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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2005
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Does social media traffic actually convert to sales?
    This is NOT intended as some sort of variation on that old content vs. sales conundrum we've beaten to death here over the years, but it probably is related.

    I've been following a blog by a very successful internet marketing/affiliate marketing guy -- no, he's not one of the "gurus" we all hear about and he's not selling me anything. In his blog he maintains that social media stuff like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc., are all wonderful for gaining blog readers or followers or whatever -- but that the only real way to make consistent money through affiliate sales or anything else is from search traffic. He carries this so far as to say things like, "bloggers get readers; marketers who draw large amounts of SE traffic get buyers," that sort of thing.

    I'm not ready to defend or even discuss what all he says. But I want to throw the question in my thread title out there and get some opinions: Does social media traffic that comes to your blog or any other website actually convert to sales, or do they just become readers/followers? Do you have any idea about whether or not they convert to sales? Or how much they convert?

    We all know there are about a billion people out there selling every sort of ebook or marketing system to show you how to acquire tens of thousands of followers on the various social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Ning, etc.). And I would bet such ebooks and/or systems are all pretty much bogus.

    But what about all this social media/social marketing stuff?

    To get the ball rolling -- I've never found any strong correlation between social media traffic and sales of any sort. Virtually every sale I've ever made as an affiliate has happened because someone found my site/page via Google or Yahoo or Bing -- and bought a product. I've used "ShareThis" "AddThis" and all the other little social media/sharing gadgets on blog posts and website pages -- and I've never known anyone to bookmark or share my site that way. Not even once.

    What's your take on all this?
    Generate more fake news.

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    I run several high-traffic sites that serve users of Myspace, MyYearbook, Facebook etc and I've experimented a lot with ads for all types of CPM, CPA, and CPC over the years.

    Though affiliate ads have drawn an occasional sale here and there, the only things that have performed well consistently are lead offers for free horoscopes, prepaid debit cards, and things like that. CPM ads provide a steady flow of revenue, because they pay to display; no action required. CPC (Adsense, etc) pull their share of the weight on this type of traffic, but the numbers aren't spectacular.

    IMO Adsense is the best way to go for most blogs, or CPM ads if you get stampedes of traffic.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    September 20th, 2005
    I think it depends on whether you are doing niche marketing or not. I'd say SM is time better spent if you are focusing on a topic or a niche.

    Making a sale always boils down to finding the right person at the right time. Is adsense better/worse than that? Probably not. It display relevant ads. But if your social media channels are niche enough you are only going to get followers that want to hear what you have to say. To me that is the best traffic in the world. People who want to hear you and will consistently go to you for advice.

    Social Media is good for brand and niche awareness. If you run a site that specializes only in a widget and you us SM to get your message and brand out about that widget then people will listen and buy from you when they are ready. If you sell everything and try to push it all out via the same SM channels your marketing will be less effective.
    This response was masterly crafted via the fingers of Patrick Allmond who believe you should StopDoingNothing starting today.
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  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    January 18th, 2005
    I have statistics that prove that Social Media (blogging, Twitter and Facebook in my stats) traffic does indeed perform. Not the ad buys, I don't do those, but the traffic that comes from participating and from making specific offers that fit the audience. Like a coupon in a Tweet, a new product announcement in Facebook, blog reviews of products.

    Generally blogging with ads in the sidebar, not so much. Product reviews "I tried it and I liked this about it and didn't like that about it" convert *very* well.

    If you blog and do social media "right", you will be the king or queen of organic SEO for whatever you are blogging about. Because it is unique content about a product you are using word of mouth to recommend, or not recommend.

    I watched a little bit of Word Camp Portland live streaming yesterday and one nugget that stayed with me was a blogger that talked about how she did all her blog posts what she thought was the "right way" and couldn't rank well for the terms she was targetting. Then one day she wrote an off the cuff post about her favorite mojito recipe. She ranks on the first page for mojito's and doesn't "get" why. She asked the panel why and the answer was "because it is personal and it is your experience". Social media is all about "personal" and "your experience". Websites *used* to be, many have gotten away from that.

    SEM will always have it's place, but it isn't the *only* way to make money as an affiliate, and isn't the best for a large number of people. Social media won't be right for a large number either, just like email marketing isn't.

    It's all about what *you* do and how. I can say for a fact that social media traffic does indeed convert.
    Deborah Carney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority with my views on Twitter, but that's only because 75% of my followers (1,400) are my competitors. Some big publishers, shopping engines, deal sites.. suppose they're all just following another content site (I'm a very active publisher in my niche).

    However.. I think the branding you get from social media can definitely convert. But not as a one-post type of scenario, you have to commit to being a presence in the community.

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