Can social media drive large volumes of traffic to your website?
To be honest, there is no straight answer to the question we have posed here. The best answer really is, “it depends”. From the various organic social media marketing campaigns we have done for clients, we’ve come to the conclusion that direct traffic from organic Social Media Optimisation (SMO)/ Social Media Markting(SMM) efforts typically is often a small fraction of what gets from organic search engine traffic ie. SEO. This fact is also validated by some studies conducted in the US recently on the contribution of traffic from social media to target websites.
Traffic to the destination websites from social media and networking channels like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn depends on several factors: the type of audience one is trying to draw into the destination website; the expectation from that target audience; and most importantly, whether there is a compelling reason or not for that audience to click through to the destination website. Very often, users tend to ‘engage’ within the social media platform, in the form of a “Like” , and that’ it- they are influenced by the title/ one line summary to take action without really going through the entire content of the post which rests on the destination site.
Therefore, the question then is: why carry out organic social media marketing at all if the yield in terms of direct traffic to one’s website is not very high? The answer is two-fold: create/ increase overall visibility for the website which will translate into traffic at a later stage and secondly, because it being acknowledged that “social signals” – ie. activity and visibility in social media- are increasingly used as a ranking factor in search engine results. Therefore, ultimately social media marketing may be necessary not only to generate traffic from social media, but very much as an integral part of one’s SEO strategy.