Landing pages have long been a cornerstone of successful online marketing. Directing users to land on a specific page designed for a specific purpose, rather than your home page, is a proven tactic for increasing conversions.
Landing pages aren’t just for people coming to your site from search engines, PPC ads, and emails, though. Since social media has become a primary driver of website traffic, it only makes sense that social-specific landing pages are a must as well. These pages are slightly different than typical landing pages, though, and if you are making some of these common mistakes, you probably aren’t reaching your social marketing goals.
#1. You Don’t Have Social Specific Landing Pages
Okay, it seems obvious that if you don’t have social landing pages, they won’t work, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t think about where their social visitors land on their sites. Considering that people who navigate to your site from social media are usually responding to a specific post — and presumably already have an interest in you, your product, or your service — directing users to your homepage is counterproductive. If you are inviting social followers to check you out, give them something interesting to look at that is relevant to the post they clicked from.
#2. You Don’t Have a Goal
When users click on your social posts and ads, what do you want them to do once they land on your site? You may have any number of goals, from gathering email addresses to making sales to collecting user-generated content. As with any marketing tactic, social landing pages are only useful when they are launched with a specific goal. Otherwise, you’re essentially wasting your — and your users’ — time. Using goal-oriented landing pages generally means that you will have several different landing pages as well, based on specific posts or campaigns.
For example, realtors using real estate landing pages may develop specific pages for properties they highlight on social media, pages for people looking to sell property, and landing pages for prospective buyers who haven’t found properties to look at yet. Because each of those campaigns has a different goal, they need a different page.
#3. You Don’t Tell Users What’s in It for Them
One of the keys to any successful marketing message is a value proposition. In other words, customers need to know what’s in it for them. What do they stand to gain by responding to your call to action? Clearly something in your social post spurred them to click for more information, so it’s important that you provide enough information and incentive to make them want to take the next step. Don’t focus on the features of your product or service, but how it benefits the customer.
#4. Your Landing Page Doesn’t Align With Your Social Posts
We’ve all clicked on social offers that lead to landing pages that are confusing at best. When the overall feel of the landing page — including images, colors, fonts, language — isn’t consistent with the design and feel of the post or social ad, users will probably click away. The transition between social media and the landing page should be seamless. The images and design don’t have to be identical, but they should be similar enough that a user can easily identify the page in a few seconds as belonging to you.
#5. Your Message is Confusing
Your landing page offer needs to match the offer on the social post exactly. For example, if you’re offering free samples in a Facebook post, the landing page should also offer free samples — not a free trial. Even if you mean the same thing when you use either word, your site visitors don’t necessarily know that. Inconsistent messaging creates confusion, and confusion kills conversions. The language of your offer must be identical to your social post to avoid confusing visitors and driving them away.
#6. Your Forms Aren’t Effective
When you’re asking people to respond to an offer, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Forms that are too long, don’t make it clear what signing up provides and don’t make the call to action clear all have lower conversion rates than forms that are short and to the point. Only request the minimum amount of information you need to complete the action (name and email address for an e-newsletter, for instance) and make the submit button clear and action-oriented.
One of the primary goals for many social landing pages is to help content go viral. It’s easy to assume that someone who clicks on a social post in response to an offer would want to share that offer with others. Often, they do — but not right away. But more than half of people who click on social offers aren’t willing to share them right away, at least until they have seen what you’re offering, especially when they have many followers.
That’s why you should add your social sharing buttons to the confirmation page, not the social landing page itself. There are several reasons for this. For starters, those buttons add clutter to your landing page. Secondly, because people won’t share until they convert themselves, if you add the button at the start of the process, it will disappear once the submit the form, and you’ve lost the share. Don’t be presumptuous and ask people to share too soon, but establish at least the beginnings of a relationship before you request a favor.
#8. Your Landing Pages Aren’t Site Specific
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn — each has its own style and tone, and drives different types of traffic. Pinterest, for instance, is highly visual and likely to drive traffic from people looking for more information about how to buy or do something, while LinkedIn is likely to drive more visitors who could be potential leads and want actionable content they can use. Facebook and Twitter both attract people looking to share content, while Facebook drives more discussion-oriented content than Twitter. When developing your social media strategy, consider the primary content types on each platform and develop social landing pages that match the look and feel of those sites.
Many of the best practices for social landing pages mirror those of any effective marketing plan: Have specific goals, focus on the customer, and work toward developing relationships. If you keep those points in mind, you’ll see greater success with your social landing pages.
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