Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Gab, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp are just a few of the hundreds of platforms which features consumers who businesses try to connect with.
This article explores why SEO is not enough to drive traffic to many websites, lays out the goals of using social media to drive traffic, and discusses an approach we are adding into our Web Data Platform shortly.
The Search Engine Optimisation Utopia
Utopia means, no such place. For any company selling goods and services online, their "no such place" is to be number 1 on Google and to have a high conversion of paying happy customers that visits their website.
This article is not about using SEO to get ranked on Google, but our experience shows us that;
- Paying for rankings doesn't always work out.
- Backlinking is a great way to get presence but is hard to achieve if you have a smaller site.
- Large high traffic websites trample smaller websites.
- Most users no longer venture more than a few pages.
- Google can be almost a non-starter for many types of businesses to get found by keyword search.
There are some tricks to improve your SEO rankings, but we don't want to focus on that - indeed, tricks can result in blacklisting from Search Engine Providers.
Our one effort we try to do is to add content and articles which discusses topics we think will interest potential customers.
It is our strong opinion that Google won't help many businesses increase revenue, even if paying. Please look at Seth Godins explanation on why pay per pick (ppc) advertising can be incredibly expensive.
A Social Media Platform attracts users wanting to interact with other users. SMPs create a specific type of user experience where they engage in a particular way. Contrast the Facebook wall versus the twitter thread. Other SMPs focus more on visuals, to create a vibe. There are professional platforms. We have started to look at technology platforms to try and interact with other users for collaborative purposes. Even GitHub is a social media platform.
Appreciating that different SMPs attracts different personalities of users is vital. This stops you just being on twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for the sake of it. Being on the right platform is vital.
The one thing that really stands out with most of these platforms is they are a point in time platform. They stream new information constantly, to drive interaction. This engagement is what produces data to give these platforms insights that they can sell. What happened a week ago on Twitter no longer matters, what happened ten minutes ago on signal won't be seen. Instagram and Pinterest encourages users to look around a bit more, but largely, these are point in time platforms.
Websites on the other hand are more about providing quick access to most facets of an organisation. It is expected that many users may read large parts of your website to understand more about your organisation. Websites move slower and are more reflective, users absorb content to support their decision making process.
LinkedIn does seem to achieve a balance between the point in time versus reflective platforms.
We see it that two things have to happen for social media to be effective for a company wishing for their online presence to drive customers to their website.
- What is happening on your website needs to be on social media.
- What is happening on your social media needs to be on your website.
We have a cyclical need. Ideally, highlights of important publications should be accessible on any platform and easy to access. Which is why a company who publishes a lot of content on a Social Media Platform may benefit by having a neat summary page of this information on their own website.
Some SMPs provide ways to plug content from your own SMP account into your website, but still, they may not be sufficient to give a quality overview.
Example - Events Company
Imagine you are a business who sells tickets, ideally, your customers should be able to understand the events that were put on previously. Your current ticket availability should be present on all platforms. Perhaps the performers themselves, when discussing attending your event should appear within your website.
In most situations there will be many systems and functions;
- Customer Relationship Management system for organisers, performers, and facilities organisers.
- Epos for handling ticket sales.
- Advertising and events team.
- A data reporting team - sales analytics.
- Social media presence management.
- Website content management.
Whilst not exhaustive, there will be lots of duplication of effort. Significant expenditure will be made linking these systems up.
There is an easier way.
- Use our Web Data Platform.
- Let Info Rhino add a social media capability to our platform.
- Publish your content and data to your Web Data Platform instance.
- Let our account scan your public Social Media feed and aggregate information for passing back to your Web Data Platform instance.
- Let your Reporting team focus on delivering data to our platform.
- Let our platform do the rest.
Interested in hearing more about our Web Data Platform?
Nobody can state with certainty what the right way to drive paying customers to a website should be. The one challenge we see is that social media can become a big burden to businesses, especially when on several platforms. A lack of engagement and new publications can make your customers think you aren't active.
We are keen to add this Social Media capability into our platform, but are interested in knowing what you think.
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