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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Social Media Marketing - What's It Good For?
    So this year I decided I would work on building up a social media audience on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. For the last four months I've been gathering likes, followers, etc and I've built up quite the list of people who match my target demographic. (e.g. got money like to spend it)

    I curate and post content on most days to all my social accounts and I've been learning what types of posts people get excited about. Managing my accounts is a bit of a time suck to be honest and I have yet to see much benefit.

    I'm curious what other people's thoughts are on having a large social media following? What kinds of things can you do when you have 100K+ people following you on social media?

    One thing I was thinking was that I should mention my social media following in my media kit (which I haven't written yet...). So if I start direct banner sales, I could throw in a social media post as well (or charge???).

    Has anyone ever done a social media post and raked in a lot of sales directly from it? I'm not seeing this at all, even though I'm putting in a lot of effort to match up content with my target audience.

    I figure I would do my social media experiment for a full 12 months at least. I'd like to figure out how to "measure" the success of the efforts. It seems like branding more than anything, which I definitely need. Ha, my measure of success, I go to a party and if I mention my website to any random person they know it by name and have visited it.

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  3. #2
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    Most of my previous efforts were based on capturing long tail transaction type keyphrases on organic search. With some effort into keyword research it was very easy to find low hanging fruit that could be easily captured with a hour or two of time each day. Google has since taken that away by shifting their algorithm for long tail transactional search to display sites that have shopping carts - especially the top few big box names.

    Since that happened in early 2012 I shifted my focus to SM. Needless to say the conversion rate of long tail compared to the shotgun blast of SM make for one hell of a crappy conversion rate. Instead of one sale in every 40 clicks, it's more like one sale in every 1k clicks. It certainly means a change in what you're trying to monetize. In my case I'm much better off selling ad space or using something like Adsense vs trying to sell a specific product.

    Something that I don't see a lot of people taking advantage of with social, especially Facebook, is the hordes of free traffic available from other peoples work. There are a ton of topic pages on FB, with 100k or more followers, that simply exist to repost articles and images from other pages, blogs and websites. I often see these outside linked to sites crash from all the instant traffic. If you can find pages related to your topic I would highly recommend asking them to share some of your better material and see if they would post it. This could mean a huge influx of new traffic interested in your topic. Although, this works better with informational resources that products. Also, keep in mind most of these visitors(depending on topic/demographic) have a short attention span - so make something they can consume instantly and have tools that could allow them to take quick actions - like social bookmarking.

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  5. #3
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I guess the weird thing with my social media accounts is that my posts have existed independently of my main website. I haven't been trying to drive people back into my website because that would mean even more effort as I would need custom landing pages for each social media post.

    I can see how I could use social media to get a blast of banner impressions and adsense clicks. I'm guessing a lot of my social media impressions are mobile though...

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  7. #4
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    If you use Google Analytics you could probably dive into your social traffic device/OS stats and see what to optimize for. I'm not the guru on conversion rate for mobile vs other, but I bet that could be worked out with a little A/B testing.

    I don't share my FB page with these other FB pages, just the content directly from my site. I've also stopped asking them how to share it and usually just send them a quick note saying I have this resource on my site and ask if they think their users would find it interesting. It makes for a much more natural looking link/share.

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  9. #5
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    Social Media Marketing - What's It Good For?

    That's very good question, isellstuff. I was thinking about asking this for a while.

    I'm probably the only person on earth who don't have a FB account. I did try to set up a FB fan page a while back for my biz and never really put anything on it...

    Seeing my relatives and friends giggling about something on their FB board every time we get together, I feel like we are live in two whole different planets. (BTW, I'm not an old lady incase you wonder, not yet anyway.. I think there is an old sold stuck in my body, been like that since I was little.) To try to get me to open an FB account has becoming an ongoing topic whenever we get together. They are so addict to FB and gossip around who's dating who and who's having a baby make me wonder even more why in the would I want to get into all those.

    I'm sure some of you are using FB, Twitter and other SMs effectively on helping grow your affiliate business. That's the part I haven't seen I could benefit from. Maybe somebody are willing to share a tip or two?

  10. #6
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I believe a lot of those social media impressions are mobile. But that's OK in my book. Our hotel fulfillment merchant has a pretty good mobile booking engine. Likely a more important observation is that my wife makes online purchases almost exclusively via her iPad.

    We are beginning to see some successes with Facebook - but not with their advertising. I began getting serious about exploring the marketing capabilities of FB in late January and we have been building our fan base. Learning that social is even more a "visual" medium than are web pages. I posted a short tutorial on ABW about one way to generate interest (and add more fans): http://www.abestweb.com/forums/blogg...rs-173830.html

    Wow, isellstuff, 100K+ fans. Impressive. We've only got about 25K - spread over a few pages - with the largest just topping 15K last week.

    Have you looked into "tabs" - the pages you can create within a Facebook page? We have begun seeing a few sales generated directly from these. Nothing significant yet - but people are not yet used to this feature. If you want to see an example send me a PM and I'll return a FB URL where we have one in place.

    We also reference specific pages on our variety of sites and include the URL - which pulls a "piece of the page" into the FB post. Just make sure it pulls in an image - or have one to upload. We get a lot of direct clicks from some of those attempts.

    Jill is our resident FB guru and she has been teaching me a lot. The above "snippets" will become blog posts (mini-tutorials, like that ABW sample above). Each one of those blog posts will, of course, be referenced on FB.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  12. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I just ran some numbers to see how my latest social media blast worked. I had a pretty compelling post that resonated so it got a little traction. I ended up with say, 10% of my social followers "seeing" it. Out of that 10%, 2% clicked on the link embedded in the post.

    So, say you have 100,000 followers. 10,000 see the post. 200 click the link and, because they aren't in a shopping mood, no-one buys. So you would need 5 posts to make one sale, but it's been my experience that a 10% impression rate is way good. It is usually much lower. So say, 10 posts to make one sale. That's basically 1 sale every two days. Now, assume a $100 sale with a 7% commission and you are basically working your butt off for $1,277 dollars a year?????

    Yeah, this requires a totally different mindset.

  13. #8
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Wow, isellstuff, 100K+ fans. Impressive. We've only got about 25K - spread over a few pages - with the largest just topping 15K last week.)
    Just to be clear, I don't have 100K right now. I've only got about 17K. I'm adding at a steady rate though and will have 100K by December. I'm just trying to figure out what I'm going to do with them????

    Maybe the real value is just raising brand awareness? I wonder how you measure that? I read somewhere that facebook fans tend to become loyal customers. I have noticed that they feel more open about contacting me and giving suggestions, which is good.
    Last edited by isellstuff; April 25th, 2014 at 11:45 AM.

  14. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Lemme add one more comment - because I didn't see mayfly's post before I posted.

    Do you realize there are personal pages and business pages and that they are different and should remain separate? I have one personal (wall?) page - as does Jill. But together we have created and administer another dozen (or so) business-oriented Facebook "Pages" - all in support of individual niche sites.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  15. #10
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm running a business Facebook page. I believe they will ban personal pages that are used for business purposes.

  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Lemme add one more comment - because I didn't see mayfly's post before I posted.

    Do you realize there are personal pages and business pages and that they are different and should remain separate? I have one personal (wall?) page - as does Jill. But together we have created and administer another dozen (or so) business-oriented Facebook "Pages" - all in support of individual niche sites.
    Yeah, I know they are different. Just express my feeling of people who enjoy so much with their FB stuff...

    I said I did set up a FB fan page for my biz use. Just not sure what to put on it since I have a few blogs basically doing the same thing already.

    Bill, you made a great point that each niche site should have its own "fan page". That makes a lot sense, but then again, I have different blog posts for my niche sites, just don't want to duplicate the content...

  17. #12
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I'm still wrapping my brain around social media. It sure has added to the workload and I know it does help with building your "brand" which includes our own social personality of course. I know it helps w/ legitimizing your site with Google to some degree. But like everything else, I can't help but wonder when people will begin to drift away to some other unknown thing. I also wonder how numbers are for actual year-over-year comparisons? And how important it is to work with them all.. T, FB, G+, P, L.. etc.

    I do social media. I don't like doing it, but I do it anyway.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

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  19. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    ...I believe they will ban personal pages that are used for business purposes.
    Yes, that is in their TOS - but I haven't seen it happen yet. But it should and one day it might - but not yet...
    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    ...Bill, you made a great point that each niche site should have its own "fan page". That makes a lot sense, but then again, I have different blog posts for my niche sites, just don't want to duplicate the content...
    No dupe content. If you post the URL of your blog FB will only pull in an excerpt of your content. And if the lead sentence is compelling it will generate clicks to your full post.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  21. #14
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    I do social media. I don't like doing it, but I do it anyway.
    That's pretty much where I'm at right now. It takes up a lot of time that I could be spending on work items that would have a much more immediate revenue benefit.

    I do hold out hope that someday I will do a social media post that will go viral and make me millions of dollars :-), get me on the "Today Show", make my brand a household name, etc. Maybe a video with a baby playing with kittens while chopping up iphones in a blender and shopping on my website.

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  23. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    I do hold out hope that someday I will do a social media post that will go viral and make me millions of dollars :-), get me on the "Today Show", make my brand a household name, etc. Maybe a video with a baby playing with kittens while chopping up iphones in a blender and shopping on my website.
    I just get motivated...

  24. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Maybe the real value is just raising brand awareness? I wonder how you measure that? I read somewhere that facebook fans tend to become loyal customers. I have noticed that they feel more open about contacting me and giving suggestions, which is good.
    From the merchant stand point for years I heard that they weren't interested in selling via Facebook just increasing awareness of their brand/products. Prior to that I heard from the affiliate team at Backcountry that when they reached 1200 fans they would post a discount code and within 45 minutes would see sales. They have migrated the Deal of the Day fans to social.

    Isellstuff I see your model as non-niche as you are promoting 100's of merchants so would get less click through due to lower interest by the broad 17k followers.

  25. #17
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Isellstuff I see your model as non-niche as you are promoting 100's of merchants so would get less click through due to lower interest by the broad 17k followers.
    That's actually kindof interesting. With Facebook at least, you can currently target your posts by demographic. Because Facebook only shows a portion of your "fans" each post, you can pick and choose who sees what. I haven't been using this (fairly new) feature, but I should. I can think of some simple segmentation that might work better. (e.g. don't show dudes discounts on dresses, etc)

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  27. #18
    Affiliate Manager bblythe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    I do social media. I don't like doing it, but I do it anyway.
    The best advice I ever received about social, was "don't do social be social". It's sort of a fine line, people can detect BS, and genuinely interacting with an audience takes a lot of time.

    To be honest, as a merchant I am not really sold on social media. PoolSupplyWorld has a dedicated social media team, and I often sardonically accuse them of spending their days "liking hella pages" and "posting photos of cats". I think Chuck hit the nail on the head; the value, if any, is raising brand awareness and giving customers another avenue to contact you. It is one of the few brand awareness strategies that can be directly tied to a PNL though.

    The guy who manages our social media channels, Blake, has an industry-crush on the author of "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" named Gary Vaynerchuk. You may want to look up some of his stuff if you are interested in social.

    Another cool tool is Mention. Mention scrapes the web and finds... well, mentions, of your brand on social media sites. It has given me a good indication of how people reference PSW (and sort of a creepy look into the lives of my coworkers). Once you know who is talking about you, you can make it a point to interact with them. This two way street helps to humanize the brand, and seems to get you further than "hella likes".

    Over the next few months I am going to be experimenting with booking posts on publisher pages on social media outlets. It should be interesting, even negative data is still data.

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