You know the benefits of social media marketing.
It produces traffic. Traffic is good. The more you Tweet the more followers you get. That’s good too. You post some stuff on Facebook and some people ‘Like’ it. That’s good. And don’t forget LinkedIn. Everyone loves LinkedIn. You better be active on there too.
Focusing on all that is important…but, focusing on those metrics is also why many marketers waste their time with social media. We’ve argued in the past that most marketers simply fail at social media marketing. We won’t regurgitate that argument here. Rather, the purpose of this blog is to share some stories about social media failure.
Should be fun.
Earlier this week we published an infographic titled Conversation Analytics: How it Works. The infographic describes…well…how Conversation Analytics works. It answers a question we hear a lot (as any good piece of content should).
The infographic has been received REALLY well. It’s been shared a lot, several companies have re-published the infographic on their respective blogs, and it has garnered some pretty substantial media coverage.
And then we decided to promote the infographic on social media. We posted it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. We got traffic, but the traffic SUCKED. In fact, our bounce rate from Twitter and Facebook was 100%. That’s bad. Traffic from other sources is staying on the page for over 5 minutes, but traffic from Twitter and Facebook is bouncing.
As you probably know, we host a very popular marketing webinar series. We partner with leading companies, agencies, and marketing experts to produce the content for the webinars. It is educational and not ‘salesy’ in nature. We invite our entire email list to the webinars and we ask that the company we are partnering with does the same. Generally it works out well.
However, there have been two cases recently in which the company with whom we were partnering refused to email their list. They, instead, said they would promote the webinar on their social media platforms. This, they believed, would garner registrations. Both of these companies have VERY LARGE social media audiences (100,000+). Reluctantly, we agreed to let them just Tweet about the webinar rather than send around an email.
Long story short: it didn’t work.
When an email invitation to a webinar goes out, registrations immediately roll in. Not so with social media promotion. It simply doesn’t produce registrations. One of the guest presenters had a Twitter following of over 300,000. Guess how many registrants he generated after 7 Tweets about the webinar?
Our email list, on the other hand, had around 10,000 people on it at the time. Guess how many registrations our email list generated?
What’s my point? Social media marketing does not produce direct response results.
Early in my time at Convirza, I was OBSESSED with Twitter followers. I tried sometimes sketchy methods to build the Convirza Twitter following.
It didn’t work. Sketchy Twitter followers don’t click on your stuff, and when they do, they bounce.
If you want to learn very specific ways to effectively market with social media, watch the webinar titled: 3 Ways to Generate an ROI with Social Media from our friends at GroSocial. But here are three things that have worked for us:
1) Engagement: Reach out to people directly on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. It works. It really, really works.
2) Paid Advertising: We’ve seen a ton of success using Twitter Promoted Posts and LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. It works…if you have good content.
3) Contests: If you’re in the B2C world, doing a Facebook contest is a great idea. It works. And, some argue, it even works in the B2B space as well.