In a previous post, I wrote about “How To Get 55 Comments And 98 Likes On Your First Article Using Social Media“. In the article, I spelled out the process I used to gain traction to a blog post I wrote on a brand new blog, using Facebook as the only source of traffic. This article sparked a very interesting discussion, with 61 comments to date.
It also started a debate on whether Social Media is even worth the time invested. My buddy Mitch, who started Blog Mastermind at the same time I did, was a very active part of the discussion. Mitch is someone I respect, and I admire him for the passion he puts into his online business. If it were someone else, I MIGHT not have taken him as seriously, but it’s Mitch, so how can I not take him seriously?
I think Mitch’s perspective can be summarized by one statement that he made (and he can correct me if I’m wrong):
Any time spent getting followers on a Facebook page or Twitter is wasted time you could be producing content that is going to get real followers to your blog.
This sparked an interesting debate on the topic of whether social media platforms contribute any value to the growth of online business. In light of such a strong response, I’ve decided to write this follow-up blog post to shed some additional light on what I believe is the way social media sites like (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.) can be effectively used to help grow an online business.
In The World Of Google, Content Is King
Mitch’s statement alluded to the fact that Content is what really matters. This is the great part about what he had to say. Let’s take what he has done as an example. On the day he wrote that comment, he had 9,782 unique visitors to his website that day alone (and it was only noon). On his site, there were 27 new articles scheduled to be released that day. That’s a butt-load of articles, but it’s obviously paying off.
“In the world of Google, Content is king”. I can’t take credit for that statement, and I don’t know where I heard it from, but it’s such a true statement. When it comes to internet marketing, your content is your currency. When a site is just getting started, one of the best ways to get your site noticed by Google is to produce high quality content on a regular basis. Yes, there are other ways to succeed without being a prolific content producer. However, each article you put out there is another entry point for traffic.
Time for a simple math lesson (since I also teach math):
Let’s say you have 10 articles on your website, and each article gets an average of 10 hits via the search engine on a daily basis. Simple math tells us that you can expect to see 100 hits every day (10 x 10). Not bad. 100 visits to your website when you are just starting isn’t a super huge deal, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Now let’s say that you are a beast like Mitch (and I mean that in the best way possible) and you just become a content generating maniac. However, let’s tone down the beastliness and say that after a few months you have 1000 articles on your blog, assuming that each brings an average of 10 visits to your website. What does that mean? 10,000 hits every single day (1,000 x 10).
It’s easy to see that more content is more beneficial. So Mitch is definitely right there.
Many people take this content thing the wrong way. They think that as long as they have a lot of content, they are good to go. However, it’s not just the quantity that matters, it’s also the Quality, even more-so than the amount. The goal of your content should be to not only bring traffic, but to entice your website visitors to become frequent visitors to your site, and where that’s concerned, quality trumps quantity.
A well-written article (or a great audio/video post) that helps your audience solve a pressing problem will do much more than 50 poorly written articles that benefit no one.
The Role Of Social Media
When I did my little social media experiment, my goal was just to see how quickly I could get an active discussion going at a brand new blog – in part to be able to write about it and share what I learned. I knew that I couldn’t rely on SEO to drive a good amount of traffic to the blog overnight. SEO is a long term strategy and in my mind, social media was the only way to do something like that so quickly. It worked, because I ended up with 55 comments and 98 likes over the span of a few days. That’s pretty good for a brand new site.
Think about it – news spreads so quickly these days with sites like Twitter and Facebook playing such a big part of life as we know it today. One tweet can cause such a rapid cycle that things happening on the other side of the world can spread within seconds and reach you almost instantaneously. I don’t even watch the news anymore, because it’s much more efficient for me to get my news on Twitter
Let’s briefly touch upon some of the benefits of using social media sites:
- It’s Free. There is no cost associated with tweeting or updating your Facebook status.
- It can yield quick results, as can be seen with the experiment I conducted.
- It gives you additional platforms to communicate with your subscribers.
- People spend LOTS of time on these social media sites. It’s good for your business to be where the people are.
So Is Social Media Everything In Today’s World?
Absolutely not. It’s definitely NOT a substitute for generating high quality content on a regular basis. You can spend LOTS of time on these social networking sites and not accomplish anything – especially if you are not over delivering on your content. Just like with any other traffic generating system, your traffic doesn’t matter if it doesn’t convert. Facebook might be able to send you traffic, but it’s up to you to know what to do with it.
As Mitch put it, you’re time is better spent producing quality content that is going to get you REAL followers to your blog.
How To Effectively Use Social Media
People tend to listen to the hype of so many gurus out there claiming that social media is the key to success. The part they somehow don’t realize is that whether you use social media or not, building a solid online business is a massive undertaking. Make no mistake. However, if you do plan on using social media to help you grow your business, here are some tips:
- Social Networking is not about selling your product. It’s about nurturing relationships with your followers. It’s about gaining trust. Once you have established yourself as a trustworthy, credible source, you are more likely to gain loyal followers that are more likely to purchase your product/service. When I did my experiment, I already had a relationship with my Facebook friends. That’s what Made it so effective.
- Be personable. People go to Facebook to connect with other People. For the most part, they aren’t looking for sales pitches. Be a real person, and you will get real people to follow you. Don’t be all business, be all YOU!
- Don’t build a business solely on Social Media. Yes, a social media campaign can be effective. However, you must recognize that you don’t own your Facebook or Twitter account. Facebook and Twitter own your accounts. That being said, always have a solid funnel where you are driving people back to your blog/website to deliver the bulk of the value there and getting them onto YOUR list.
- Be goal-oriented and get in and out Quickly. I don’t know how many people intend to get on Facebook to check something really quick, and find themselves attached to it 5 hours later. It can be addictive. So, you need to make sure to have a specific goal, and spend a specified amount of time on those sites, if you decide to make it a part of your business.
- Don’t stop producing AWESOME CONTENT. Your content is your business – NOT your Facebook or Twitter account.
Whether or not you choose to use social media in your online business, or any other strategy for generating traffic and communicating with your followers, keep your priorities in check. Content is King, and there is no substitute.
So what do you think? What’s the role of social media? Does it ROCK? Does it SUCK? Join in on the discussion below.