The most common question we get from our customers is how to increase social traffic for a website. For any project the solution is not only a robust SMM activity but a deeper analytics as well. This usually cannot be done using the popular analytics systems.
We have identified the key points that are crucial when working with social media. Project scope may differ, but the approaches mentioned in this article are well suited both for media market leaders and startups.
When it comes to social media traffic and group promotion in social media the key indicator is virality of posted content.
Virality is the ratio of all social media actions to the pageviews for the article.
It is worth noting that virality begins to grow even before you add an article to the public page. If a user likes, comments or shares the article, he can do it immediately after reading it on the website by using social media widgets located at the top and bottom of the page. However, after adding this widget to a website, its effectiveness is usually not measured.
To evaluate social media group and website widget efficiency, T service separates all traffic from Facebook into the traffic that comes from the group, and the traffic that is generated by sharing from the website. The traffic generated by the website is always higher.
In addition to the updated Facebook news feed algorithm, the following factors can be the reason for a low number of visits from the group:
- Content is added with a delay after the news event has occurred.
Readers’ interest peak has passed as they’ve learned about the subject from other sources.
- Group has a large number of bots or deleted users.
This can be identified by coverage using the «Reach» metric.
- Posted content has narrow thematic.
Not everyone is interested in reading news articles requiring special knowledge and experience for understanding.
- Inproper time of publication.
Choice of time for publication is the most important factor in case when the article is not tied to a particular news event. During the day there may be several time frames, during which the users are willing to follow links to the reading content — such as the beginning of the day, lunch and ride home via subway. The rest of time readers automatically scroll their news feeds, especially when using mobile devices, not to miss the most important things.
- Irrelevant news title and/or image are used.
Either it’s not an attention grabber, i.e. news subject is fully revealed in the post, or the information given is not enough to make users visit the website.
- Posting news articles with low virality lowers the overall public page coverage.
We recommend cleaning the public page from the articles that were not accepted by the audience. This has a positive impact on the audience coverage, and subscribers will have more fun scrolling the page when visiting.
There are 2 types of viral materials:
- Sharable — the publication receives a large number of social media actions (likes, shares, comments), but has a low number of visits to the website.
These are articles, which have a positive mood, or articles of high social relevance. (For example publications about cats, children or controversial government initiatives).
- Clickable — the publication provides a lot of visits but receives a low number of Facebook actions.
Most often clicked content contains emotions of sadness and fear. (This includes news about criminal or something that interferes with personal safety of people).
Both types of virality are useful for the project promotion and growth but bring different results:
- Shareable articles have positive effect on Reach, i.e. audience coverage (percentage of subscribers that will see your future publications in their news feeds). In this case, the post is shared outside the group, attracting new readers and even subscribers.
- Clickable articles provide visits to the website by the existing users, who are already subscribed to the group. This factor also has a positive effect on Reach by increasing user engagement. (Post clicks)
The most successful materials can result in a snowball effect. In such situation after reading a news article the users share it in social media with their friends, who in their turn do the same — read and share.
Snowball effect is a perfect situation allowing you to get a lot of traffic and Facebook actions from a single article.
Snowball effect can last up to 3 days. During this time the publication gains 80% of its traffic.
It happens rarely that an old article suddenly becomes viral and a new “snowball” is triggered. In order not to miss the moment and get the maximum amount of traffic, T system has a dedicated virality alert. In such cases, you can at least re-post the publication in the group.
When quality indicators of the publication exceed virality threshold, the system offers to post this content in the group.
To sum it up
To manage social media content efficiently, you’ll need to constantly compare your website analytics data (social media traffic sources, numbers of likes and shares for each particular news article page) with the data provided by social media (actions and the number of clicks on the articles). Also, you’ll want to consolidate this data in a single representation, to separate the group generated traffic from the traffic generated by your website. This should be done on a daily basis and separately for every social network (if applicable). As well, you can use our T service — it does everything automatically.