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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media traffic comes in all forms, so it's no surprise that not all social traffic is equal. In August, Eloqua Inc. released a report detailing where referral traffic was coming from for b2b versus b-to-c companies as reported by companies using Eloqua's marketing automation software.
The b-to-c data was no surprise: Consumer companies get 95% of their referral traffic from just five social media platforms, with Facebook alone accounting for 75% of the traffic. The b2b picture, however, was very different.
B2b marketers received only 36% of their referral traffic from Facebook, with StumbleUpon (18%), Twitter (11%) and a host of other platforms such as including Reddit and LinkedIn also rated. Overall, b2b marketers are facing a much more diverse and complex social media universe than their b-to-c counterparts.
With such diversity in social media referrals, how do you know you're in the right place and getting quality traffic rather than generating low-value traffic from drive-by browsers?
“The first question you need to ask is if your audience is on any particular venue and are they talking about your issues,” said Chris Boudreaux, author of “The Most Powerful Brand on Earth: How to Transform Teams, Empower Employees, Integrate Partners and Mobilize Customers to Beat the Competition in Digital and Social Media” (Prentice Hall, 2013). “You have to understand where customers are in the social world. For example, people are not talking about desktop virtualization on Facebook, but they might be on Twitter or LinkedIn.”
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get this information, said Michael Black, a partner at Social Gorilla Media.
“When we start with a new client, we don't want to put them in a place where no else is,” he said. “We go out and do searches on Twitter and see what commentary is there. We do Google searches on blogs and LinkedIn. We'll act like a voyeur.”
There are a few signs that your company is in the wrong place or getting low-quality traffic from social sources. The most obvious, said Boudreaux, is low engagement with your social media or a high bounce rate from social referrals.
“If people are coming to your site and immediately bouncing, it could be the wrong audience or the content you're publishing isn't relevant,” he said.
You might also be in the wrong place if your fan base isn't growing, Boudreaux said. A well-matched and properly maintained social media channel will naturally attract fans and grow. If yours isn't growing, despite your best content, you're probably in the wrong place.
Finally, you've got an issue if your social media traffic isn't leading to conversions. Ultimately, social media traffic has to be accountable to company objectives, just like any other marketing channel. If your social media traffic is supposed to generate leads, trigger downloads or settle customer service issues, it better be doing just that.
“Social media should be held to the same level of accountability as other channels, no more and no less,” Boudreaux said. “You can't say it can't be accountable just because it's social.”
The Conversation: How are you gauging the true business value of your social campaigns?