With the recent rollout of Google+ and its rapid climb to over 10 million members, it’s easy to figure that no other social networks matter anymore, right? Well, not really. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and loads of others have earned their place in the discussion and don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t use each of these channels more effectively. Here are 5 key lessons from around the web on using social media more effectively in your business.
- Your numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Social monitoring firm Awe.sm uncovered that most analytics tools don’t give Twitter enough credit, noting Twitter drives 4x as much traffic as you think it does. Their key takeaway?
“While the incredible growth of mobile apps and desktop clients and their importance in the Twitter ecosystem is news to no one, the value Twitter drives through content syndication is a bit more surprising: more than 1 in 8 visits driven by Twitter sharing are actually referred from other sites. Many other sites use Twitter’s API to pull in Tweets that they display on their own sites, where links in those Tweets are then clicked. For example, look at this screenshot of my LinkedIn activity stream. Notice that every update says ‘via Twitter.’ Yet when someone clicks on one of those links, the referrer will be linkedin.com, even though it only got to LinkedIn because someone shared it on Twitter first.”
That, of course, is going to be true of any social channel that syndicates its content. Which leads to our next key lesson…
- Tracking isn’t as easy as you’d like, but it can be done. Google APAC Conversion Room blog looks at how Fairmont Hotels tracks their tweets more effectively in Google Analytics–and how you can, too. Money quote:
“When campaign tracking variables are applied to any link in our tweets, the traffic resulting from those tweets will be correctly attributed to the respective tweet regardless of where the visitor found and clicked on the link. “
- Growing your audience in social channels helps build your business. Phil Mershon at Social Media Examiner looks at research that confirms how to use social media to grow your leads. The overall findings state,
“[i]n many ways, this research confirms what many experts have been saying, but now you can see the reasons in black and white. If you want to generate leads through social media, try blogging more frequently and growing your reach—all with an understanding of your target audience.”
- Content is still king. It’s one of the oldest cliches in the online marketing world. But The Atlantic offers an intriguing infographic looking at what makes people follow a brand online. The article notes,
“…[o]n Facebook, most followers are drawn to special offers and deals (36.9 percent) or are already customers of a brand (32.9 percent). On Twitter, the same things draw people to a brand, with a larger emphasis on special offers and deals (43.5 percent).”
But the number 3 driver on both Facebook and Twitter, with 18% and 23% of respondents respectively, is “interesting or entertaining content.” There’s no question people like deals. But the smart marketers are engaging customers without them.
- Go where your customers are. As I mentioned above, Google+ is getting lots of ink these days as a “Facebook killer.” But Jason Falls of Social Media Examiner makes a key point:
“Honestly, there’s a lot to like about Google+. One thing I don’t, however, at least from a marketing standpoint, is the majority of people aren’t there. They’re on Facebook.”
It’s important to note that Jason is not writing off Google+. He’s just suggesting we take some time to let customers digest what Google+ is before proclaiming it the end of Facebook (or anything else for that matter). Your customers are all over the social web. Are you?
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