There are quite a few people I respect regionally and nationally in the Social Media spotlight – but I truly believe they are steering some businesses in the wrong direction by advising them to invest solely in the social network.
As you folks know, I'm active across a ton of social networks, social media websites and social applications. I have quite a good following on the networks I belong to. The question is how well my blog has done thanks to those social networks. After all, these are most trusted friends – my network! They should account for huge volumes of traffic, right?
Let's look at the last 143,579 referred visitors to my blog:
- Google: 117,607 unique visitors
- StumbleUpon: 16,840 unique visitors
- Yahoo!: 4,236 unique visitors
- Twitter: 2,229 unique visitors
- Live: 605 unique visitors
- MSN: 559 unique visitors
- Ask: 476 unique visitors
- AOL: 446 unique visitors
- Facebook: 275 unique visitors
- LinkedIn: 93 unique visitors
- Baidu: 79 unique visitors
- Altavista: 54 unique visitors
- Plaxo: 41 unique visitors
- Netscape: 39 unique visitors
I automate posts and updates to those social networks, but I don't spend time working them. There are a couple of reasons:
- They are already my trusted network. I don't need to push or sell to them – they are already there for me.
- Their intent in connecting with me through these social mediums is not to buy from me, nor do they expect me to sell to them. In other words, I'm not going to abuse the relationship I have with these folks.
I'll continue to try to build new relationships where it makes sense – through search engines. I know there are people searching for the answers I provide in this blog so I'm going to concentrate on growing my following by answering those questions. It's permission-based, it's HUGE (in comparison to the 0.2% traffic from my network), and their intent is to look for the answers I am providing.
Does this mean that you do what I do?
NO! I'm not advising you to ignore social networks nor the folks who push for you to use them. What I am advising is that you measure the results of your efforts and adjust your strategies accordingly. Too many Smippies are out there evangelizing the benefits of Social Networks without the expertise to help you measure the results and prioritize your strategies accordingly.
Challenge these consultants to prove the monetary benefits! I told some non-profit experts at Leadership Ventures today the truth – as a business, I measure engagement by dollar signs. If I'm marketing well, I'm increasing my sales acquisition dollars, growing my upsell dollars, and maintaining my retention dollars.