The Sad Truth About Social Media

19 replies
Just as an experiment, today I quickly found dozens of Warriors suggesting social media (SM) sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc) as the best source of leads and traffic in answer to various threads dealing with how to get traffic to my site, how to advertise my product, where's the best place to market, where to get subscribers, etc, etc.

These SM responses were being given left and right even by newbie Warriors that aren't currently marketing anything. It seems lately that everyone assumes social media is always the best place to do IM.

My reason for this thread is to let you all know that social media may be a comparatively inexpensive place to market, but is it really giving you good solid leads, and is it converting into sales? In some specialized markets it may well be the best alternative . . . but have you ever considered that in your market, there may be better places to spend your advertising dollars?

In my own experience, email marketing to a targeted list is nearly always a better source of sales than social media leads - and by a wide margin. It is a more cost effective use of marketing dollars.

But I don't have a list, you say. Well, did you ever stop to consider that someone else might have a list in your niche? Would they be willing to mail for you? Have you ever asked? When you do email marketing you get the "implied" endorsement of the list owner (even if that owner doesn't specifically give you that endorsement in the offer copy) which is a sales booster.

Here's another source of marketing leads that can work very well: highly targeted rented mailing lists.

These lists are built on things like niche magazine subscriptions. They can be very targeted and typically the list members are credit card buyers in the niche. Some of these niche lists are huge (1 million + names). Have you ever looked into this strategy? You should. Here is just one place to begin: Nextmark

Here's another source of highly targeted leads that I rarely see mentioned in the forum: authority web sites in your niche. Many times you can do a mailing through these sites. Sometimes they will also let you put your domain URL or your banner on their site if you don't directly compete with their similar products or services. Often they will accept joint venture projects in an effort to increase their own reach. It is a must that you have a great niche site yourself, or a very valuable niche product to sell. But is there a better source of buying niche leads than that which comes from niche authority sites? Sometimes these sites don't advertise the fact that they will sell you some site space or do a JV with you - you have to ask. Some "portal" niche sites may even give you a URL link for free. Authority sites are always on the lookout for high quality partners.

I can tell you through much experience that social media is not always the best answer nor is it the most cost effective. What good are thousands of SM leads if they don't convert? You'll never know until you conduct your own tests.

Steve
#media #sad #social #truth
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Will have to disagree. Social media is a great way to get traffic and build a list. We just finished working with two different organizations that are now killing it .

    The "Secret" of social media is to work with the intent of social media - it is not for direct immediate selling. its for creating community or rallying around a cause or interest. Most marketers are using Social media all wrong trying to market directly with no middle step. The middle step is to build a community around something people care about and almost every niche can find such a niche . From there you build a list and build rep. Once that is done you can sell and sell effectively the same way that offline businesses have built million dollar businesses based on local rep.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757002].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Will have to disagree. Social media is a great way to get traffic and build a list. We just finished working with two different organizations that are now killing it .

      The "Secret" of social media is to work with the intent of social media - it is not for direct immediate selling. its for creating community or rallying around a cause or interest. Most marketers are using Social media all wrong trying to market directly with no middle step. The middle step is to build a community around something people care about and almost every niche can find such a niche . From there you build a list and build rep. Once that is done you can sell and sell effectively the same way that offline businesses have built million dollar businesses based on local rep.

      What Steve was saying is that email is more effective at acquiring customers than social media. So your not disagreeing, you are agreeing, as you are saying to use social media to build a list, which you will then mail / use to acquire customers.
      Signature
      How to Build LARGE EMAIL LISTS on a Budget and MONETIZE Like a PRO
      20+ Years Exp . . . . . . . . . . . . Email - CPA - PPL
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757025].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by DIABL0 View Post

        What Steve was saying is that email is more effective at acquiring customers than social media. So your not disagreeing, you are agreeing
        No we are disagreeing. you acquire customers via social media and you close them by email or even other means (like on your website). Its just like any form of marketing. Following up on your base you have presold is just normal marketing. You just need to know how to use social media to do the same.
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757071].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      it is not for direct immediate selling . . . Most marketers are using Social media all wrong trying to market directly

      Mike,

      What you wrote above is really the point of my thread.

      When Warriors suggest using SM in their marketing, it's my feeling that nearly all of them try to market directly to the masses . . . which I feel is really not the most cost effective way to make money.

      What you are suggesting makes sense. You are putting folks on your own list and then marketing to them with email after nurturing them. You nurture by building a community around a cause . . . I nurture by engaging my subscribers in personal exchanges with me and I give them great value in my niche. I don't hit people in the face with offers right off the bat.

      I don't think there is a great difference in what I'm suggesting and what you're suggesting.

      Steve
      Signature

      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
      SteveBrowneDirect

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757798].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author angelap999
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Will have to disagree. Social media is a great way to get traffic and build a list. We just finished working with two different organizations that are now killing it .

      The "Secret" of social media is to work with the intent of social media - it is not for direct immediate selling. its for creating community or rallying around a cause or interest. Most marketers are using Social media all wrong trying to market directly with no middle step. The middle step is to build a community around something people care about and almost every niche can find such a niche . From there you build a list and build rep. Once that is done you can sell and sell effectively the same way that offline businesses have built million dollar businesses based on local rep.

      You hit the nail on the head - for social media, the key is not to sell directly. That just does not work because the platform is not suitable for that. But, building trust within the community through contests and engaging posts will build loyalty with fans. Once that is established, then you can sell and the sales would covert much more effectively.

      So, for social media, a bit of patience is required, but if you're not enjoying the process anyway, what's the point? Obviously we all want to make money, but if you're not having fun at all, I don't see the point because it will require some work and time.
      Signature
      Winning Facebook (Free) Marketing Strategies
      http://goo.gl/VrfO1A
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10758164].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I would totally agree on this, as I would take having my ad be in someones inbox over a social media site.

    There have also been studies done that shows email is more effective at acquiring new customer and actually produces hire order values than from social media.
    Signature
    How to Build LARGE EMAIL LISTS on a Budget and MONETIZE Like a PRO
    20+ Years Exp . . . . . . . . . . . . Email - CPA - PPL
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757016].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
    Steve how dare you bait people but I would have to agree social media is not the best for getting traffic , but let me say this there are some great gems

    I found a great place to advertise an e-book and made a few grand in 2 weeks and no web site or social media ( please do not PM as will not disclose the process)

    But I think social media is getting gamed too much and people are getting to see that it just plain spam.

    Jason
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757085].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author havplenty
    Social Media isn't an alternate universe peopled by beings different from those found on email lists. Those leads owned by marketers who've built up their list may very well have come from social media.

    My view is that people who fail to extract any value from social media traffic go about their marketing the wrong way. What's the right way? It depends as always on a variety of factors. Marketing is often a tactical game.

    What I do know is this: 42 y/o Debbie from Kansas sometimes types "how to lose weight" in Google; She also has a FB account, possibly a twitter; she's on a few email lists that offer advise about weight loss; she may also have a Instagram account where she checks out the latest pics from some Bravoesque reality show. You can also reach Debbie via Direct Mail if you happen to have her address.

    Its the same Debbie! As marketers our job is to meet her on her terms, on whatever platform or context she happens to reside.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757097].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by havplenty View Post

      Social Media isn't an alternate universe peopled by beings different from those found on email lists. Those leads owned by marketers who've built up their list may very well have come from social media.

      My view is that people who fail to extract any value from social media traffic go about their marketing the wrong way. What's the right way? It depends as always on a variety of factors. Marketing is often a tactical game.
      Great post. Its how marketers approach social media that is the problem. Its kind of like saying you can't pick up customers at social events. Well no - if you are going to walk up to people and start pitching your products at social events then don't expect a really great response. However you can talk about a wide range of things at social events and make connections that when you get down to it is really preselling.

      The ones killing it in social media are the ones that work it in much the same way. If you are going straight for "buy this product" then expect not to get good responses .
      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757191].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    In my opinion, it isn't either/or, it's both.

    Like email marketing, social media marketing also has the power to leverage the assets of others, by connecting with niche leaders and influencers. One way is to promote, retweet and repin when influencers "self promote". If you consistently share what they are promoting of their own, you have a good chance of getting on their "radar".

    There's also search engine benefits, such as internal search on sites like Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest. Basic SEO principals along with solid use of #hashtags can bring targeted traffic.


    Youtube and Pinterest, and even Twitter in a way, also seem to be liked by Google and are included in the Google SERPs.

    Even email accounts can cross over. I've seen the web versions of GetResponse and Aweber emails rank in Google. Getresponse allows for posting emails to Facebook and Twitter, which expands the potential reach to these platforms. I'm guessing Awber does too.

    Unlike email, social marketing has the built in ability to grow an audience, often from a follow/follow back strategy. Content is key to this, as the better your content the more followers you will get. And many social sites allow you to use quality content from other members in the form of repining, retweeting, sharing, and playlists on Youtube.

    Not only can you use content created by others by repining, retweeting, reblogging (Tumblr) to build your own social following, strategically using these opportunities can help you connect with powerful influencers in just about any niche worthy of marketing.

    Social marketing also allows for a great deal of automation, however I think a mix of automation and personal, hands-on, is best.

    Many IM resources cross over and discovering how to best exploit the multiple opportunities is optimal.
    Signature
    Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
    Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757143].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hotelsimply
    I will disagree.Social media is very easy and grat way to get more traffic in website
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757285].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hi steve, you have raised a great point here. But honestly, I am not into buying email lists from friends or third party resources. I think its an insult to email addresses. Nowadays, readers are more aware than ever. People are aware that their emails are being sold out and thus, they hate to be exploited. WHENEVER I RECEIVE AN AUTOMATED EMAIL FROM A COMPANY I DON't KNOW, I never even bother opening.
    This is natural and product owners can never build a faithful audience by sending emails to someone else's list, even if its from the same niche.
    However, I do agree on your point that we must look for our niche's influencers and ask them whether they allow advertisement. I think this can be better than investing thousands on social media, and most of the time reaching audience that is not so targeted (compared to advertising on same niche blogs). Thumbs up for raising a great question! Cheers! This certainly deserves my upvote!
    Thanks
    Junaid khawaja
    Signature

    I am conducting 5 FREE copy consultations till New Year...Jump onto my bandwagon while you still can..

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757746].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Junaid khawaja View Post

      I am not into buying email lists from friends or third party resources . . . People are aware that their emails are being sold out and thus, they hate to be exploited.

      Junaid,

      You are missing my point altogether. I'm not suggesting that you buy lists or spam anyone.

      There are email lists that you can rent for a one time mailing. These lists were built through opt-in just like any other legitimate list. The people on the list have asked to have information and offers in the niche sent to them. I mail to these lists in the hope of having these people opt in to my own lists and I offer them something valuable in the niche in exchange for their becoming my subscriber.

      In essence, I am building my own list with this method - not sending random offers directly to the rented list.

      Steve
      Signature

      Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
      SteveBrowneDirect

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10757790].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sameerjoshi
    Steve B,
    Thanks for this awesome, thought-provoking thread. I use social media quite extensively to drive traffic to one of my businesses (a physical products store online), and use some of the other traffic methods you have mentioned above for another online business (digital products).
    I have concluded for myself over time that this is really not a mutually exclusive kind of deal and social media, in fact, works really well in conjunction with other methods to get the right quality and quantity of potential buyers into the business. Though, I absolutely agree with you - all the hullabaloo about SM being the be-all-end-all of traffic generation is definitely not the right approach. I can understand that this is the perception because it is also a documented reality that SM does generate quite a bit of traffic if used correctly (Shopify recently published their analysis of which platforms drive most traffic - and I have also gone on to write a blog post about this, combining with my own experience of what of the study is really relevant and what not).
    Your suggestion of "highly targetted rented mailing lists" is an absolute breath of fresh air - I am surely going to try it out.
    Thanks for the thread/post!
    PS to you and Mark Anthony: I am convinced that your respective statements are complementary to each other's - I don't see much of a divergence in your respective messages, actually.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10758094].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author angelap999
    Originally Posted by Steve B View Post


    I can tell you through much experience that social media is not always the best answer nor is it the most cost effective. What good are thousands of SM leads if they don't convert? You'll never know until you conduct your own tests.

    Steve
    Very well said post! Thanks for sharing. The quote above sums it up. It's not always the best answer or cost effective because it will depend on the niche. It appears that IM marketing alone on Facebook is not that effective. Ultimately, you'll have to test things out to know if it will work for you, but the prerequisite is to study your market on Facebook first before even plunging in. They might not actually be on there, or at least want to engage in the IM or other niches on there.
    Signature
    Winning Facebook (Free) Marketing Strategies
    http://goo.gl/VrfO1A
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10758167].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DavidGWelch
    I agree with most of the comments here, Social Media is great for driving traffic (and, although im a new user here, ive worked on this fields and im talking with knowledge on the matter), the thing is that the environment keep changing and you need to be in a constant adaptation.
    I also agree that email marketing is a very good and underestimated source of traffic.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10758179].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jamie3000
    In my experience social traffic is really hard to convert. Like Twitter traffic is almost worthless apart from brand awareness.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10758655].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Freedom4rmUrJob
    Steve B,

    You have made a lot of valid points here. I have taken a lot of courses and tried a lot of methods/techniques. I don't think social media is the answer but like many other methods, it should be one of the vehicles used to help drive leads. It should be used in conjunction with the other great suggestions you made. Thanks for enlightening us!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10759217].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thanhnguyentrieu
    My point of view : If we run Marketing, Social Media is not enough but it's really essential for any enterprises. Let's imagine, you have website, you have blog, Youtube channel, but your customers usually use Social Network. So why don't we create Social Media Page to support them ? Our customers will have a place to feedback, to complain, to ask some questions. Especially, WE AND THEY DO EXCHANGE INFORMATION REGULARLY AND THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER US.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10762538].message }}

Trending Topics