Why Social Media Doesn’t Make Sense for Your Business

social media strategies
Does 500 million users = automatic success for your biz?

Here’s the point I’m going to try to make in this post: don’t allocate your precious resources to scoring new business on social media until you’ve perfected the art of converting relevant traffic on your own website.

Bear with me while I step into the time machine to get things started…

Remember 1o-15 years ago when companies starting including their domain on TV commercials and magazine ads? The “Information Superhighway” was so new that addresses included “http://www” at the beginning and some instruction like, “type this into your browser. Blah. Blah.”

In the last 18 months or so we’re starting to see a similar trend happening. Brands are including a Facebook and/or a Twitter logo in their ads to tell consumers they can be found on the world’s most popular social media sites.  I’ve even seen some Foursquare references as well.

I’m here to say the following: Resist the urge! Don’t blindly follow the trend!

My issue is with resources. Too many companies are abandoning their content strategies for their own websites in hopes of striking it rich in social media.

Big mistake for 99% of companies out there.

Assuming your business doesn’t have unlimited resources, my advice is to nail your your own internal content strategy first. Forget Facebook and Twitter for now.

Here are 5 reasons why levers like Facebook and Twitter are nice-to-haves instead of must-haves:

1. Conversion is king. There’s only room for one king, but what’s even better than traffic? Converting that traffic into paying customers! Again, assuming bandwidth and budget are not unlimited, doesn’t it make more sense to spend your efforts converting the traffic your have instead of trying a totally new medium that everyone else is trying to figure out for an unknown return?

2. Search is queen. Some think Facebook might eventually replace Google. That’s a topic for another day and it’s not going to happen all-of-a-sudden. Until then, assume search engines are still the way everyone finds everything online (Google Instant isn’t going to kill search overnight).  Spend your time capturing relevant traffic through the perfection of keyword analysis and conversion optimization. And don’t forget about Bing.

3. Twitter is noise. I realize Twitter has made a big jump from “I just ate an awesome burger” to a select few talented subject matter experts. It’s getting better. That being said, in most circumstances it offers zero value to businesses. There’s just too many Tweets and not enough listeners. Sure, there are stories of success on Twitter. But most of them come from big brands who can afford to spend through the learning curve.

3. Facebook doesn’t have your best interest in mind. The reality is that Facebook has never made it easy for businesses to prosper from the Facebook ecosystem. For example, a few years ago they opened up the developer platform. Everyone and their brother developed apps. Now you can’t find an app anywhere. They are completely hidden.  What happened to all of that time and money invested? It’s gone. If you need more proof, ask any developer that’s used their unsupported API. It’s very difficult because it’s so unstable and the documentation is lacking. At the end of the day, Facebook can change the rules overnight. Is that worth the risk?

5. Less clicks = more conversions. This one is simple. If you sell products or services on your website, the chances of converting traffic to paying customers is better on your website than it is anywhere else. Why? It’s simple math. Less clicks.

Marketing is an ROI-driven game. Before you go spending a lot of time and money trying to create the next great Facebook or Twitter success story, make sure your website is doing these two things really well first:

1. Leveraging search engines to find customers looking for your product
2. Converting your traffic to customers at an optimal level.

Your own website’s content strategy is the best value in marketing. Work on getting more relevant traffic and converting it!

Once you get that figured out, then tackle a social media strategy. You’ll be much more focused.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let’s chat in the comment section below.

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