question and make sure it’s a question people care about. Use the “Would I take time out of my day to answer this question?” litmus test. If the answer is no, keep reworking your query until you land on something that EVERYONE will have to comment on.

 

Double down on your visual efforts

Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. If “content is king,” imagery is the castle interior – the dramatic chandeliers, exquisite art, and breathtaking tapestries. Social media platforms like Instagram have led the charge when it comes to how we receive and deliver media. To get noticed, you need to provide a visual wonderland. Luckily, Smartphones are designed with extremely sophisticated cameras, editors, and filters. Platforms like Canva and PicMonkey allow you to transform ordinary photographs into visual masterpieces. The paid version of Canva even makes it so you can turn images into video, which tends to increase engagement.

Blogs that get noticed

Most of us are aware that writing blogs increases traffic and organic ranking for your website or that posting blogs on social media can help to increase website traffic. What often gets overlooked however, is that just cranking out blogs for the sake of putting a checkmark by this content marketing task usually doesn’t work.

The biggest mistake most companies make when blogging is writing blogs that serve the business first and the customer second. In order for blogs to get engagement and drive traffic, the subjects HAVE to put the audience first. This is incredibly difficult for most businesses, who tend to use blogs as a thinly veiled sales tool.

Blog subjects have to genuinely help your audience. Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask, You Answer encourages businesses to “obsess about your customers’ questions.” The hard part about this is that the honest answers to these questions sometimes reveal that your business is not the best solution to the audience’s problem. Sheridan argues that it is this exact transparency that gets engagement through building trust and by becoming the perceived expert in your field.

This sort of unbiased content will not only help you build an audience, but it will drive traffic to your website because you are establishing yourself as an authority on a specific subject. Social media audiences may visit your site seeking answers to other questions they have about the services you provide.

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Be strategic in your posting times

There are general rules of thumb for the best times to post on various social media outlets. But do these generalities apply to your audience? Let’s say that your primary audience is contractors who typically work in the field all day. A Facebook post at 3:00 p.m. on a Wednesday may work for the masses, but not for this targeted audience. For contractors, you would likely want to post in the early morning hours when contractors are looking at their phones and sipping their coffee before heading out to the field, or later in the evening, after dinner when they are catching up on social media before going to bed.

How do these tips drive traffic?

It takes time and patience to build a loyal social media following, and you must be willing and able to cleverly tweak tried and true methods that speak to your specific audience and allow you to stand out on social media. Over time, your audience will engage regularly on your posts and will want to read the entire blog you have written (by clicking through to your website). By building relationships through helpful, funny, clever posting, you can increase your website traffic considerably.