This week we have come across three separate organisations that use online advertising to push traffic through to their social media sites or from other social media site to another. We found this interesting and slighting confusing at the same time!
If we assume that the goal is to service your customer, then social media is a tool that can be used to acquire or retain customers; in order to achieve this it is logical to think that you would want to push web traffic towards the point of sale. So why would a company push traffic away from them own website towards their social media sites? As the video shows, there a school of thought that this is the wrong strategy.[youtube_video id=3WXdxlMwUvk width=”445″ height=”280″]
It a very valid point that some social media sites have fallen by the way side; when things are booming (like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) it’s hard to imagine that anything could replace them. I wonder if people used to have the same thoughts about mySpace? In terms of where you direct traffic, we have pondered a few reasons why an organisation might want to divert traffic away from the main website and towards their social media sites:
The way you use social media creates a strong sense of community that is more likely to lead to the acquisition and retention of customers. For example, the community may be advocates of your product or service.
Perhaps the goal is not sales but rather to grow the interest in your brand by building and growing the community; this certainly seemed to be the case in one of the cases we say this week where brand awareness was the clear goal.
In some cases it seems apparent that there is a lack of coordination between marketing tactics. In the absence of a central marketing plan that includes a social media strategy, individual groups developed social media sites with their own agendas, each thinking it important to drive traffic to their site. The result seems to be an internal conflict where each site competes for traffic without there being a defined final destination for the visitors, they merely get bounced around from site to site.
We believe that whichever view you agree with, it is important to plan the journey of your visitors, identifying a destination for your target audience and identifying the different routes they could take. You may decide that all your social media pages should drive traffic to your main website. You may decide that your Twitter account will drive traffic to your blogspot and the to your website. Whatever you decide, it should be a clear plan with a clear objective. If you don’t know where your visitors should end up, how on earth are the supposed to know?