The only thing that remains constant in this life is change and there are huge positive changes taking placing on the web, especially with how we market ourselves and our products. Its very important to keep up to date and constantly conduct self-analysis to ensure that we are practicing the techniques that work for our blogs and business. So let’s take a look at how effective Social Media Marketing (SMM) really is in comparison to results gained from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and which practice works better for a blog and at what stage.
Activities I Consider a part of Social Media Marketing
Just to set the stage for the discussion, I consider the activities below as part of social media marketing:
- Commenting on other blogs
- Connecting with other bloggers
- Using social media sites to talk about products / ideas
- Creating online profiles that promote your idea / product
- Guest posting on other blogs
- Collaborating on projects with other bloggers
Going Viral & Spreading Like a Wildfire
The word “Viral” is defined as “…to do with or caused by a virus.” So when we go viral with our blog, business or idea we are spreading like a virus throughout the social internet and infecting and affect the minds of our readers and viewers of whom we did not even have direct contact with. So suddenly, 100 visitors become 1,000 visitors, then 10,000 visitors and so on. This is especially effective if we have a unique product or idea.
Social Media has afforded many business and personal websites to reach out to thousands and in some cases millions of persons across the world at a very minimal cost and time.
So my questions is this: Are you spending enough time on social media marketing or are you waiting for the visitors to come to your site?
I can guarantee you that if you have the quality content to market, engaging in social media will bring great improvement to your site’s traffic and long-term growth and success.
Here are 2 social media sites from which I am enjoying an increase in readership to my blog and have made some brand new connections with other bloggers:
Twitter – Ensure that your site or blog makes it easy for visitors to tweet your posts by using the Tweet Meme share button. Its very important to work on building your twitter presence by engaging other users by following them and connect with persons you find interesting within your niche. Having a large targeted following on twitter can bring you massive traffic when you tweet your articles.
Blog Engage – This is an excellent site to use as a tool to connect with other bloggers and get your articles out on the web. Blog Engage allows you to publish your blog posts to a buzzing community and allows others to vote on your articles and you can add friends so it pretty much works like Facebook but is built for bloggers. Create an account, start publishing your posts, vote on other articles that you may like and watch the traffic flow to your site. Be social! Get to know others in the blogosphere while sharing your thoughts and ideas. Be very active, make your presence felt in a non-intrusive way and watch yourself grow as a blogger.
The sites above will definitely help you to see an increase in traffic to your site especially when combined with reaching out to other bloggers by commenting on their sites and creating quality content / services that users will be interested in.
Engaging in online social activities is a very proactive way of attracting visitors to your site rather than waiting for persons to use a search engine to stumble upon your site, which in basic terms may be by chance.
Actual Results from Social Media Marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization
Well I cannot discuss this topic without showing some actual numbers that represent the idea. So here is a glimpse of what my traffic looks like from social media activities versus results from search engines. The samples are shown over a 1 month time frame using Google Analytics
Visits from Social Media sites & Referring Sites that I have interacted with:
Based on the graph above we see that visitors are spending some time on my blog reading and are engaged. You will also note that readers from referring sites accounted for 59.24% of total traffic. Traffic within this group was typically obtained from sites like Twitter, Technorati, Blog Engage, blogs that I have commented on and guest posted, etc.
Visits from Search Engines:
The graph above shows traffic from search engines with a much higher bounce rate with less time spent on the site and accounts for only 8.82% of total traffic. The search engine traffic here comes from Yahoo, Google and Bing.
Note also that in the graph above the spike in search engine traffic at about April 6 seem to have occurred because of my blog being upgraded to a Page Rank of 2.
So the conclusion is clear: Social media activities encourages better quality traffic than that obtained from search engines.
The conclusion is apparently very clear; traffic obtained from Social Media Marketing outperforms Search Engine traffic, especially for new blogs that do not yet have a reputation on the web. For a site to be truly successful in a shorter period of time the owner or author needs to be super active on the web interacting with others and working to make themselves and their site known.
Please leave a comment and let us know what you think? How has SEO and Social Media Marketing worked for you? Do you think it will be the same 5 years from now? Let us know.