How to get Targeted traffic from social networks?

Social networks are filled with potential customers just as search engines. The difference is, in the search engines can’t directly see your audience, while on social media you can. It’s like radio and telephone.

On social media, you can hand-pick the users who are likely to be your customers. As a marketer, you can select a few hundreds of people who either have already bought your products or those of your competitors or have discussed this kind of products or shown any interest for them or let others know they have the need your product can satisfy, and put all this bunch of profiles into the Facebook algorithm that searches “lookalike audience”. It will get you thousands of new users who are similar to those who show interest for your products.

But this is just to illustrate the availability of the target audience on social media. It’s more about targeted ads.
Now, how do you get targeted traffic for your website from the social media in a passive way, without hand-picking users?
One way is targeted ads with the preference “promote website”. It is good but costly.
The other way, free and efficient, is described below.

The step-by step guide

  1. Segmentation. Figure out 1 to 5 very specific target groups. You don’t have to follow rigid criteria like age and income level. If you know they are determining go for it, but in a number of cases people are not segmented by age. For example, in case of an air pollution emergency everyone needs a respiration mask. The criteria for segmentation will be “tendency to fear catastrophes”, not age. It is much more important to specify the exact need you have a solution for, as well as time & circumstances where people realize this need.
  2. Segmented offer. This will determine the landing page you are going to land your targeted visitors from the given segment to. It can be a product page of your catalog too. It is especially good if the page will contain keywords, design elements, texts that help your selected target group to identify with this offer.
    The offer can be a promo or a regular product, you should use both and targeted traffic will always apply.
    Note, different target groups can be offered the same product, but in different ways.
  3. Message. Put together a targeted message that triggers the needs of the given segment and promises the desired solution.
    The core message can be one phrase, for example “get product X and have your forehead wrinkles smoothed in 14 days”. From this core, you can produce all kinds of end messages: articles, videos, audios, creatives, etc. When you have the end message, move on to publishing.
  4. Channel selection. It depends on what you know about the given segment: where this people hang out, what they read, what triggers them, when they are more open to messages of the given lind, etc.
  5. Publishing. Deliver the message to your target audience through the channel where it will be noticed. It can be an influencer, your public business page, someone’s blog or referral website, youtube, - the channel selection is up to you - but the specific link that goes with the message should be leading to the offer.
    Note, for long-term and broad campaigns you will probably want to publish many different messages in many different channels leading to your offer. The link can be the same but you must be dying to know which messages and which channels bring you more targeted traffic. That is why each message in each channel should contain its specific set of UTM tags that will allow your Google Analytics to group the data by the channel and by the message. We will discuss the usage of UTM tags separately.
  6. Promotion. You can skip this step, but if you want to get more relevant users to see your message, you will use various promotion tactics: ads, viral campaigns, repost challenges, etc.
  7. Feedback and improvement. This step is most abused: some skip it altogether, some do it poorly. At the very minimum, you should monitor the number of users each message in each channel (let us call it publication) brought to you and their further conversion.
    1. Publications with relatively large traffic and high conversion rate are champions. They have brought to you the best targeted traffic that really liked your offer. You should invest more in promotion of this kind of publications and create their variations. You should also try to figure out what made this publication so successful, maybe even ask your customers directly what attracted them and why they decided to buy.
    2. Publications with the worst traffic and conversion results should be dismissed. They didn’t trigger your target audience, and those who were triggered, found your offer uninteresting. If you invested a lot to create them, try to figure out the reasons. If they were variations of champion publications, now you know that this kind of variation is counterproductive. If they were not too expensive to create and not similar to other messages, just simply them.
    3. If either the traffic or the conversion rate from a publication is low, this probably means that there was a logical mistake. Revise the entire logical chain from the definition of the target group to the publication. Can it be because of a wrong channel? Or is the message poorly connected with your offer? Or is the offer not really answering the target group’s need? Find the mistake and try again.

Specific tools and ideas

Now let us consider a bunch of specific tools you can use to increase targeted traffic from social networks.

  • Publish useful content. Users value you most if you feed them with useful information, educate them and give them hints that help them save or earn.
  • Use inspirational creatives. Users’ impression from your creatives will extend to their attitude to your products. Here is a number of decisive qualities of a goodd creative:
    • Quality layout;
    • Vibrant colors;
    • Visual style diverging from the general style of the channel;
    • Visual style that looks exactly like the style of the channel but delivers its own meaningl;
    • Unique quality images (you can unicalize borrowed images using specialized services);
    • Visuals that tell stories like cartoons or single dramatic pictures;
    • Visuals featuring your products and services in a peculiar setting, e.g. washing football field with your X shampoo;
    • Consistent and to the point creatives.
  • Publish promo codes. It is good to limit any special offers with time or number of customers or sum of purchase to motivate the users. Take care of technical perfection. Users will be furious if the coupon doesn’t work the way you promised or for the products you didn’t announce it does not work for.
    You should not publish promo too often, make sure your useful to commercial content ratio is at least 3/1.
  • Make your message easy to share. Users who like your creative may want to share it even if it is a commercial offer, they don’t care if the idea is inspiring. And it would be extremely upsetting if your message is hard to share just because it is missing the “share” buttons if the channel is not mobile-friendly.
  • Install Social Media Plugins and insert Buttons, the most basic being the “share” buttons. Besides that, it’s very beneficial to use widgets from comments and customer feedback, as they raise credibility and social engagement of your website. Thirdly, consider using the “login with Facebook” function. It is more beneficial than having your visitors to create their local accounts with an email address as logging in with Facebook is quicker for them and provides more precious data to you. You can later build your retargeting audiences based on your users’ behavior if they login with Facebook.

To sum it up, we have elaborated on the basic algorithm for targeted traffic generation with social media, that always starts with segmentation, and a bunch of specific tools and ideas you can use to improve your online marketing performance.