For any website owner, generating traffic to your website is important to generate leads and gain exposure. Organic traffic is usually the toughest to have especially if you are in a competitive industry. It is also highly dependable on how SEO-ed your website was created and its link profile. Paid traffic is the straightforward method for site owners as it is purely advertising. However, you may not know the quality of this traffic and yet paying for every single click-throughs.

With the rising popularity of social media, it provides another channel for business owners to generate traffic to their website. In fact, if you use the social media platforms right, the traffic generated will be TARGETED, CONSISTENT and FREE.

Here are 5 Tips to increase social media traffic to your website.

1. Focus on a suitable social media platform. You need to know which social media platform will fit your marketing efforts well. For example, Instagram and Pinterest are image based social media platforms and they may not be suitable for service based businesses where there are few images to be uploaded on a consistent basis. These platforms will most likely suit products based businesses where images of new stocks can be uploaded to gain visibility. Users of these platforms will “follow you” when you have new things to show them frequently.

2. Update Status Frequently. More often than not, business owners end up setting up one too many social media accounts only to neglect them one by one. Unless you have a dedicated marketing team to maintain the accounts, it will be more efficient to create at most 2 accounts and focus on them. Regular updating of status in social media will also indicate to your clients or readers that your business is well and alive. Most of the major social media platforms also have their corresponding mobile applications in Android, Apple App Store, Nokia and Blackberry. Short and concise updates on the go will suffice here.

3. Engaging the audience. It is exhilarating when you notice that there are followers of your social media account, but you need to know that it is easier to lose them then gaining. When they leave a feedback on your website, do reply or show your appreciation. Another way is to conduct promotions such as giving vouchers when people like or share your post or page. Engaging your community will have unexpected benefits to your website, the viral effect is exponential and with it comes the precious traffic.

4. Pay To Gain Exposure. If you want to kickstart your social media account, you can also advertise through the platforms. Facebook has an advertising option where it can ensure certain number of people will view your post from as low as $5. You get your first few followers or “Likes” through this method and build it from there.

5. Integrate Social media buttons to your website. Capture traffic to your website by having social media buttons available for readers to click on. It is easy to embed buttons and widgets to your website that links to your social media pages. Make sure these buttons are prominent. Facebook has a very good way of displaying users, with their profile pictures, who have visited and liked the page. This gives credibility to your website and it is a good way to build a community.

It is hard to ignore the rising influence of social media in buying decisions and it all hinges on how well you utilize these free platforms to your advantage. Get started today and learn as you go along. With the web, you never know how big you will grow!