With Social Media, the Proof Is in the Payoff

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Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about the business benefits of social media—but, if you’re like most business owners, you’ve probably found yourself wondering just how beneficial social media can be. How exactly does it work? Does Pinterest activity actually increase website traffic? Will posting on Facebook bring in new customers? What can Twitter do for your business?

To help answer those questions, here’s a look at what other brands have done with social media, as well as tips for following their examples.

Examples of How Social Media Works

Companies use social media in many different ways—and how you should put it to work for your brand depends on your industry and goals. But because others’ inspirations may empower you to discover your next step, take a look at what other companies have done:

Carolina Moore, Crafter Minds

What Carolina Did: Spent one month being more active on social media, completing a specific set of actions each day. Here is what she did each day:

  • Facebook: Post 1-2 updates.
  • Pinterest: Pin at least 10 projects; repin 10; pin 2 pieces of archived content.
  • Twitter: RT, comment on or reply to 5 Tweets.
  • Stumble Upon: Stumble 10 posts from other people daily.
  • Google+: Spend 10 minutes going through the stream and give a +1 to quality content.

For How Long: 30 days.

What Resulted: Her website saw a significant jump in traffic.

Brian Gardner, BrianGardner.com

What Brian Did: Utilized a four-prong traffic-building initiative, from content marketing to increased content to email marketing—including a social media marketing plan. In his social media campaign, here is what he did:

  • Installed a social sharing plugin
  • Added a Twitter Follow button to posts and sidebar

For How Long: 6 months.

What Resulted: His blog traffic increased 267%.

Rick Smith, Noah’s Dad

What Rick Did: Engaged in various consistent practices to build his community and traffic, including regular social media activity.

For How Long: 15 months, since beginning his blog.

What Resulted: Noteworthy express, including features on Time.com, ABC News, The Huffington Post, FOX News, and more.

How to Put Social Media to Work for Your Brand

Although the examples above utilized different sets of strategies and actions, they still followed a few general, overarching guidelines. By applying these guidelines to your social media activity, you set yourself up for success. Consider the following:

  1. Consistency: However you choose to engage on social media, you get the best results from repeating your behavior over and over again. Posting new pins to Pinterest is good; posting new pins every day for an entire month is better. The key is consistency—pick a posting pattern and stick to it for a set length of time.
  2. Prioritization: When you can’t engage on every network, engage on the ones most likely to benefit you. Look at where your fans are spending the most time and invest your energies there.
  3. Strategy: In every example cited in this post, the blogger or website owner determined to do specific tasks aimed at improving traffic. They either participated on multiple networks or incorporated social media into a larger, broader marketing campaign. The lesson, then, is to strategize regarding your social media activity.

Looking at your website and your target audience, take time to outline specific strategies (Facebook updates every day? Regular pins?) to employ for an allotted period of time. Then, follow through. As other bloggers have shown, the results are worth it.

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