Visitors from social media are more likely to convert or become leads — here’s why.
Today, 33 percent of people pick social media over search engines to look for engaging content online. However, reaching this audience isn’t as simple as putting your standard search engine marketing on your Facebook profile or Tumblr page (yes, Tumblr marketing is a thing!). Social media traffic has a different set of criteria for content that makes them click and convert. Once you realize the differences between social media and search engine traffic, you’ll know exactly how to adapt your content marketing campaigns.
Social Media Behavior
Social media visitors are not driven by looking for a particular product or seeking specific information. Instead, they want to browse around and see what their friends recommend. It’s digital word-of-mouth, and having pre-approval from friends and family results in double the leads and 13 percent higher conversions, according to Hubspot.
Your primary goal in marketing to social media users is to engage them. Directly interacting with your audience helps keep them around, builds brand awareness and increases your authority within your industry. In addition, you help customers feel valued and special compared to a company who simply posts endless marketing messages on social media profiles.
Integrate social media into each point of interaction with your potential customers. Allow them to easily share content from your website through social networks, such as adding a Pinterest pin button to product pages. In addition, work social media into the shopping process. Threadless does a good job at this, prompting you to tweet or Facebook share the latest product you purchase from their store.
Search Engine Behavior
Search engine traffic still makes up the majority of traffic coming to your page, on average, but it interacts with the Internet in an entirely different way (see also: A Guide to Google Analytics Behavioral Targeting). A visitor from a search engine is looking for something specific, whether it’s a particular product, service, or an answer to a burning question.
You don’t get the advantage of word-of-mouth through social networks, but you do have a driven and interested customer who visits your site over all the other options he/she has available.
B2B and professional services particularly benefit more from search engine marketing over social media, as it’s unlikely that most traffic has a circle of friends who fawn over their favorite lawyer, plumber, or electrician the way they do the latest cat meme or kitchen supplies.
KiSSmetrics reports that another advantage search engines have over social media is the ability to put yourself at the top of the results, whether through organic or paid methods.
Blurring the Lines
With Google pushing Google+ and other social endorsements, the line between social media and search engines become a bit more grey. Social media marketing has a place in every Internet marketing campaign, but it works out better for industries catering to younger demographics and companies who have products conducive to pinning, sharing, and other forms of social media discovery.
While conversions are higher on social networks, search engines continue to act as the workhorse for building an audience for your site. Social media has the capacity to turn that audience into engaged and creative brand evangelists.
What do YOU think? Share your thoughts and comments with us below.
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Photo: Jason A. Howie from Flickr.