Social media is very big for businesses right now: Research shows that social media advertising budgets worldwide have doubled in the past two years alone—from about $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016—and that they are further expected to increase by 26.3 percent in 2017, exceeding $35 billion.
That said, a lot has been written about social media strategy for businesses. However, very little has been written about website fundamentals that actually turn your social media efforts into revenue and profit.
If you ignore the following website fundamentals, you could very well see your social media efforts go down the drain:
Effectively optimizing your website for speed
Website speed and social media success are two things very few people will connect, but having a slow website can significantly undermine your social media efforts. Besides the fact that research has established that we now have a much shorter attention span (eight seconds today, compared with 12 seconds in 2000), attention span on social media is generally much lower. This explains why a single second delay in site load time could result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions.
While there are website tweaks and hacks that you can use to boost conversions from your social media efforts, ensuring that your website is fast enough is perhaps the most important of them. Otherwise, most social media users will have left before even having a chance to take a look at what you have to offer.
Setting up effective analytics and conversion tracking
Experienced advertisers have for a very long time been harping on the importance of focusing on tested advertising methods. When it comes to social media, many people fail to understand what really matters.
The discussion is usually centered around how cheap social media advertising is. In fact, in a recent survey of business-to-business marketers, more than one-half of respondents rated social media ads as somewhat low cost or very low cost.
However, true advertisers know that there is something much more important than cost of advertising: return on investment. And the only way to truly measure ROI is to have a website properly set up for tracking and analytics.
Most website platforms like Wix, WordPress, etc. make it easy to directly track your social media ad efforts by integrating your site and ad account—either directly or through an external plugin. A lot of social media advertisers fail to use these features, though.
Getting lost in the ‘automation’ hype instead of having a ‘human’ element to your website
In the marketing world, social media is almost synonymous with automation. However, getting lost in the automation hype can be very dangerous and costly for your brand.
According to QuickSprout founder Neil Patel, “If you want to get the most out of social media marketing, then you can’t simply push out content. You’ve got to show your human side, because social media users crave authenticity.”
Patel is indeed very right, and the research backs him up: 91 percent of customers want brands they follow on social media to be authentic.
So, go back to the basics and integrate more human elements on your website: Yes, stuff like funnels does matter, and it is important to implement psychological triggers. However, nothing will give your social media efforts a boost like introducing a feeling of authenticity that makes people feel like real humans run and use your website.
Not sweating the ‘small stuff’
When it comes to social media, very little things do add up. According to Gabriela Torres of Bariatric Surgery 4 Health, “While you’ve been repeatedly told not to sweat the small stuff, the basic little things do add up on social media. Little things like having good metadata can mean the difference between having your content appear like just another spam link versus a well-optimized social media update with images and content description pulled right from the page … the difference between having your content getting massively shared or ignored as spam.”
So, while it’s easy to get obsessed with seemingly more important stuff, the apparently little ones like markup and metadata could mean the difference between people seeing your website and ignoring it or pausing, clicking over to read your content and sharing.
To say that effectively using metadata and markup will boost social media clicks to your website is an understatement. Obviously, it goes without saying that more social media clicks would yield more ROI for you.