One of the best and well said quotes in the social media world I have ever heard is “The social media is like teen sex, everybody wants it but nobody knows how“, by Mr. Avinash Kaushik, a Web analytics guru at Google. This sentence was much truth, so since then, people who were dedicated to this interesting world have learned to do and lead the way in a strategy to do actions with predefined objectives and analyze results to reschedule what not work and reinforce what works.
Yes, oddly enough, I say “goals” and “measure” in social media, because without these two points, this concept is lost in a sea of “I like you” nonsense and re-tweet the joke on Monday without impact for the brand. There are different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that we can plan at the beginning of a strategy of social media. And the truth is that in this as in other areas, we can measure anything whenever we have the right tool.
The traffic that a social network or blog site leads to a very important KPI, for it is precisely in the web where the brand spreads its sales pitches and even where purchases materialize platforms through e-commerce. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Urchin, Adobe SiteCatalyst formerly known as Omniture and other systems of web tracking enable us to measure this KPI, so we can take it as a valid objective for the strategy.
Is Social Media a Good Source of Traffic?
Well, as almost everywhere there is no absolute truth because it depends on various factors:
1] First customer dependent, if the advertiser has nothing interesting to offer on his/her website, it is difficult to get a good amount of traffic from blogging platforms or social networks. Sometimes the client’s objective is to be known as a brand and have no interest in the target or to visit his/her website, in fact, there are customers who have fully institutional websites and generate all its online marketing strategy outside it. But there are sectors like fashion, continually changing, and news publications, with updates in near real-time, to take two examples, which are closely similar to produce traffic from social networks and actually need to work your business. Well, in such cases, having a social media strategy, with web traffic as KPI, it is almost mandatory to succeed and to measure it.
2] The web is another important factor before establishing traffic as KPI. Sometimes we find as static web pages for content and image out of phase, it is very difficult to use them as a landing target site and it is preferable to stay with the audience in own social profiles. In order to make traffic as “Social Media KPI” it must include a good inventory of products on the web and have a very lively and updated page. If you also want to measure conversions through social media, you must work fine on web usability, conversion funnels, etc…
3] The strategy we use in social media will be a determining factor in generating traffic to the website. If all we do in social networks is getting friendly and generate engagement, this will not achieve the objective. If you really want to use social media as a source of traffic you have to split hairs, to relate your products or updates on topics of interest to your target and of course give them the URL of the website or web pages where they can find the product or information. This may seem obvious, but every day there are many cases where the community managers do not pay a single web link to their publications, making it very difficult for the target to reach the web and even more difficult to reach the specific website you want.
4] The type of platform or social network also influences the flow of web traffic. Not all platforms are equally valid social source of traffic, for example if you create a blog as part of our Social Media strategy for client, it is difficult to establish web traffic intended as the KPI onto the created blog. Some platforms like Tumblr are not best place to generate traffic to the site, as because practically it provide users all the necessary information they need without having to visit the site, and that is if we talk about social networks we must be aware that not all social networking sites have the same capacities of generating traffic. A general example of this would be, Facebook will provide approximately 70% of the traffic coming from social media, publications in other blogs may drive 15% of traffic from social media, Twitter 7% and the remaining 8% is divided among other social networks with smaller audiences as Pinterest, Instagram, etc… These are generic data because sometimes the nature of our business radically changes. For example, if your business is a job search it is likely that traffic to the site from Linkedin will be greater and suitable.
Web traffic is a KPI very interesting to consider in social media strategy, especially for certain customers with e-commerce or selling advertising space. If the website is a critical part of the business, connect with the user in their sights and guide them to the point where the potential customer can meet with the current.