By now you’ve probably developed a strategy for incorporating social media into your marketing efforts. If you’ve been proactive, this means including social media links in and on collateral such as your company website, email marketing messages, press releases, white papers, business cards or other promotional materials.
Including these links helps grow your networks and reach, but many marketers fail to consider the destination each link points to, and specifically what a new user expects to find (vs. what they actually find) when they get there. Could you unintentionally be chasing your would-be fans and followers off, never to return again?
Here are four ways to lower your social media bounce rate:
1) Pick your Platform
Being “social” online doesn’t mean you must be on every social network known to man; there are far too many. Don’t waste time moderating networks that don’t matter.
But do actively moderate the ones you care about. Have you ever clicked on a Facebook link from a company’s website, only to be directed to a fan page that hasn’t been updated in years? Or a Twitter account with a single Tweet that reads “Hey we’re on Tweeter now”?
Plan to be active on a social media network– or just don’t be on it at all! Your goal is to look engaged, responsive and professional. Remember that your social media execution is representing how your business executes. Decide how many networks you can manage, determine which are best for your business, and execute well. Aside from broadly popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, there are numerous niche social networking sites out there. Each of these platforms has its own advantages and limitations.
The trick is to find the platform(s) that work best for your business’s marketing goals. Concentrate on the places your target online audience socializes. Spreading your resources too thinly across multiple channels will most likely lead to poor upkeep, which in return will increase your social media bounce rate.
2) Maintain Consistent Branding
Your online brand identity is very important; it helps guide how people feel about and perceive your company. Luckily for you, social networking sites have recognized how important branding is for your business and have dedicated sections of their sites to visually showcase your colors, logo, and other aspects that comprise your brand.
Facebook provides a Timeline cover image and profile picture section, and Twitter and LinkedIn recently introduced header images as well – make use of these!
The whole point here is to be consistent. If you’ve paid big bucks for a magnificent website – with links to social profiles that don’t display the same attention to detail – this is a clear signal that something is wrong, and trust me, it’s noticeable.
Going back to our first example, imagine navigating from a company’s distinctive website to a Facebook page that has no logo, no cover image, and no obvious way to tell if it’s even associated with the company. How can you expect someone to become your fan if they sense you don’t even care enough about your page to upload a cover image? That’s like having a crooked sign (that you never fix) outside of your store, or a neon OPEN sign with half the letters burnt out.
Finally, engagement is a must-have ingredient for lowering your social media bounce rate. Nothing says “I don’t really care about my fans or followers” more than not responding or updating your page.
I’ve had marketers tell me numerous times “My Facebook page doesn’t bring me any ROI”…and when I take a look, I find numerous months-old unanswered questions from their fans all over the page.
Again, don’t deploy on social media if you don’t plan on being “social.” If that means hiring a dedicated community manager, then do it. Remember to research where your target market is spending the majority of their time online, and find the networks where conversations about your industry are taking place. Focus your efforts where they’re most likely to pay off.
4) Keep it Clean
Spam… Spam! Spam! Spam! Guess where? On the Facebook page you haven’t logged in to since creating it!
Facebook pages that aren’t moderated have a knack for attracting unwanted spam – especially those with higher fan numbers. Picture your would-be fan discovering your page intent on “Liking” it, only to find your “Recent Posts by Others” box filled to the brim with unscreened Viagra discounts…or worse. See you later! You might as well unpublish your page altogether. Of course, you can always remove your “Recent Posts by Others” box on Facebook if you don’t plan on moderating it.
If you’ve taken the initial steps to adopt social media into your marketing strategy pat yourself on the back; you’ve come a long way. Hopefully these tips will help you optimize your strategy and maximize your benefits.
Have you adopted other techniques that lower your social media bounce rate?
Art courtesy The G-Force/deviantart.com under a Creative Commons license.