If you’ve been following this site for more than just a few days then you’ve undoubtedly noticed that I am a strong proponent of the use of social media. From the 4 and half billion active social media accounts online today, many marketers have shown that proper marketing of these sites can lead to one of the most profitable sources of traffic, thus making social media an absolute must for any business that wants to be competitive within their marketplace.
Obviously, Facebook is the top dog of the social media world. With over 1.19 billion active user accounts, Facebook is the 2nd most frequented website in the world, Google being the perennial #1. Of those 1.26 billion accounts, 70% of these users are active on Facebook every single day. The average user spends approximately 351 minutes logged into Facebook per month. Needless to say, this site gets A LOT of traffic, but what would make this such a viable source of traffic for web entrepreneurs?
The answer is simple…engagement. Since the inclusion of ads to Facebook’s interface, creating a highly targeted page for your business is easier than ever before. With a bit of practice, it is not uncommon for many marketers to receive “Likes” to their page for under a single cent, making it far more affordable than paid traffic from Google or Bing.
The REAL kicker is that other sources of paid traffic such as adwords or banner ads are one time deals, whereas Facebook allows for continuous interaction. Once you’ve received a click from that user, unless they purchase something or sign up to your email list, they may disappear forever. Facebook on the other hand allows you to continuously reach those that have “Liked” your page with various posts and offers. Also, once someone “Likes” your page, posts, or shares anything from your site, the information will be seen by all of that user’s friends as well, which can quickly allow a site to go viral within a very short amount of time.
One major overlooked benefit of Facebook is that it can easily humanize a business in a way that allows followers to connect on a more personal level. For the most part, consumers view businesses as nameless, faceless entities. It is up to you to break through this stigma in order to build trust by showing potential buyers that you are in fact a regular person, just like them, and not just a website on their screen. Facebook posting allows this interaction to take place. Consumers are far more likely to purchase something from someone they like and trust.
Awesome Facebook Stat of the Day: After analyzing 18,000 small to medium business sites, Kiss-metrics concluded from this study that the average value of a visit that originated from Facebook was 22 cents. This may not seem like much, but the majority of the sites that were analyzed only contained 500 or less Facebook friends, which leads me to believe that these sites put very little effort into monetizing Facebook traffic. With a little bit of work, Facebook can be one of the most profitable sources of revenue on the web.
Though it is much different than sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and Linkedin, Youtube is in fact considered a form of social media because it allows users to interact, create, and share information and ideas with the virtual community. On this site, we’ve covered how important Youtube is to building a business.
Now, more than ever before, marketers are turning to Youtube as an integral source of traffic for their money site. Youtube now reaches more viewers than any single cable network available. Television viewership is on the decline, giving rise to the ever growing number of people that watch videos online. Over 4 billion videos are viewed every single day, making it the 3rd most popular site in the world.
A large perk that Youtube has that no other social media site offers is the ability to monetize your Youtube videos simply by showing ads. For instance, one of the most popular channels on Youtube is a comedy duo known as Smosh. Smosh boasts almost 14 million subscribers and almost 3 billion total views. Forbes estimated that the Smosh Youtube channel brought in approximately $10 million in revenue during 2011. The majority of which is from allowing skippable ads to be played prior to the start of Smosh videos. The estimated revenue is most likely much higher this year since the amount of subscribers has literally doubled since Forbes published the article in January. In March, the web analytics site, All Things Digital, reported that companies such as Machinima and maker Studios evaluated the worth of Smosh to be over $200 million. Though they have a website with some merchandise, their popularity and the majority of revenue is generated from Youtube.
Needless to say, if you have a strong message, Youtube is the vessel to reach your target audience. If the message is strong enough, it could potentially bring HUGE returns.
Adwords, Bing, banner ads, etc have all been shown to successfully draw in traffic for business owners everywhere. However, the utilization of social media has so many more benefits that these other paid methods simply don’t. The best approach though is to find what works for you, and stick with it.