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From as early as the 1990’s, eCommerce has played an important role in the lives of consumers and the businesses that sell to them. Shopping has moved online, along with entertainment and education. Website traffic is as important to an online business as foot traffic is to a physical retail store, and social media now plays a huge role in driving visitors to website, and what they do once they get there. 

For example, if you know that approximately 1% of your website visitors sign up for your online course, then you know how many website visitors you need to take to achieve your online course registration goals. If your goal is to get 100 people to enrol in your course, then you need approximately 10,000 people to visit your website (10,000 x 1% = 100).

So the next logical question is: how do you get people to visit your website? One way is to use leverage the power of social media.

Why you should use social media to drive traffic to your online course:

Before we get into some of the ways you can use social media to increase traffic to your website, and ultimately, to increase registrations for your online course, here are a few key points to consider:

  • The average person spends almost two hours on social media every day (Social Media Today)
  • Social media is one of the top referring sources of website traffic for businesses (Forbes)
  • People are regularly consulting social media to help make important decisions
  • Social media is a great place for advocacy based marketing (Buffer)

Keep in mind, however, that people generally don’t log on to social media to buy products and services (including courses). People log on to social media to socialize.

So posting links to your course with messages like “Sign up for this course” aren’t going to work very well. You need to be more strategic than that.

6 Tips for using Social Media to Boost Online Course Registrations @godotmedia Click To Tweet

Here are 6 tips to help you use social media effectively & boost your online course registrations:

1. Share student testimonials or reviews

As a course creator, you should be collecting testimonials from your students that complete your courses as often as possible. Testimonials provide social proof, which are incredibly useful in the sales and marketing of your courses to potential students.

In addition to including student testimonials on the sales page for your online course, start sharing those testimonials on social media. Video testimonials are especially powerful, but written ones work well too.

When a testimonial is shared on social media, it helps to arouse curiosity from potential students and direct them to your website. Once they get to your website, seeing additional testimonials on from other students will serve as additional proof of the value someone gets when they sign up for your course.

2. Curate relevant content to capture a wider audience

Social media is a great place to share free content that helps your target audience. But unless you’re creating a lot of free content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc) regularly, you might not have a lot of content to share.

What you can do instead is share content that other people have creating (as long as they don’t sell a competing course!). By sharing content that is relevant to your industry or course topic on social media, you are more likely to attract followers that are potential students for your course.

This happens a lot on Twitter, where users are recommended accounts to follow, based on their interests and who they’re currently following.

Content curation apps like DrumUp, which functions on the keywords you set up, make the process of curating great content that is relevant to your industry or course topic much easier. 

Once you have found the right content, schedule it with #tags and @mentions for maximum exposure. This will help you build your audience that you can direct to your website to learn more about your courses.

3. Refrain from redirecting social referrals

People have short attention spans and limited patience. In fact, 40% of online shoppers abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. Redirects are a stalling technique that people generally despise.

By redirecting visitors to a third-party website/service, you lose control over branding and the ability to collect leads. When creating social media posts, make sure you’re directing visitors to the page you’ve described in your posts. Make the journey as short and ungated as possible and avoid unnecessary hurdles. 

4. Make it easy for your students to share their experience with others

A lot of companies having started to prompt their customers to tweet or share about their recent purchase on social media. These include the use of auto-generated tweets, or small check boxes on the subscription form to prompt people to share.

You can apply the same concept to your online course business. Make it easy for your website visitors and course students to share their experience on social media. You could even encourage your existing students to share their progress or celebrate specific milestones on social media as they work through your course material.

Not only does this help to create social proof for your course, it also increases your exposure to other potential students that are connected to your existing students on social media.

5. Create a group about your course topic

Creating a private group on social media (Facebook or LinkedIn are both great platforms for this) is a great way to build a community around your course topic of area of expertise. This gives your target audience a place to connect with each other, share ideas, talk about your course topic, and in many cases, talk about your courses for you!

6. Initiate advocate and referral marketing

When social platforms were created, online communication and media in general experienced an influence shift. Brands became distrusted as individuals learned how to use social media to influence large amounts of people.

One of the smartest way to market a course on social networks is tapping into communities via brand advocates and referrals. After all, the pyramid of influence has been inverted, and there are now just as many individuals that have influence over large amounts of people. 

Anyone can be your advocate – including happy customers or influential personalities in your industry. Cisco, for example, created a ‘Champions Program’ to get industry experts to share their knowledge, participate in exclusive unplugged videos and post on the company’s blog. In exchange, champions received product sneak peaks, invites to closed events and recognition for their contribution.

How will you use social media to boost your online registrations?

Used correctly, social networks can boost traffic to your website and help increase your online course registrations. They key is to know which social networks your target audience is spending their time on, and engage with them there. 

Are you already using social media to help promote your online course? Share what’s working for you in the comment section below!

6 Tips for using Social Media to Boost Online Course Registrations @godotmedia Click To Tweet

Jessica Davis represents Godot Media, a leading E-Book writing service firm. Her areas of interest include social media and content marketing, science and fashion.