Your website is only valuable if potential customers can find it. One of the best ways to draw customers to your e-commerce business is through organic traffic. This is when you’ve optimized your site so search engines consider you a trusted source of valuable information.
When your site is fully optimized, customers don’t have to know about your brand. They simply have to search for the product they want to buy or problem they want to solve.
When someone visits your site because they clicked on a link found in a list of search results, that’s called organic traffic. You can optimize your site so search engines will give you a higher ranking.
There are many different search engine optimization techniques you can use. Some of the most effective methods are creating high quality content, building reputable backlinks, and developing connections with influencers in your industry.
One underutilized, but extremely effective, SEO technique involves using social media. Here are 10 easy ways social media can boost your organic traffic.
1. Create a Consistent Tone
Social media communication is frequently informal. At the same time, you’ll want to stay professional. Develop a “voice” for your social media posts. This is the style and type of language used.
Your voice will depend on both your product and target audience. If your product is fun and your audience young, your voice can be witty and loose. If your product is serious (a financial or medical service, for instance) you’ll probably want to adopt a more formal tone.
Once you’ve discovered your voice, use it consistently across all messaging. This creates a connection with your potential customers; they’ll start to think of your brand as a personality. A consistent voice also ties all of your social media platforms back to your brand.
2. Identify the Best Social Network
Most marketers focus exclusively on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best strategy. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are large and popular. But they might not be the most popular choice among your target audience.
For instance, about 42% of all female internet users use Pinterest. If your target audience is female and your product is visual, Pinterest can connect you with a lot of potential customers.
Another example is LinkedIn. This platform is primarily used by business professionals. If you offer a B2B product or service, you’ll want an active LinkedIn presence.
Always be on the lookout for social networks where you’ll be able to find a potential audience interested in what your brand has to offer.
3. Avoid the Hard Sell
The average person follows more friends and family than brands on social media. This means their social media feeds have more posts from people instead of advertisements. Social media users tend to get annoyed if a brand advertises too heavily.
People on social media want interesting information. Most of your social media activity should be shares related to your industry, not ads for your products or services. A good rule of thumb is to post about seven industry articles for every three product mentions.
4. Post Strategically
When you post is often as important as how you post. You’ll want to post at times when your audience is most receptive to your message.
This will depend on your audience and what social platform you’re using. Trying to reach business professionals on LinkedIn? They’re most likely to check LinkedIn between 9 am and 5 pm during the workday.
What if you’re trying to reach Twitter users? This group is young and mobile. They’re likely to check their Twitter feed between about 11 am and 1 pm, which is during a typical lunch break. After 5 pm is also a good time to tweet.
5. Connect with Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are people who have a lot of followers and a good amount of influence in a particular niche or industry. They can be a great way for your brand to be introduced to a large, new base of potential customers.
You’ll want to develop relationships with influencers in your industry. To do this, you’ll have to connect with them through social media. You’ll also have to provide something of value. This can be content you create which they’ll publish on their site, a free product to review, or something similar.
6. Be Interactive
Social media isn’t a one-way form of communication. You’ll want to engage with your followers regularly. This means responding to both compliments and complaints.
Social media users don’t want to wait too long for a response. One effective tool here is Mention. This monitors a huge variety of social media platforms and notifies you whenever your brand is, well, mentioned.
Not every comment about your brand is going to be positive. That’s okay. You want to deal with complaints quickly, professionally, and publicly. Even if you can’t please that specific customer, other potential customers will appreciate a professional response.
7. Create Online Communities
You not only want to engage with potential customers on your page, you also want to create online spaces. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all let you create your own group for your followers to post in. This allows you more control over your brand and message.
To grow your group, you’ll want to offer new subscribers some unique and useful content. This could be a guide, e-book, podcast, or something similar your audience will respond to. Once someone subscribes to your group, you can begin introducing them into the Conversion Funnel.
8. Join Existing Online Communities
Find and join social media groups. These don’t have to be groups necessarily related to your industry directly. Instead, they should have an audience which is potentially interested in your products.
Your audience doesn’t think about your brand all the time. They have other interests, too. Once you identify these interests, join any related Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media groups.
Don’t join groups and simply start promoting your products. People will understandably be annoyed. Instead, you want to just make yourself known. Show an interest in the subject of the group. Be friendly. This will help build trust and increase your reputation among your target market.
9. Buy Facebook Ads (with Precision)
If you have a sizable potential audience on Facebook, you should consider Facebook ads. They’re a great way to reach a targeted group of interested people.
Facebook ads can be tailored to just about any budget. You’ll probably want to start small and then increase your ad buys over time based on which types of ads have shown to be successful.
Ten dollars a day is a good starting point. Keep your ads between ten and fifteen cents a click. For most campaigns, you’ll want to limit your buys to 20 cents a click.
Every few weeks, you’ll want to evaluate your return on investment. This strategy lets you avoid spending money on ads which aren’t connecting and focusing on the types of ads which are.
10. Use the Power of Social Proof
People don’t necessarily trust brands. What they do trust is other people. This is the power of Social Proof.
This is where positive engagement can really pay off. If you successfully solve a problem or otherwise connect with a customer online, everyone connected to that person on social media can also watch the exchange. This positive brand awareness can ripple through social media and reach countless new potential customers.
Testimonials are another way to harness the power of social proof. When real people sing the praises of your product or service in a real-world situation, other people will take notice. Turn compliments posted to your social media pages into testimonials for your website.
Bonus Tip! The Power of Indirect Benefits
You’re not going to directly sell many products through social media. But that’s perfectly okay. Social media is designed to help with conversions, not directly create sales.
By developing a robust, active social media presence, you’re helping create two benefits:
First, you’re helping to connect with potential customers by creating brand awareness, increasing brand trustworthiness, and developing a brand “personality.”
Next, you’re also helping to increase your ranking in the search results. Major search engines, including Google, favor pages which have a lot of shares. In fact, shares are considered links. If you can get a lot of people sharing, liking, and otherwise engaging with your content through social media, you’re helping improve your SERP.
Devoting time to your brand’s social media accounts is an important part of every successful website.
Have any tips? Share them here!
Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com