While incorporating social media into marketing strategy is becoming standard practice, many organizations still struggle with how to make the most of opportunities created by social media platforms and tools. The objective should be for a user on your website to stay engaged with content, products, services or other key parts of the site.

Traffic to your website from a social media platform is, by its very nature, more valuable than traffic from other sources. People spend time on social networks for the purpose of sharing information with people they deem important. Trust is high among peers; recommendations and messages exchanged among friends are more likely to resonate than those directly from a company.

A goal for any site is to have a visitor login or register, becoming an engaged user and interacting more – making a purchase, posting content, etc. Once a user is engaged, make it easy for them to communicate back to the social networks of their choice without leaving your site.

Activity-based social publishing tools enable the user to perform this action from within the flow of your website experience. A user finds something of interest on your website and then calls it out to their community.

The engaged user is an effective filter both for their community and your website. When a user decides to share information back to a social network, it is a win for their contacts and your organization. The circle of referral traffic begins. As the user shares their activity or content from your site to friends on a social network, the post from the initial engaged user drives traffic back to your site, some of whom will login and publish their own activities back to their networks, and so on. Many organizations leveraging this functionality are experiencing 6-25 new referral visitors for each social action a user shares with friends. As this cycle repeats, these organizations create a direct link to the social web and a sustaining stream of new referred visitors.

By connecting your website to social platforms through the engaged user, organizations can tap into social networks to reach new audiences. Content sites can enable users to share their opinions; community sites can allow members to share their blogs; commerce sites can let customers share purchases or product recommendations with friends on the social networks.

As the web continues to evolve, success will come to organizations that take advantage of new tools to reach target audiences and create meaningful interactions. Social media has democratized communication and made information sharing easier. Leveraging tools that create a bridge through engaged users between your website and the social networks will yield the most powerful results and true word of mouth marketing success on the social web.