Recently I have been having discussions with my fellow bloggers about Social Media versus Organic Search. Being a preacher for the power of Keywords I am obviously in favour of the latter but there is more to it than that. Marc Krisjanous of Businessblogshub.com put it best when he phrased the following on the comments thread of a previous post:
“I would be interested in your thoughts on using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to drive traffic to your site. One reason why I think search is still number 1 for sending the right traffic to your blog is that when people search they are looking for something specific. When people come from social media I would guess that the bulk are just clicking on links that their friends posted or are just surfing for the next bit of entertainment.”
Marc Makes a really good point here about the type of traffic that comes from an organic search versus the type of person that finds you through a ‘like’ or a ‘tweet’ and I think this question has multiple layers that need to be explored, because whether one traffic source is a good thing or not depends entirely on the type of page you are sending them to.
There is nothing Targeted about Social Media Traffic.
Now the first thing I need to establish is my take on Facebook as a marketing tool, and it is this: It stinks! I don’t care what you have to say on the subject because I don’t think I will ever see Facebook as a valuable resource. This is partly my fault, and partly Facebook’s fault, but mainly this is the Multi Level Marketers fault!
When I started looking at Facebook as a tool to help perpetuate my brand online I did what anyone would do – I joined many of the groups for internet marketing that had been setup and then ‘friend requested’ the members within those groups. What I didn’t realise was that this was the realm of the Network Marketer. I am sure network marketing has its perks but for me it is perpetuated garbage with no value or substance. And because I am ‘friends’ with so many of them I am constantly bombarded with invites to ‘ the next big thing’ “and if I get in now – on the ground floor” then I can pay $10-$25 a month for the privilege of convincing other poor saps to do the same thing. And the more poor saps I can convince the more money I can make. Where’s the value add?! What on earth is the point? I swear if I get one more invite to ‘how to make money on facebook’ ?!! It seems to me that the only way to make money on facebook if you do not already have a product or service is to send invites to people inviting them to learn how to make money on facebook!!!
OK so we have established the fact that I am not a fan of Facebook (no pun intended) for the reasons that it is saturated with Network Marketers all trying to market to each other, but even if you are not savvy to all this MLM BS, the fact still remains (as Mark stated in his question) that the traffic that comes from Facebook and other forms of social media are not targeted visitors, they are merely looking to either perpetuate their own brand in the same way you are, or they are just looking for random pieces of infotainment.
Buy the product. Spread the Word? Buy the product? Spread the word.
It is important that you have an online presence so that when you try to sell yourself you will have the social proof and brand name recognition that is required – and this is where social media traffic works!
“Those coming through social media may not purchase your products and services but they know how to Stumble Upon, Tweet, Like and Digg your Content, and frankly they think the whole act of sharing is all quite Del.icio.us really”.
So Social Traffic is not Targeted, big deal! These visitors are your peers, fellow bloggers who are also looking to make connections and build their own web presence. It is these guys who will help perpetuate your brand in the long run, and you need this because…
You need to have an online presence before you can have an online income.
I am sure there are plenty of ways to make amazing incomes online simply through the power of social media, but I bet 99 times out of 100 those people that made it big using this platform already had a brand and or a product to promote. (And I bet they used the power of Google to build that brand name first.) Trying to build a brand using social media as an exclusive platform seems like a waste of time to me and to tell the truth I never even venture onto the pages of Facebook anymore. I actually don’t put Facebook and Myspace in the same space as Twitter, Digg etc because the latter are solely used to share content where as Facebook does that and more and as such I don’t think the sharing aspect is utilised properly. I use Twitter a lot, but that’s because it is the way I share great content that I find on blogs, thus perpetuating my efforts to build relationships. Even in this instance I use the social media platform of twitter to support my blog commenting and brand building efforts, I would not expect any positive results if I used Twitter exclusively.
What it comes down to is finding the balance between the two sources of Traffic because although one source will buy, the other will shout about it to others, and you can’t have one without the other.
It’s no good having the best French Fries in the world if no one knows about them.
- What are your thoughts?
- Do you use social media as an avenue to sell or to perpetuate your brand?
- Am I the only one who is bombarded with MLM crap through Facebook?