5 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Increase Web Traffic

Want a great, concise read on some of the top e-marketing best practices? The Next Web’s “10 Commandments of Social Sharing and Driving Traffic to Your Website” is an incredibly good summary of things all marketers should be aware of – from making the right types of posts to translating social media successes into business successes. Whilst I would definitely recommend reading the entire blog, here are a few key take-aways:

1) Facebook link-preview posts are better than photos for driving website traffic

One of the interesting new findings I learned is that the new link-preview posts (now with “thumbnail” images that take up the entire post width, not just the small, left-aligned space) drive more website traffic and, on average, have more reach than photos. After all, in an ideal world, a good Facebook post will direct your followers to a valuable part of your website – likely a landing page where consumers can make a transaction for your product or service. So, in order to achieve this, you’ll want to reduce the barriers as much as possible. With a Facebook photo, the first click will simply embiggen a photo, and the chance of a follower clicking on the link in your post is moved to the 2nd step. With a Facebook link post, the first click will send the follower directly to the desired landing page on your website.

Example of a new Facebook link-preview post:

It’s important to note, that the image on your website that the link-preview will draw from needs to be at least 400×209 pixels to appear full-size from a desktop computer, and at least 560×292 pixels to appear full-size from a mobile device. Otherwise, Facebook will automatically scale down your image to the smaller thumbnail size of days past, and you won’t get the same click-through advantage. So make sure your website contains big enough pictures! Click this helpful link for more info on Facebook thumbnail dimensions.

2) Fully complete your social media profile to enhance SEO

The first rule of starting a social media handle: fully complete your profile! Want your customers to be able to find you online? Make sure you use all the weapons in your arsenal – that means filling out all the sections you can on your profile with keyword-rich descriptions that Google spiders will LOVE. And, make sure to put your website URL in your short descriptions on Facebook & Twitter. Read Social Media Examiner’s “11 Checks to Ensure Your Facebook Page is Up-to-Date” and “How to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing” to assist with this process.

via Social Media Examiner

3) Time your posts to when people will see them

Social Timer As well, the blog touches on topics you may have heard before, such as timing your posts to hours when people are more likely to be on social media (during work breaks, commuting hours, evenings and weekends). During the 9-5pm grind, people are (supposed to be) working, which is why in your analytic reports, you’ll often see that posts made on evenings or weekends often yield the highest engagement. For more on this, take a look at my “Why Being Social Shouldn’t Stop at 5pm” post.

4) Be brief.

(…Was that too brief?)

In your social media posts, be as brief as possible. Most people are on the Internet for quick, easily-digestable pieces of information (which is why Buzzfeed lists are full of win). I mean, no matter how much your super-smart and worldly friend gushed about that New Yorker essay on Facebook, did you you actually read the complete article word-for-word? (If “yes”, please describe in the comments how your lifestyle permits this – I would like to know how this can be achieved.) Get to the point as quickly as possible with short, engaging posts that tell your customer what you would like them to do (“LIKE this post!” “Leave a comment below!” etc.) – after all Facebook posts under 80 characters get 66% more engagement.

5) Make it easy to share your website

Make sure you have social media sharing buttons on your website! On my blog, I’m currently using the WordPress DiggDigg Bar plugin to make sure you can share this blog (and please do!) as easily as possible. As stated in The Next Web’s blog “websites displaying Twitter share buttons are linked to on Twitter 7X more than websites without sharing plugins” – so this is a critical step!

Example of social sharing buttons:

Social Sharing Buttons

How are you leveraging social media to drive your web traffic? Leave a comment below!