Are You Missing Out On Web Traffic By Not Using Twitter?
While Twitter is one of the best social channels a small business owner can leverage, far too many I speak with want little to do with it. That’s an absolute shame.
When I look at the effectiveness of a social media strategy, I’m looking to see how much web traffic is being driven more than page growth or post activity. Those numbers are valuable, but in the end, your relationship building, page growth, and likes, comments and shares have one end goal – increased sales. Since most social posts don’t usually convert directly, they, along with your activity elsewhere on these social sites, need to drive traffic to an external lead generation point – your website. Of course, you still need the traffic to convert but that’s the role of your website and sales teams, not your social pages and profiles.
How well a social channel does at driving traffic to your website depends on a number of variables, but all things being equal, or at least similar, Twitter is one of the best social platforms for that purpose. Since I have active and engaged profiles on each of the six major social sites and I post similar content, it’s easy to see just how well (and easily) Twitter works.
So how well does Twitter work?
- Twitter drove more traffic as reported by Google Analytics than the other 4 big sites.
- Twitter drove as much traffic as organic search over the same time period.
- Twitter was actually the 2nd highest source of web traffic during the time frame measured.
What’s even more impressive:
- Twitter had the lowest percentage (58.04%) of 1st-time visits meaning it drove the most repeat traffic (and if they’re coming back, you know your content is on the mark and your tweets are crafted properly).
- Twitter had the 2nd lowest bounce rate (Google+ was tops in that category)
- Twitter had the most pages per session and the highest measurable onsite time (Not a valuable measure in and of itself but notable for comparison purposes)
To be fair, Twitter’s conversion rate for goals I have set was minimal BUT anecdotally, it drove the 2nd most business (behind LinkedIn). The low numbers could be due to the goals I am measuring and/or how Twitter users chose to reach out to me when they decided to purchase. Twitter users may simply have chosen to come back by going directly to my site rather than through Twitter. With direct traffic being the second highest source of website views, the lowest bounce rate and the highest conversion rate at close to 17%, the latter is certainly plausible.
Direct traffic is a good indication of effective branding.
Unless someone knows your site URL (generally through traditional marketing, networking or social activity), they wouldn’t be going directly to it. In my case I haven’t done any traditional advertising and do (as of now) minimal networking. The majority of my branding is done via online activity (and I’ll add – none of it paid).
What makes Twitter’s ability to drive traffic even better? The ease of using it.
How Easy Is It To Drive Traffic Using Twitter?
The beauty of Twitter is in how little posting, and therefore time and effort, it takes to drive traffic. You still need good content and to learn how to craft your Tweets to attract attention, but master it (heck, just moderately excel at it) and you’ll be surprised at how well it works.
Over a 90 day period, I post just 514 Tweets from content on this site (the smaller light blue circle).
Those tweets earned 44,617 impressions and 53 link clicks (the smaller circles)! My following at the time? Roughly 2400-2600; a relatively small number by standards.
How Little Work Was Actually Involved?
Think about it. Only 514 tweets over 90 days. That’s less than 6 per day! Since my content was already written, all I did was leverage my previous work. My tweets came directly from work I already did. Posting time? My Tweets were scheduled via Hootsuite‘s bulk scheduler reducing the actual time spent posting to maybe an hour one afternoon per week! (Not sure how to do this?)
Here’s a better graphic showing just how much value I received from only a handful of Tweets. You can clearly see the number of impressions relative to the number of tweets.
Simply posting a handful of 100 -140 character snippets from your blog posts probably won’t drive the traffic you need but it will get you on the right track. I’m actually tweeting 15+ times per day. It’s the additional posting, the sharing content of others and being social, which has helped increase my following and build the great relationships which have contributed to my results.
Yes, it does mean more time posting, but since there is no stress on me to find or post content, I spend more time reading, engaging, being social and having fun. That makes it easy and enjoyable to find a few minutes at various points during my day to Tweet. It’s actually time I look forward to having. As an added bonus, it has made finding content almost effortless too! (Things tend to fall into your lap when you’re not really looking.)
The bottom line
Twitter is phenomenal for building relationships, creating visibility for you or your brand and driving traffic to your website.
If you’re not using it, why?