Why + Where Social Matters
Social media has an analytics problem. Whereas many other sources – ads, organic search, referrals, bookmarks – all drive traffic that directly converts (i.e. results in a purchase/signup action), social traffic is very temporal. Visitors from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, et al. are known to visit a page and quickly depart. This leaves marketers struggling to understand the value of these channels. High bounce rates, low browse rates and awful conversion rates make social the black sheep of the referring traffic sources.
I’ll try to explain the problem, and the reason why social still matters, despite these poor metrics, in visual form:
Do you understand the connection between social media and getting new clients? I’ve been involved in social media since its inception and I don’t. It’s constantly evolving. There is always something new to learn. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the hype and want to run screaming from the social media hype factory.
Fortunately, social media has been around long enough so the <em>real</em> practitioners have figured out where it fits in the buying cycle.
This post from search engine optimization (SEO) guru Rand Fishkin does a great job of clearly explaining the ‘fit’ of social media. It’s detailed and some topics are more advanced but Rand is a good teacher so even the motivated uninitiated can benefit from reading his article.
And if you don’t already know this, when an SEO person talks marketing, you can rest assured their remarks will be results focused. That comes with the territory they inhabit (think opposite of hipster brand marketing designer).