With the boom of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, businesses moved to them to help grow an audience behind brands and service providers. With social media aging we can now see a shift in how we should be using social platforms. It has been noticeable that social for businesses has taken a nose dive in recent years and the social giants have not really done anything to support businesses, except to make more money from them by promoting them to advertise to reach a dwindling audience.
At the start of the social boom, it was common to plaster your social channels all over your website, driving traffic to Facebook and Twitter with the intention that a like or follow would help boost your social numbers and social reach. But that never really worked well for businesses. Businesses are in a niche market when it comes to social media, in which your services or products are not always a common necessity to the consumer. Possibly a impulse purchase or a long thought out purchase for the best price or service.
Social media channels have stopped working well for businesses, beyond a quick growth in followers you don’t really see an increase in sales or a ROI from advertising. This based on that your product or service is not something that is trending or a daily necessity. For example ‘website design’ is quite a niche industry in terms or reaching potential customers. But who are they? People looking to refresh an existing website design, let’s be honest nearly every existing business has some sort of website by now. New start-up businesses are another target audience. But will I find those people, those entrepreneurs those business directors hanging out on Facebook or Twitter? Probably not.
So what has changed in recent years? Well less people use social media channels to find things these days and use search engines, most mobiles have built in search functions that enable Google search or equivalently. Search engines are still the best way for businesses to attract new business.
Most websites these days try to focus heavily on promoting that they are on social media channels with feeds or links to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ but it’s rare for them to convert to a new follower or like.
So how should you be using your social channels?
Any business should know that the best way to talk about yourself is through your website with a detailed ‘About us’ and easy to understand services and how people can contact you. What you do not want to do is for it to work the other way and take people away from your website to you, lets be honest, dead social feeds. You need to be using your social feeds to be driving traffic to your website. Your website has the best chance of converting a sale.
Having an active social channel can be important to a business depending on your industry and niche. But just having an active feed is useful, tell customers about new products or events coming up. Then link to a blog post on your website that has more information about the event. This is great for converting your social follower to your website for two reasons.
One, you have a better chance of them seeing your other services or products to increase the chance of making a sale and two, more traffic to your website will help boost your SEO ranking in Google and Bing search engines. The more traffic you can send to your website the more relevant your website becomes for specific search keywords.
For those people using active social feeds from Twitter or Facebook on your website, just stop! Yes it shows you have a social account, which can be easily represented by an icon link, but what your doing is slowing down your website load time.
Pulling in that data from Facebook or Twitter means additional content and loading of that content from an external source which takes time, as much as an extra 1 or 2 seconds can feel like a life time to an user in this age in internet speeds.
At the end of the day you want to make sure the social media channels are working for you and sending traffic to your website and not the other way around. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram get millions of views a day, why add to that? You website has the better chance of selling your products and service, make sure that your focus on driving the traffic to it instead of away from it.