There are only two ways of getting Web traffic – either you let your visitors find you which is rather a passive method, or you actively search for places where your targeted visitors may hang around and personally engage them into communication. While the first type is illustrative of SEO and the traditional paid advertising approach, the second is more the Web 2.0 style, and may include blogging, blog commenting, participation in forum discussions, posting and voting for articles, social bookmarking, and so on.
Imagine what effect your efforts in social media marketing could bring. For example, communicating your company news to your existing and prospect customers for your brand exposure and following their feedback is one task, while receiving quality backlinks and traffic to your site are the second and the third tasks.
Next, if you look for inexpensive traffic from social media as your primary goal [its quality can hardly be compared to search engines' paid and organic search traffic], you should understand that your message should have a great viral potential and your landing page should justify visitors’ attention. Otherwise, in spite of a possible visitor deluge, you will be back to square one.
There are different and often quite opposite opinions on the value of traffic from social media. There are Web experts who consider it to be garbage, but far more people tell about the importance of social media for creating brand awareness, getting customer feedback and attracting traffic. So the logical conclusion is not all products and services can be efficiently promoted on social media sites.
Let’s see what effects you can expect from the leading social media entities.
According to Compete‘s most recent data (February 2010, also mentioned further), Facebook is the largest social media site with over 127 million unique monthly visitors. Both corporations and one-man-bands can use Facebook for creating their company and product brand awareness quite effectively, but you cannot expect much traffic and link popularity increase in connection with your Facebook activity.
YouTube comes second having more than 90 million unique visitors. YouTube is a good playground for your branding efforts, whether you are a small business company or corporation. A well-crafted creative video will become a valuable brick in your link popularity building. But since video files are hosted by YouTube itself, you can attract solid targeted traffic to your site only if your video includes a smart call to action requiring a visit to your site.
Twitter enjoys 20+ million unique visitors. Being a blog in nature, it is best for communicating company news if you are a large corporation, and for establishing your brand reputation if you are a small business, especially if you do consulting work. Don’t expect much traffic from Twitter as a reply to your marketing attempts, and shortened URLs in tweets are useless as SEO links.
Digg‘s potential with more than 37 million unique visitors is a great place to release provocative information, but not for general marketing efforts. This is why so many marketing gurus have abandoned this battlefield. But if you can provide information in the format appreciated by Digg enthusiasts, you can receive rich traffic from this resource and a valuable link.
27 million unique users of Flickr have made it a great social medium but only if you have some photo and image materials to promote your brand among Flickr visitors. So if you are a web design company or your business can be represented by artwork, you may find Flickr a decent place to have a presence in.
The LinkedIn business network (14+ million unique users) is good for both individual experts and larger companies to establish and support their brands. Personal and company profiles appear high in search results for a name request and your company news can be released for members of the various “groups”.
The audience of StumbleUpon (4+ million unique users to their website) is not limited to just those who have visited their website. Most ‘stumblers” activity is performed when a visitor to an interesting webpage clicks “I Like It” via the StumbleUpon toolbar in their browser. StumbleUpon is a very good traffic referrer if you publish and bookmark helpful, interesting content. Be sure to submit your own material by clicking on your own toolbar.
When considering if your business will benefit from your promotional activities in social media, you should focus on how the nature of a channel itself (news/article/video/image sharing, personal or business social network) fits your business, and what effects (brand recognition, good SEO links, targeted or just rich traffic) you can expect from your efforts.
~ Bonn Appetite and share it around