How to Use Social Media to Drive Website Traffic

When you think of growing traffic to your website, you might think of paid search or display advertising, on-site SEO or backlinks - but there’s a key channel that most often forget ties to traffic. In addition to being a fantastic way to foster community and discovery, when used effectively, social media can be a powerful vehicle to drive traffic to your website.

Here’s how to use social media to drive website traffic, and tips to get you started.

Select the Appropriate Channels

Before you dive straight into a robust social media strategy, take the time to consider where it makes the most sense for your brand or business to exist. Think about your target audience in order to understand where it would be most appropriate for you to create your social media accounts. If your customers consist of an older audience that’s newer to social media, they’ll likely be more naturally receptive to a platform like Facebook over a platform like TikTok. 

The key is to be where you audience already is, rather than expect your audience to come to you. Businesses that are newer to social media marketing may opt for all platforms citing the need to be everywhere - but in the end, this is more than likely a waste of time.

How to Start: Explore your target audience. Consider fields like their age, where they live, the types of social media platforms they prefer to use, the time of day they’re online, etc. to begin to create a profile of your ideal customer. Then, ensure you’re on the platforms that fit their usage habits.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Building a healthy social media community can help you to have a more receptive audience when the time comes for you to share traffic-driving posts. The more people you can bring to your social media profiles, the larger a pool you’ll have of people who could potentially click through to your site from your posts.

How to Start: Dedicate a set amount of time each week to engaging with your customers, as well as reaching out to potential customers, through social media. If you can’t set the time yourself, consider hiring a social marketing expert to manage your community management for you.

Use Social Platforms to Showcase Your Blog

If you’re already creating posts for your website’s blog, then you already have access to a ton of fantastic, shareable content! Use your social media platforms to help your followers learn about this amazing resource you have available to your customers and site visitors. When posting the link to your blog post/s on social media, be sure to optimize for each channel. For example, on Facebook, you have a bit more freedom to edit preview text than you do on Twitter, and on Instagram, you may need to format your images differently in order to link in your stories.

Most platforms will allow you to link directly to your site within a post, but Instagram can be tricky. If you don’t have access to the “swipe up” function on Instagram, which allows you to share a link to an outside website in your Stories, you can always change your bio link in your profile to direct people to either your blog or your site’s homepage.

Don’t be afraid to share the same link multiple times! You can always modify the images and teaser copy from what you originally shared, so that the content feels fresh every time you post.

How to Start: Start to think about how you can work your blog posts into your social media content strategy in a natural and engaging way, then plan which types of posts would fit into your calendar best. Create posts on social media that link back to your website, and use a tool like Google Analytics to track whatever traffic comes in.

Feature Links to Product Pages on Your Social Media Accounts

Your followers are made up of people who already know you, and people who want to get to know you. Think of your social media pages as an extension of your website - it’s a place where you can showcase information about your offerings - that allows your customers to interact with you directly. Consider using social media to share the links to the different offerings your business provides; include just enough to pique their interest, but leave enough out that you entice a click to learn more.

How to Start: Make a list of your top three products or services that your business offers, then create three unique posts (for each of your social channels) that would make a potential customer want to learn more about it. Find ways to naturally work them into your content calendar, and post away!

Include a Clear Call to Action

As exciting and enticing as your post may be, your customers might not know what to do with it - unless you tell them! Work phrases such as “learn more below,” or “find out more, here,” or “click to learn more,” to guide your current and potential customers to the answers they are looking for. Once they click, they’ll know they’re in the right place!

How to Start: Include clear messaging that calls out user expectations whenever you are creating a post that’s meant to drive traffic. Test different words and phrases to get a feel for your audience’s favorites.

Use Influencers to Get the Word Out

Social traffic doesn’t only have to come from your own profiles! Enlist the help of influencers, or people who are popular in their field and/or the internet, to help build brand awareness and drive more people to your site. By working with an influencer who has a large, relevant audience, you could get in front of more people at once than you might be able to do through just your page.

How to Start: Create a list of influencers who would appeal to your target audience, and reach out to them to see if they’d be interested in linking to your site from their profiles.

Use Paid Advertising to Capture New Visitors

While posting organically to social media is a great way to inspire your current audience to click into your website, it can be limiting unless your posts were to go “viral.” Changes in algorithms, and even in finicky audiences may limit the size of the audience you reach with your posts. Using paid social media advertising can help you to get in front of a fresh, relevant audience that may be interested in clicking to your site - or even to ensure that you’re maximizing the number of followers who see your posts.

How to Start: Look into Facebook’s advertising platform to brainstorm how you can utilize its tools to get your posts in front of more people. You might also consider partnering with a team of social media advertising professionals to bring industry knowledge to your efforts.

Test, and Evolve

As with anything, it takes practice and learning to make the most of your traffic-driving social media efforts. Take the time to pit different pictures against each other, or to test a new headline against an old one. By making an effort to learn what works, you’ll make it much easier to keep growing the traffic you get from social.

Need some support with using social media to drive website traffic? The team at Doukas Media has experience in creating social media strategies that drive tangible business results.

Rachael Doukas