Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Quality Of Social Marketing Traffic Streams

The Quality Of Social Marketing Traffic Streams

Been seeing a lot of discussion about the lack of
quality of traffic coming from Social Marketing,
or Web 2.0 sources.

I was talking with Michelle Raybourn of The
Raybourn Effect
yesterday and she reminded
me of something that I had said to her almost
two years ago.

"The longer I live the more often the
answer to my questions is Balance."

Until she brought it up I had forgotten the
conversation when I had said this. And frankly
it had nothing to do with business at the time.

Truth is though, that it applies here, which was
the thrust of our conversation yesterday, and
it applies to any discussion of traffic as well.

There are so many different types of traffic,
and each of them is important to our business.

1. Social Marketing, or Web 2.0 traffic.
2. Organic Search Engine traffic.
3. Newsletter generated traffic.
4. Traffic originated from blog comments
(although this can be argued to be part of #1)
5. Even Purchased Traffic! There, I said it...
(but only for very specific purposes)

Here is where balance comes in. You need
traffic of various types coming from various
sources to succeed in this business regardless
of your niche or business model.

Having said all that:

Yes, in my experience there is some validity to
the claim that Social Marketing traffic is lower
quality than from other sources. If by lower
quality you mean that they don't generate a
sale, a signup or sometimes even a comment.

My experience is that these visitors will convert
at a much lower rate than someone that comes
from an ad, an email or an article promoting your
blog or site. They will also stay on your page far
shorter a time. Mostly they are just staying
long enough to decide if there is any reason
to Digg, Buzz, Stumble or Onlywire your page.

So what good are these hits anyway if they don't
buy, subscribe or even stay long enough to see
what you have to say?

Fact is some do stay and do all those things, but
that is not why you are using Social Media as a
promotion tool anyway. You are sending out as
many little tentacles across the internet as you
can so that you become part of the traffic flow
that makes up the WorldWideWeb.

What you get are better Digg rankings, Google
results due to backlinks, and name recognition
from a growing presence in your niche.

What good does that do you?

None, unless you do something with it. By that
I am asking what your interaction with your niche
is made up of. Is it primarily blog, Digg and Stumble
comments that are essentially a "Thumbs Up!" to
whoever published the content you were responding

If so, then don't exect much at all from those visits
coming from your Diggs. Expect your Stumble friends
to take a perfunctory glance at your post and write a
few vague words as a review. Get used to a lack of
any serious attention being paid to your work.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but the fact is you are only
going to get out of anything you do, exactly what you
put into it.
(Geez, now I sound like my Dad! lol)

Yesterday I put up a Squidoo Lens putting into practice
some of the things I had learned through the various and
sundry resources from Jack Humphrey. Primarily the
2008 Authority Black Book.
(Get it at the top of my
Right Hand Sidebar)

It didn't take any longer to create than any other Lens
I had ever published, but a lot more thought went into
it along the way. Or maybe just a lot
smarter thought.

The important thing is that due to the effort that I put
into research and application, that Lens got almost a
thousand visitors in it's first 24 hours. Those visitors
also stayed long enough that just over a third of them
clicked a link on the page. Those are the best stats I've
ever had on any page I have ever published anywhere!

Why? Because I was engaged in the process to a much
greater degree than I had been before. I was aware
of what I was doing and why.

Then I did my usual Social Marketing checklist of Digging
and various bookmarking services just like always. And
Those visitors will serve their purpose, but they are not
the only traffic that I am after.

I want to create a presence that means something in
the niches that I market to, so that when I say something
new or different, it gets noticed and others want to know
more. I want to become a Center of Influence in that

That is an old term we used to use when I was in the
offline direct sales world. We used to look for people
that influenced what a group of people did in regard
to their needs for insurance, credit card processing,
or whatever product or service we were selling at
the time.

If you become a Center of Influence within a niche,
don't you think your affiliate sales will increase?

I have no desire to be known as a Guru. Don't really
want to spend my weekends at conferences around
the country either (although I sometimes do).

Becoming a Center of Influence through Social
Marketing and a host of other promotional methods
keeps me plenty prosperous, healthy and intellectually
stimulated to keep me quite happy.

Eat a peach!

Floyd Bogart

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