July 25, 2011, 5:00 am

Social Media Does Matter… Time To Call Out My Partner

by: Silent Partner    Category: Business
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Mike is an incredible partner, no doubt about it. But like everyone, sometimes he can be way off. Earlier this month, while reading his June earnings post, I got stuck when he wrote:

To be honest, I don’t believe in social media promotion. They are good for increasing the number of backlinks but people coming from social media rarely stick around. Most of them jump from one site to another without reading much

Am I surprised by Mike’s statement? Of course not. He has told me this over and over. However, up until now, he had kept this to himself. Now that he’s discussed this publicly, I’d love to hear your thoughts. To be fair, I think Mike was speaking specifically about StumbleUpon. If you have any type of website, you know that when a post starts getting stumbled, you can see visitors running into the website. The problem of course is that they leave with the same speed in almost all cases. You’d have to see the average time spent on our sites for StumbleUpon visitors… to say that they only stay a few seconds would be an understatement. That being said, I would draw two conclusions:

StumbleUpon Is Perhaps Not A Great Source Of Traffic

I think that some things can be done with SU traffic and perhaps with a better design, that would help new visitors quickly (very quickly!) figure out how to use TheFinancialBlogger, I’m certain that at least a few of those could become regular readers. A minority? Absolutely, but at least some of them. These users would also be ones that tend to share what they like, be social about their favorite links, etc. I see clear value in that.

Social Web Is Not Only About StumbleUpon

It would be crazy to judge Facebook, Twitter and others as if they were the same as StumbleUpon. They are clearly nothing like StumbleUpon. I think Mike has got it wrong on social media however. To be fair, he is fairly active on Twitter and has been gaining a following. I think he keeps doing it because to some degree he doubts that social media is useless. And these doubts are well founded.

Measuring Social Media Effects

In my opinion, social media will be a growing part of TheFinancialBlogger. As the blog evolves, TFB is becoming a strong brand.  Interacting with fans on Twitter, Facebook, and maybe eventually an iTunes podcast or YouTube video will only help make the brand even stronger.  In the end, I don’t think it’s about seeing how many users are directly referred to TFB from these services. If users find out about TFB through these alternative ways, that will increase our presence,  our influence, help us reach and help more visitors and eventually that will translate into revenues and profit.

I understand that it’s much more difficult to measure how someone who is following TFB on Twitter will have more interaction with us.  This is so, especially when you compare it with SEO for example, which is so easy to measure (simply having Google Analytics makes it incredibly easy).

I’d love to get your thoughts on this…  Am I all alone to think that Mike was way off to write that? I will eventually convince him to create a Facebook page for TFB and when I do, I hope it will give us one more example of how social media can help TFB. In the meantime, if you don’t already, please follow TFB on Twitter and share your thoughts here!

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I agree 100% with Mike. There are far better time uses than social media.

One thing you have to remember is that like any kind of promotion – different methods don’t apply to all blogs equally. For example, SU traffic is a waste because most of the users are American, who have no interest in Canadian financial blogs.

I think social media (all types) is worth trying, but you have to be able to measure the effects (or lack thereof). Don’t just keep doing it because other people say it’s a great thing.

If something is not working for you, then change your approach or stop doing it.

A lot of people don’t understand social media. I completely agree; Stumble traffic is rough. It can definitely increase your bounce rate, but boost your new visitors. You have to look for more sustainable forms like Twitter and Facebook. I just think if you don’t understand social media, you definitely shouldn’t “waste” your time. Find someone who enjoys it *hint hint me hint* and they’ll do it for you. You get the benefits of social media without the time sink.

Interesting point about targeting a Canadian market as opposed to an American one Mike H.

I don’t like social media, but I hate to admit that it does matter! And its prominence is only going to grow.

Social media is helpful but I don’t think it is as important as many people think. I would rather spend my time writing and working on my blog.

by: The Financial Blogger | July 25th, 2011 (6:32 pm)

I’m still with Mike (Holman) on this one… good post partner 😉

I don’t like social media, but that is only because I don’t “get” it 🙂 but the sane part of me still accepts that it matters a lot and will only increase in value…

What if just 1% of those SU users subscribe or start to follow on twitter…what if that happens 100 days out of the 200+ you post….what if Google sees some of those backlinks and decides you are an active an awesome site and shouldn’t be downgraded….

Just saying for something that takes 25 seconds to do, the question is why wouldn’t you? I don’t because I forget but then again i don’t have 2 freelancers I could put in charge