In digital marketing, social media has become one of the most influential marketing channels. However, it is not easy to measure the effect. Increasing the traffic to your own website can be a big challenge. Because social media is a very good marketing tool with its many different platforms, it should be well suited. We all know that social media is unpredictable which is why there is no recipe that always works. Things that always worked well may not work all of a sudden, or content that was always unsuccessful can suddenly end up going viral. There are studies which claim that social media doesn’t contribute much to a website’s traffic. Other studies, on the other hand, report that about one-third of website visitors get there via social media. Because it is so unpredictable and trends change quickly, one should consider generating website traffic through social media.

Nowadays, social media is often the first point of contact with potential customers and users; from there on you can draw attention to the company’s website. First, you need a plan. This is about the basics. What are the goals, target groups, what resources do you have, what can you offer to the users? Once this has been clarified, you can also make your own website more social media compatible by adding share buttons to posts, linking to social media profiles, including call-to-actions and allowing comments. Of course, the social media profiles should also be visible on the homepage. A link to the company’s website is also included in the profile. Thus, the exchange from the website to social media and vice versa is already given.

Now it’s about directing traffic from social media to the website. To achieve this, you need good content for posting and sharing. But content is not just content. While blogs are very popular for text work, images are still most likely to be shared, clicked and liked via social media. Therefore, good pictures of products – if possible – are important. Particularly good content should be used more often, but always slightly modified.

Quite often, guidebooks give advice on how often to post, but especially in the beginning, it is a good idea to post even more often. If you don’t do that, you will quickly drop in the newsfeed of the target group and the attention will be gone. You can post more often on channels such as Instagram and Twitter than on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Don’t forget the pictures here, as discussed before. In any case, the posts should contain links to the products or the website in general. You can also decide for yourself whether it’s better to put links at the beginning or at the end of a post. There are mixed opinions on this topic.

Different social media platforms are suitable for different actions. Without going into detail on the individual platforms, here are some tips and special features.

In our blog post about Instagram, we have already explained how this platform is suitable for marketing. Simple marketing activities work particularly well here. Of course, you should focus on pictures here. With hashtags, you can gain additional reach and maybe even establish your own hashtag. If you post very interesting content, you can also integrate a link into the profile description and ask users to click on the link.

YouTube is often underestimated, but it is also important and on the rise. It is not suitable for every company, of course, but videos say even more than pictures. Don’t forget the URL of the company’s website in the videos.

Twitter has recently introduced an extension of the number of characters from 140 to 280. Finally, you can describe important content AND insert links or images without having to think about which grammatical rule is most unimportant and can be broken. Twitter is well suited for ads and news to direct users to the website. In addition, many decision-makers, CEOs and other influential people of your target group have an account and can be reached directly. Like on Instagram, hashtags work also very well on Twitter. Sharing articles and posts from others is also important. This is often neglected.

You should also share appropriate posts on Facebook and create own posts. Campaigns, competitions and paid content are particularly suitable here because you can tailor postings to your target group. With the “Pin to top” feature, you can put particularly important posts on top of your own feed for a longer period of time.

Of course, there are many more networks like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Periscope. Some become more and more popular like Snapchat. There is certainly nothing wrong with the basic networks and if it fits the company, you can also extend your presence to other networks.

Temporally speaking, it is important to be online when the followers and the target groups are. Apart from posting, interactions with users should also be part of it. In addition, you should follow other companies and influencers in the field and be active, i. e. share and comment.

If the profiles and content are created and posts are published regularly, a website analysis should be on the agenda in a further step. This way, you can see which posts bring the most traffic to the website and which ones get the most clicks. You can use this information to adjust the posts for the future.

– This article was written by Arthur Ryschka, Account Manager at HBI

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