How To Use Social Media To Drive Web Traffic

Christy Walters


February 28, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

black social sharing buttons for twitter facebook and pinterest on a white screen to represent how to use social media to drive web traffic

Whether you love or hate social media, it’s an important marketing tool for reaching your audience where they spend time. But even with shopping options and other engagement features, social media isn’t where you do most of your online business. That happens on your website or through your eCommerce store. You need to get people to your website to really see the payoff. Today, we’re looking at how to use social media to drive web traffic and get more people to visit your company online from other channels:

Why Would You Want To Pull Website Traffic From Social Media?

Before you start any new marketing strategy, knowing why you’re doing it is important. If you don’t understand the “why,” the campaign wastes time. Converting your social media traffic to web traffic has plenty of benefits for your business, including:

Diversifying Your Traffic Sources

More traffic from varied sources can help you score big SEO points with Google. The more traffic you get from around the web, such as through organic search, links on other authoritative sites, direct marketing, and even social media tell search engines your site is helpful and it provides quality content.

It’s also smart to rely on more than one source for traffic. Take search engines for example. When Google changes an algorithm, it can shake up your positioning. If your links drop spots, you could lose traffic. But if you’re pulling traffic from multiple sources, you may not take as big of a hit as you would if you only pulled traffic from Google.

Expanding and Retaining Your Audience

Different social media features like ads, stories, and sharing allow your content to get in front of more users than just your followers. Many people use social media for brand discovery and to stay up to date with news and offerings from their favorite companies.

By appealing to these audience members in a place where they already spend time, you have a better chance of creating a relationship with them. You can also earn their trust. Doing that makes them more likely to explore your company further and travel off social media and onto your website where they might buy products or services.

Using (Relatively) Free Marketing

Most social media marketing is free. Unless you engage in paid marketing with social media ads you can set up a profile and share content without spending a cent. When you’re not shelling out thousands of dollars to put your content in front of an audience, every penny you make from their sales and conversions is profit. That means you can stretch your marketing budget further to reach more people without cutting into your funds.

16 Tips To Drive Web Traffic From Social Media

Here are a few ways to move your viewers and followers away from your social media profiles and onto your website for more conversions:

1. Focus on Basic Reach and Engagement Practices

No matter what marketing strategy you use to increase your web traffic, it won’t work if you’re ignoring the basics. If you’re not using reach and engagement best practices on social media, you’re never going to attract any visitors, much less convert them into web traffic. Strategies like doing keyword research, using sponsored posts, and using hashtags are just a few social media techniques that help with reach and engagement.

It’s also important to remember what these two metrics truly mean when you’re trying to convert social followers into web traffic. Reach is the number of people who view your content, or have it appear in their social feeds. Reach numbers help you understand your content spread and brand awareness from your target audience, and with the platform’s overall audience.

Engagement is a step further than reach. The audience doesn’t just see your content, but they interact with it. That could mean clicking a link, sharing a post, or leaving a like or comment. When you’re trying to convert social media views into web traffic, engagement is more important than reach. You’ll never get web traffic if people don’t click on your social content to move to your website. But reach metrics help you understand the potential you have to convert viewers to traffic if you find the right strategies.

2. Research Your Platforms

Find out which of your social media platforms already get you the most reach and engagement before you try to convert more leads to web traffic. According to most sources, Facebook is the best platform for social media referrals. Instagram and Pinterest drive the least traffic. But those statistics might not be true for every company or industry.

infographic of social traffic by niche to show how to use social media to refer web traffic.

Image via Content Stadium

According to the graphic above, Facebook outperforms other platforms in every industry, but this data might not reflect what you see in your metrics. It’s important to go over your own social media and website data and find out where you currently get the most social referrals. From there, you can choose which platforms to focus on. Then you can develop strategies that drive more traffic from your social profiles to your website.

3. Include Web Links in Your Social Profile

Most social media profiles have a “bio” section that allows you to share more about your brand, its mission, and its offerings. Here, you can also share a URL link to any website or content you choose. This makes it the perfect place to share a link to your most recent content marketing pieces, a landing page, or your website’s home page.

On some platforms, you can share more than one link in your bio. For example, on Instagram, programs like Linktree allow you to create a custom landing page for your bio and share multiple links. By adding specific links to your profiles, you give your audience more opportunities to leave your social profiles and move to your website.

4. Add Links To Your Social Posts

Many social media platforms also let you add posts right within your content. Rather than expecting your audience to head to your bio every time you want them to visit your website, you can put links in the content itself to make it easier for them to know where you want them to go. Here are some ways you can add links to your content on each platform:

  • Facebook: Put links in your post text, image captions, stories, and ads for multiple ways to get your audience to visit your website.
  • Instagram: Add link stickers to your stories to prompt your followers to click and visit content off the site.
  • LinkedIn: Add links to your posts, image captions, or articles you publish on the platform.
  • Snapchat: Put links in your stories to encourage off-app visits.
  • TikTok: Currently, the only way to add links to TikTok content is by paying for ad space on the service. But this allows you to add clickable links to your videos.
  • Twitter: Add links to your tweets or use carousel ad posts to share up to six swipe-worthy images or videos with clickable links to take viewers offsite to another location.
  • YouTube: Add links to your video descriptions and on cards that you can add throughout your videos to pop up when you want your audience members to complete an action.

5. Use Visuals

Text posts get lost on social media. When competing with stunning images, infographics, and video content, how could they not? Just sharing a link or a text call to action (CTA) inviting people to visit your website won’t be enough to catch their attention. Find ways to incorporate visuals into your posts and stories to catch people’s eyes. Aside from those visuals, you can also use memes, GIFs, and interactive media like polls to get people to stop the scroll.

Once you have them hooked with a visual, you have a better chance of them reading or watching your content. From there, you can incorporate CTAs and links that invite them to leave your social page and visit your website.

6. Change Up Your Messaging

Social media platforms have personalities of their own. These “personalities” take influence from the users and audience segments you’re most likely to find on them. LinkedIn is for professionals. TikTok is for Gen Z. Facebook draws older crowds. When you’re speaking to and interacting with different audience segments, you need to speak their language.

Professional, stuffy language will crash and burn on TikTok. And slang might not be a hit on Facebook. It’s important to tweak your content messaging by platform to make sure you’re appealing to the right audience segments on each one. Even when altering your messaging and approach, be sure to stay true to your brand voice and identity. If your company is often serious in its content, you don’t have to start telling jokes on TikTok to grab more web visitors. Authenticity is what helps draw your audience in. Consider the platform, but stay true to your brand.

Related: What Is a Message Framework and How Do You Create One?

7. Develop a Posting Strategy To Reach the Most Followers

Sometimes getting clicks and websites is less about what content you share, and more about when you share it. Posting too frequently or not enough can have an impact on how people interact with your content. The time of day you post may also affect browsing and clicking behaviors, especially in certain industries or with specific audience segments.

It’s important to understand the lifespan of a social media post on each platform. How long does it stay relevant or appear in a user’s feed? On platforms with shorter lifespan content, like Twitter, you can typically post more often in a 24-hour period. On platforms with longer lifespan content, it’s important to space out your posts so you’re not flooding user feeds with content.

Social media analytics tools can help you learn when you get the most traffic from your content on which platforms. This data helps you discover the best posting schedule so that you’re maximizing your reach and engagement. And this can lead to more link clicks and web traffic.

Related: What’s the Lifespan of Social Media Content?

8. Join and Share Content in Social Groups

Posts aren’t the only way to connect with your audience on social media. Joining relevant local, industry, or audience groups gives you more options for link and content sharing. Facebook and LinkedIn both have group features that allow your business to connect with brand-new and long-term audience members. Depending on the rules of the group, you can share content, answer questions, and sometimes even share ads and promotions.

Make sure you’re only joining relevant groups where your audience spends time. This increases the chances of them finding your content helpful and click-worthy. Then, be sure to follow the rules moderators set. Doing this allows you to stay in the group and stay active, increasing your chances for more engagement and web traffic.

9. Create Ethical Clickbait

As marketers, we know clickbait = bad. This deceptive content draws people to your website promising something too good to be true but it never delivers. Clickbait can definitely hurt your reputation with your audience, but it’s such a popular content tool because it works. If your goal is to pull more visitors to your site, clickbait is a surefire way to do it.

But you also don’t want to damage your reputation with your followers. So, develop ethical clickbait instead. Ethical clickbait uses similar tactics to generate the click, but it actually follows through on the claims you make and leaves your audience satisfied. Use the following strategies when developing your ethical clickbait for maximum results:

  • Find an angle: What makes your content interesting or unique? Find the angle that makes people want to click and view your content and promote it up front.
  • Keep some mystery: Appeal to your audience’s sense of curiosity and mystery. Tease your content without giving away the full premise or the ending.
  • Use emotion: Emotional messages make your audience more interested in your content. Whether you make them happy, angry, or pensive, bringing up an emotion may make them more likely to engage with your content.
  • Push FOMO: If you can push people to have a fear of missing out (FOMO) if they don’t engage with your content, you’ll get more clicks and conversions. Appeal to the idea that “everyone else” knows something or does something they don’t.
  • Add a call to action: Sometimes, one of the easiest ways to get people to click on content is to tell them to do it. Add a call-to-action sentence, button, or trigger to encourage people to take the next step.

10. Partner With Influencers

A big part of gaining more web traffic from social media is getting your content in front of a larger audience. Influencer marketing is a great way to do that. When you work with influencers, you get access to their entire network of followers without putting in any additional work. These people promote your products or services, share details with their audience, and yes, even link to your website for purchasing or more information. When influencers share your web links, they become accessible to more people on social media. This increases the chances for more clicks, shares, and web traffic.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Brand Influencer Marketing

11. Pay To Play

If you’re looking to attract more web traffic fast from social media, paid ads and sponsored posts could be your best bet. Paid marketing campaigns lead to an uptick in visibility and, ultimately, traffic. Most social platforms allow you to share text and visual ads with links to offsite content. You can use this to your advantage when promoting content like event signups, sales, or other time-sensitive content. Doing so increases your chances of drawing more web traffic when you want and need it most.

Related: Paid vs Organic Traffic: Which Is Your Best Investment?

12. Encourage Social Shares

Your content doesn’t have to start on social media to become social engagement that leads to web traffic. You can encourage web visitors to share your content on social media from your website in hopes of generating more web traffic. Adding social share buttons to content on your site, in your emails, and across other channels makes it easier for people to share your content with their friends and followers. When you make the process simple, people are more likely to take advantage of it.

You can also encourage more shares on your social media channels by adding a CTA for people to put your content on their pages. One way to do this is through contests. You could give away a free product or trial for a service to a winner who follows the rules of the giveaway. Most social media contest rules require someone to follow certain profiles, share content to their own feeds, and use specific hashtags.

Finally, encourage your team members to share brand content on their personal social media accounts. This is especially helpful if any of your team members have made a name for themselves personally in your industry or niche, like subject matter experts. Sharing your content on a personal account exposes the brand to a larger audience. But it also shows that your team members support the company they work for outside of the job and paycheck.

Related: Where and How To Use Social Sharing Buttons in Your Content

13. Stay Engaged

Not all of your audience members are quick and eager to click away from their social media apps to view external content. Many would rather interact in the comment sections or within groups. Building these relationships with your audience increases their trust in your brand. The more they trust you, the more likely they’ll be to click your links from social media and visit your website content.

Stay engaged by answering audience questions and responding to comments. Monitor both your direct messages and any public comments you receive. Engaging in social listening can help you find brand, product, or service mentions across other social media pages and platforms, too. Engaging on other profiles also gives you chances to build a relationship with your audience and even share more website links to answer their questions or meet their needs.

14. Share and Share Again

You’re allowed to share the same content on social media more than once. And not just on different platforms. Yep, read that again. You can share the same content on the same social media channel more than once. But you have to be strategic about it. You don’t want to share a link to the same article three times in one day. But you can share a link to an article on your Facebook feed and put a link to that post in your story.

You can also share the same content and links the same way multiple times, as long as you space the content out. If you’re sharing evergreen pieces, post them again one to two weeks after your initial post. This gives the first post enough time to get out of your audience’s feeds and look like new content instead of a repeat of the old content.

Sharing pieces multiple times helps increase web traffic by reintroducing your audience to something they’ve seen before. For example, maybe you’re promoting an event registration. Your audience saw the ad the first time but wasn’t sure if it was something they wanted to attend. But when you share it again, they’ve had time to think about it. Now they’re ready to click and head to your landing page to learn more information and maybe register, too.

15. Check Out the Competition

How are your biggest competitors pulling in web traffic from social media? Running a competitive analysis on your rivals’ social media platforms and websites can help you learn more about how they attract and keep an audience. Look at their social media posts and profiles. Then, review their web traffic statistics and SEO. If their engagement and traffic numbers are better than yours, try to find what they do differently than your brand. Make a note of the differences and some of the strategies your company could try to boost its own web traffic.

“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”

Kevin Doory

Director of SEO at Auto Revo

16. Optimize Your Content for Mobile

If you do get those all-important social clicks for web traffic, make sure you can keep your audience on your site once they get there. Any website content or links that you share on social media should be optimized for mobile. That means your site should have a mobile design that visitors see when they view it on a device other than a laptop or desktop computer. Make sure your images resize for smaller screens, the text is large enough to read, and all media is viewable on a mobile device.

If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, people will remember. They won’t try to view off-platform content from your site again and your web traffic will take a hit.

Social Content Promotion Is Key To Driving Web Traffic

Here’s one thing that all these tips have in common: content promotion. If you’re not focused on content promotion on social media and beyond, you won’t increase your web traffic. It’s not enough to upload a blog post, hoping people see it. It’s also not enough to create a LinkedIn post and leave it to die without engaging with your audience and trying to get more shares.

When you actively promote your content and engage with your audience, you have a better chance of them not only finding the information they didn’t know you offered but viewing it too. This helps push traffic to your website and increases your interactions with qualified prospects for more sales and revenue.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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