How to Make Social Media and SEO Affect Sales
As an entrepreneur, you know that the basic idea is that SEO and social media help you increase your sales. As Lenny Johnson says, social media has exploded: 58 percent of consumers follow brands through social media. Your business simply cannot ignore social media marketing anymore. In this blog, you will learn how social media measures up in today’s SEO and how to turn your social media traffic into sales.
How social media measures up in today’s SEO
According to Susan Gilbert, both content and conversations through the top social networks send out social signals, which ultimately has an effect on your brand’s visibility online. Back in 2014, Matt Cutts explained that Google’s SEO algorithm is not directly crawling social activity due to privacy concerns and changing data. Still, your posts and interactions can attract visitors to your website, thus creating a signal and increased brand awareness.
A Hootsuite experiment
Hootsuite ran a controlled test, which measured social engagement, organic search, and rankings based on a number of factors including:
- 30 articles not promoted on social media or through paid ads,
- 30 articles sent out to the major social networks,
- and 30 articles that were promoted through social advertising
The results revealed an increase in search visibility with a direct impact from social activity. Their control group that had no organic or paid sharing resulted in very little visibility. After a week of observations, the other two groups showed positive results.
“There is a strong correlation between the number of websites pointing to a piece of content and relative rank,” Hootsuite explains. “Overall, there were more improvements in rank associated with social engagements than observed ranking losses.”
Take advantage of social signals to build higher rankings
In order to establish a strong presence online, you need to be producing valuable and original content. Social media and SEO both work together to accomplish this. Ultimately, your website ranking will increase as your social influence and relevance go up. In order to effectively take advantage of social signals to build higher rankings, Susan gives you the following tips to follow:
1. Make sure your fans and followers are the real deal
Most likely paid or promoted content on social media will attract a larger audience, but not people necessarily interested in what you have to offer. In order to be authentic, you need to have a strong following based on building relationships with your community. The quality of your connections matter and you will want to evaluate your current networks to eliminate as many spam accounts as possible. There are many different online tools to help you find and remove fake accounts.
2. Targeted hashtags and links to your website still matter
You will want to include any important website links and relevant hashtags in order to build social proof and attract inbound links that matter to your audience.
3. Use visual marketing to attract a larger audience
Your brand will need to catch the attention of your visitors quickly with images and videos that inform and encourage interactions. Examples include infographics, native video, podcasts, etc.
4. Get your brand established in live streaming and Twitter chats
The video marketing spectrum is expected to continue to grow as more people tune in to find information on their smart TVs and mobile devices. In order to reach people where they are, your brand needs to be available as their go-to source and answers. Using these two tools can dramatically increase your following and bring people directly to your website.
The resources you spend on social media have to lead to sales
Lenny says states that your business simply cannot ignore social media marketing anymore and if you are already marketing on social media, there is always room for improvement. It is not enough to simply create an account or run ads. The resources you spend on social media have to lead to sales. He offers the following five tips:
1. Create a sales funnel
The biggest mistake Lenny has seen brands make is trying to sell a product through an ad directed to people who have never heard of them before. It does not work and is the fastest way to burn money on social media. Before anyone will buy what you are selling, you need to establish a level of trust first. That means the customer has to have multiple interactions with your brand first (Salesforce says it takes up to eight interactions). This is why you need a sales funnel first.
A sales funnel is made up of three stages:
- Top of the funnel: The person is unaware of your brand.
- Middle of the funnel: The person has now had some interactions with your brand.
- Bottom of the funnel: The person has now had plenty of interactions and is ready to buy.
The way you move people from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel is to offer relevant information and build a relationship with them over time.
To ensure that you get the best bang for your buck on social media, you have to prioritize getting your visitor’s contact information. That way, you can build the relationship until they are ready to buy from you. How you get their information depends on your audience and your offering. E-commerce stores can offer a discount in exchange for an email address, and service-based businesses can offer free eBooks or a consultation. With a form set up to capture your visitor’s contact information, usually their emails and names, you can move onto the next step.
2. Analyze your social media channels
Once you have established a social media presence, you need to know which of your social media channels are driving the most growth. There is no ‘one size fits all’ for this; it depends on who you target and what you do. Some channels will be better than others.
Another mistake you can make when marketing on social media is trying to be everywhere at once. It is better to have one great channel that works than seven mediocre ones.
The only way to know which channels are actually driving sales and not burning money is to audit your channels. Your priority here is to know which of the social media platforms are supplying you with a steady stream of customers and potential customers.
3. Set a goal
You cannot really know how well your social media campaign is doing if you have nothing to compare it with. Once you know what channels to focus on, you have to set targets. Your goal cannot be too high or low.
4. Optimize your funnel for social media
You can take advantage of the fact that your visitors are coming from social media platforms to boost both conversion and promotion. For instance, you can include a social signup button. Generally, the less information you require from your visitors, the more likely they are to sign up. Adding a social signup button means there is less for your subscribers to do. Another example is adding share buttons. Your visitors are probably already logged in to their social accounts when they visit your website, so why not encourage a share after they sign up or as they view your content?
5. Get active on social media
There is no ‘set it and forget it’ fix on social media. At this point, you have optimized your website for converting social media traffic to valuable leads. Now you have to get busy with your account and create a presence.
- Engage with your audience
Regularly share meaningful content with your customer base. It is crucial not to focus on promotion at all times. People will not establish a relationship with your brand if you are always pushing them to buy. A good ratio is 20 percent promotional content and 80 percent engagement content.
- Use retargeting ads
A retargeting ad is the greatest feature in your social media toolkit. It allows you to continue building a relationship with a visitor who might otherwise never have another interaction with your brand. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to retarget your website’s visitors on their platforms.
- Use social listening tools
As your brand becomes more active on social media, it will start to receive more mentions from people on the platform. The only way to stay on top of issues involving your brand is to use a social listening tool. Such a tool notifies you when your brand name is used so you can join the conversation and address inquiries or complaints.
Call to action
The blog These CTAs Are Not Good (And How to Fix Them!) focuses on one important aspect of turning visitors into buying customers: your call to action. After all, every piece of marketing content you write should have a clear call to action. The CTA serves a simple yet crucial role in telling your readers what steps they should be taking next, like buying your product. Not all CTAs are created equal, though. If your calls are not generating action, it could be for any number of reasons. This blog lists four reasons why your CTAs are falling flat and five best practices, so you can improve yours.