The Numbers are in
and it looks like what it has always looked like.
Social media marketing is not worth the time that most are investing.
So let’s say that you have hired a team of “Social Media Marketing Gurus” and you have invested quite heavily in your ever expanding Facebook following. Now you are curious if it is making an impact on your bottom line. Without going too deep into the analytic tools for measuring a campaigns success, let’s just start with the basic numbers.
Numbers Don’t Lie
For the most part there is a very specific formula that every website has that allows the business owner to determine if they are heading in the right direction. A basic example of this is to calculate conversion percentages of the overall total amount of traffic that a website receives. Let’s say for the sake of this post that your website converts two percent of all online visitors into offline conversations. In that example, if you funnel 1,000 visitors through your website, you should receive 20 offline conversions or potential customers. No matter if you are selling a product or a service, there is always a metric that holds true. So without digging deeper into the referrals and specific sources and conversion percentages for each. Let’s just look at the top line numbers. Considering that all visitors are created equal, and most are not. You will see that the overwhelming answer to the effectiveness of a social media in general is far from overwhelming.
1 Years Data 2014 -2015 YTD
After analyzing mounds of analytic data I decided to keep it simple for this post. Because the data remains underwhelming when it comes to the total traffic generated from social media marketing, and even more depressing when you see the conversion totals from the social referrals. What I have found is that not only are the numbers terrible, but of the few that do visit via social media activity are simply lookie-lu’s & trolls. In other words, the traffic that you are paying the social media marketing gurus to bring you… Well, you would probably be better off generating long term value by building your brand in more effective ways and not cheapening it in the social media noise arena. I know this will ruffle a lot of feathers and fire up the social media trolls. However, something needs to be said about it. Sure, there are business models that are well served by a strong social media presence. That I would say is the exception and by far not the rule.
Organic Search Still #1
Yes organic search traffic is still the best and highest converting traffic that you can get to date. Provided that your website doesn’t scramble users brains and force them to go elsewhere i.e. poorly thought through design, navigation and conversion paths. The smart money is still on improving your website so that search engines can understand who you are and what it is you are about. Yes social media activity is helpful with this to some extent but should not be your primary marketing approach. My recommendation is to invest your marketing budget to align with the best traffic sources with the highest conversion numbers. Not all traffic is created equal. It really isn’t rocket science but it is mathematical. Do yourself a favor, and look into your analytic data. Find out for yourself if all that time is really worth the investment into your social media monster. My bet is that you will find social media referrals to have a low overall conversion if any, and that the total number of actual quality visitors is much lower than you thought.