When the world was going gaga over the instant connectivity and real-time interaction facilitated by social media, marketers were busy figuring out ways to use this huge concentration of human beings to take their business forward. For the first time in the history they found mega hubs where people willing to listen and with lowered perceptual barrier were available for them to tap into.
They saw, and rightly so, social media as probably the biggest traffic drivers to their website, but the question was - how could a non-guru use this source to generate traffic. In this article, my goal is to answer this question and to show how one can generate website traffic using social media. And instead of talking about specific tools, I will focus on the general principle relating to the AIDA model of marketing communication.
Map social media channels to AIDA
Before we begin, let’s understand that though I am using term social media generically, I have no intention of implying that all social media channels are alike. In fact, I propose that the exact opposite is true. Therefore,the best thing to do would be to map each social channel as per the AIDA model, where AIDA stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
For example, Twitter, Plurk, identi.ca, and other microblogging sites are classic example of social media websites used upfront at the “Attention” stage. Similarly, websites like Pinterest, Flickr, and YouTube can be used at the “Desire” stage to give visual cues to the products and services you are offering, and social sites like Facebook and G+ (updates and not ads) can be used at the “Interest” level and at “Action” Level.
Depending on the nature of product, LinkedIn can also be used to curate the interest until an action is taken.
Do not use all the tools
Just because social media websites allow you to make profile and pages for free, regardless of your business interest, you should not go on painting all the social media websites with your social profiles. This would be spreading your resources too thin to bear any result. Instead, you should choose a handful of social media websites (maximum 5 or so), and your decision should not be based on how “in vogue” a certain tool is, but on how effective it will be for your industry. Here is a wiki link to the list of social media websites, which you may want to look at before selecting social media tools for your business.
Complete the profile
Many business owners as well as seasoned marketers commit the mistake of not completing their social media profiles to the last info box, which is a serious mistake. I agree that you need to portray yourself as close to real human in social media as you can, but unlike real human, you should provide information in all the sections of the profile because this is the first thing your audience will notice and you will not like them to stare at a blank or incomplete profile of yours. This can be a serious put-off.
You have to build a strong foundation, which is as critical for traffic generation as the next piece of advice on mapping content to the audience type.
Map content to the audience type
Begin with creating a profile of your model audience. Fill out the details: write how educated he is, what is his financial standing, where he lives, what he likes, what he dislikes, and what are his passions, etc. This detailed profiling will tell you whom you are targeting and what kind of content they will want from you.
The next step is to curate and create content for this audience. Create awesome pieces of content for this audience, and also scour the web for content that may interest your audience, as it is not possible for you to create content covering all aspects of your industry, and even if it is possible, why reinvent the wheel when there are already some fine wheels available? The decision regarding content curation or creation should be taken based on the industry you are in.