Social media has been a buzzword for a long time. But what impact does it really have? SocialBakers conducted a study that showed that social media is the key to driving site visits. The study highlights that the more the brands interact on social, they get more website visits.
When a brand’s interactions were high, visits to their websites increased, likewise, when interactions diminished so did visits to their websites. Thus if a brand garners a high amount of interactions from their social media activity, there is a high probability that it will increase traffic to their websites.
There is a natural connection between reach and visits. In 2014, SocialBakers analysed 300,000 Facebook posts by more than 2,700 businesses and concluded that reach naturally correlates with interactions in that the more reach a brand has, the higher their interactions are likely to be. The more engaging their post is, the more reach it will get naturally.
Talking about the survey results, Sven Huberts, Regional Managing Director, Isobar Asia-Pacific said, “Social media platforms provide brands with excellent opportunities to reach their target audiences, both in terms of quantity (high usage) and quality (advanced targeting). The success of driving traffic to a website depends on the nature of the content being shared and the objective.”
Preetham Venkky, Business Head of KRDS Asia and Head of Digital Strategy at KRDS feels that the ‘homepage’ of the internet has continued to evolve over the years. He said, “It was Yahoo in the 90s, Google post 2000 and with the evolution of mobile apps, Facebook/Twitter have come to be the homepage of the internet since 2010. Content has moved from being listed, to being searched for to being shared and discovered. It is little wonder that social media continues to be a key driver to site visits. As more users spend more time on social media sites and apps, it’s important for brands to create actionable content that is propagated by users.”
Social still offers a vibrancy that is difficult for a more static website, feels Greg Paull, Principal, R3. He said, “We work closely with Samsung, and they have invested heavily in social and seen corresponding increases in their web traffic. For the future, marketers need to realise consumers are agnostic about digital channels in the same way they are agnostic about offline channels – to succeed, you need a well balanced approach with the right analytics to drive results.”
While Huberts agrees that there is a strong correlation between the number of interactions from the brands’ Facebook page posts and the number of site visits, he believes that the study doesn’t show the full potential of Facebook’s contribution to site traffic. He says that’s because traffic that comes from a brand’s Facebook page to its owned sites is often only a fraction of the total traffic.
Creating engaging content is important for brands. Yukihiko Imamura, Kenshoo Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Japan region said, “The connection between compelling brand content on social platforms and driving higher traffic to a company’s website is strong. The challenge for brands is to ensure their branded content is consistently of high value and interest to its target audiences. Our view is that social content will explode this year as brands seek to build loyal audiences and drive better connections with new and existing customers. One method of driving brand awareness and engagement is to run targeted social advertising campaigns based on signals from search that express what topics consumers are most interested in.”
Talking about driving traffic to the website, Huberts explains, “The key point is what other people share, generally leads to more traffic than what brands share themselves. So besides generating reach it’s essential that brands create ‘conversation worthy’ and shareable campaigns/content. The 2014 Lyric Coke campaign we did recently in China, generated over three billion impressions for the brand and these were overwhelmingly as a result of social sharing of the campaign by people, rather than directly as a result of content that Coke shared as a brand.”
SocialBakers highlights that for brand marketers, these correlations are interesting particularly for the message that they deliver because by communicating directly in social media they can have an increase of reach and brand awareness, and on top of that having a social customer care approach can improve both the brand image, and increase sales, and conversions.