The 3 Tickets to Success in the Social Media Circus

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How to Increase Site Traffic and Improve Conversion Rates Through Social Networking – Three Tickets to Success in the Social Media Circus

Like any savvy businessperson, I jumped into the social media circus to build a following and generate leads for my consulting business. I created a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and I posted and tweeted like crazy. At one point, I was tweeting 18 times a day.

What I learned was that posting 18 times a day is a great way to get people to unfollow you.

While my research has clearly shown that there is a direct correlation between social media activity and improved conversion rates, it’s not like powdered sugar on funnel cake: more isn’t necessarily better. However, the research I published in the now-defunct The Journal of E-Business showed that, by following a few simple suggestions, an effective social media strategy can increase your site traffic by 23 percent and improve your conversion rate by 780 percent. No, that’s not a typo.

When it comes to navigating the ups and downs of the social media circus, there are three tickets to a winning experience: the right place, the right time, and the right stuff. Let’s take a look at each one.

The Right Place

Facebook ought to be the cornerstone of any business owner’s social media strategy. It’s the largest network, and it gives you the greatest flexibility to share the widest range of content. One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming Facebook is for college kids. The fastest-growing segment on Facebook is 35 and over.

If you run a B2B company — selling professional services or products to other businesses — LinkedIn definitely has its benefits. You can create a history of your projects to showcase your industry influence or participate in LinkedIn groups to demonstrate your expertise.

If your business has a time factor involved in the sales process — such as a restaurant or car dealership, where limited-time specials and quick turnarounds are common — then Twitter is an essential tool. By posting updates on daily specials or location-specific offers, you can engage a loyal following.

Twitter is also essential if you’re dealing in the distribution of content, as it helps you build links to your blogs, offer downloads, and create conversation with other industry insiders.

Within two years’ time, Google+ will be a strong contender for Facebook’s social media crown. In the meantime, enjoy the experimentation phase, and use it to distribute content from blogs, host hangouts, and take advantage of the priority Google gives to its social users when ranking pages. The latest data shows that about 7.5 percent of your ability to rank well on a content page comes from the social strength of that page.

You don’t necessarily have to use all four networks. Social media is rapidly changing, so invest in the channel that suits your needs today.

The Right Time

Learn from my mistakes: Don’t post so often that you hog people’s social media feeds and drive them away. Post two times a day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

But you have to remain consistent. One car dealership in my area started tweeting in May 2012. By 2013, they had a total of three posts, and one wasn’t even about cars — it was about Hollywood. Set up an automatic posting service via HootSuite or Buffer if you don’t have someone on staff with the time to post daily.

The Right Stuff

Whether you’re posting on Facebook and Twitter or publishing a snippet from your latest blog on LinkedIn, the idea is to create conversation around a topic related to your product or service. Leave the Hollywood gossip, political commentary, and cat videos to the pros.

You should be publishing six professional or life-related posts for every one product or service-related post. My research has shown that this 6-to-1 ratio will help you not only retain followers, but also build credibility and trust among your burgeoning community.

Business posts should consist of topics that increase your credibility, such as a photo from your latest speaking engagement or conference, a link to a published paper or interview, or information about a recent award you won or a community event you attended. Include a link in each post, such as your blog post about the conference or a news article about your award that you’ve embedded on your website to increase site traffic.

Life-related posts include vacation pictures, office parties, and holiday celebrations. I highly recommend that small business owners create not only a Facebook business page, but also use their personal profiles for business purposes. You represent your business — you’re the face of the company and synonymous with the brand.

Letting your followers see your child’s birthday cake or your vacation pictures makes you a tangible person we can like and trust. If you build relationships, you will build your business. You can’t do that if you don’t let people get to know you.

By using these three tickets to social media strategy effectively, your site traffic will increase by 23 percent. Not only that, but in contrast to the typical industry conversion rate, which is 2 to 4 percent, you’ll see a conversion rate of 22 percent, which is a 780 percent increase. That means 22 percent will become buyers. And if you’re executing your social media strategy as I’ve outlined above, those buyers will turn into loyal customers who spread the word about you and your company.

So choose your networks wisely, post twice a day consistently, and follow the 6-to-1 ratio for publishing content. If you use these three tickets, you’ll be a main attraction of the social media circus and avoid getting caught up in the sideshows.

Image Credit: Rob Watling

Article by Stephen Woessner

Stephen has written 1 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jasmine March 5, 2013, 10:19 pm

    I like your social media tips, Stephen. I am guilty of not posting regularly on my Twitter. Will need to do that more regularly. Me bad. 🙂

    • ZK March 6, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Regular tweets on Twitter will help spread your digital presence across a very receptive audience 🙂

    • Stephen Woessner March 6, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Hi Jasmine…yes, it can be challenging…which is why I worked hard to build a series of steps that only take 10 mins a day…otherwise, it can become overwhelming. Best of success.

      Stephen

  • Carrie March 6, 2013, 6:26 am

    Great work Stephen! I usually appreciate informative post and yours is definitely one of them. Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for your business growth. You need to make your social media presence commendable to get what you want. Your point about posting six professional or life-related posts for every one product or service-related post is certainly a valuable piece of advice.

    • Stephen Woessner March 6, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Thanks Carrie!

  • Social Media Optimization Services March 6, 2013, 7:10 am

    Amazingly simple and a compelling action plan kind of article here. Thanks for this awesome post. Social Media is a powerful tool for increasing our business. So its very important for us to take seriously our social media profiles. And update posts regularly.

    • Stephen Woessner March 6, 2013, 2:22 pm

      Glad you agree. Rock solid awesome!

      Stephen

  • Anupam March 6, 2013, 8:52 am

    Hey Stephen,
    I myself have started a blog recently. Being new to blogging, I was confused how many times should I be posting. Someone suggested once or twice in a week is sufficient. But you suggest two posts per day.
    I think 2 blog posts/day is also too much. 1 or 2 blog posts a week will make people wait for your posts if they are interesting and too many posts will just decrease the value of each blog content.

    • ZK March 6, 2013, 1:09 pm

      There are no rules to posting frequency..You should post based on the engagement levels with your community, if you have a super interactive community then a daily post should be good..else a post every alternate day should be fine..The blogger needs to judge the responsiveness of his readers and post accordingly

    • Stephen Woessner March 6, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Hi Anupam…yes, 2 social media updates / posts per day but for blogging…the goal we shoot for is about 2 great blog posts per month. If your blog posts are meaty enough each time, 2 posts is likely all you need.

      Stephen

  • Stephanie Elsen March 6, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Great post, Stephen! Thanks for sharing. I love the fact that every time I read something of yours, I walk away with something concrete that I can begin using right away. The 6 to 1 ratio is a huge help. I am going to try that; thank you.

  • Yasir Khan March 6, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Social media today invites all sorts of new discoveries. One of the opportunities is that you can market your websites and products to wider customer base for free and constantly get in touch with them.

  • SEO Company Philadelphia March 12, 2013, 8:58 am

    Great Post!!! Social media optimization is becoming increasingly important for search engine optimization, as search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to rank pages in the search engine result pages. Thanks for sharing 3 tickets to success.

  • customized logo design March 13, 2013, 8:07 am

    You are absolutely right these three steps are very important (time, place and stuff). In social media marketing all things are under these steps and all techniques are not out of these three. The most important thing is time that when you share your products or links on social media. After read your post i learn a lot of things regarding social media marketing skills.