Interesting article by Steve Scott. In the article, he went over his traffic results for the month along with working strategies to improve his traffic for the following month. A lot of his traffic came from places like Twitter (further proof that people do retweet your stuff and actually click on links).
Now Steve’s view on Twitter differs from mine. I am not saying that he is wrong or right or that I am wrong or right ; it is what it is. And this is NOT a charge on Steve Scott or even a underhanded quip at his expertise. I know that print sometimes makes things sound like fighting words but it is anything but. To be perfectly honest, I like his website.
But one of the things that he mentioned is that Google + wasn’t working well for him. He said it was “bad” for traffic.
This is dangerous ground for someone of influence to make blanket statements such as so-and-so doesn’t work because it sets a precedent for others to assume and believe that it doesn’t work. Just because someone says something doesn’t work doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work for anyone.
Part of my evolution from being a search marketer (as in SEO) to a more well rounded marketer was overcoming the blanket bias of what others say works or doesn’t. Honestly, believing everything that others say is the lazy way out of doing your own due diligence.
For example, 3 years ago I was part of the chorus that openly mocked social media as a way to drive traffic and sales to websites. My beliefs were further confirmed by another search marketer (Grizzly Brears) I followed who shared the same beliefs.
In retrospect, I can see the value in social media for things like brand awareness as well as building trust for businesses that want repeat customers over the long haul. It doesn’t mean that you have to use it though. It just means that because you are, it doesn’t imply that you are somehow worse off than someone who is targeting traffic via search (or whatever).
Here’s the reality. Everything Works.
It does. Twitter Marketing works. Email marketing works. Facebook marketing works. And yes, even google + marketing works. It all boils down to learning the interface and the community that resides within the platform.
I know one of the things that frustrates a few of my readers is my inability to make a hard core stand when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. There is a reason for this ; different situations require different marketing strategies and everything works…just not for everyone.
If you play to your strengths, you are ultimately better off for it. And the clients that I have worked with in regards to building a social marketing strategy all play their strongest hand first ; and if they don’t, I usually motivate them to play their to their strengths first.
Social Media & Our Comfort Zones
The problem is that we tend to get into a comfort zone in as far as strategy goes. We assume that all platforms are the same and that the reactions, therefore, are going to be the same. The reality is that they aren’t. They must be learned. You must dedicate a bit of time understanding the community. You must learn what moves the community. Just as important, you must learn what turns them off.
It’s about building a connection with a group of people who
want what you’ve got to offer, and doing it in a way that
leaves everyone involved better off. The specific interest and
goal could be anything. The key is the connection. _Paul Myers (talking about list building but it could be applicable in literally any marketing strategy.)
Now Google+ hasn’t worked for Steve. It hasn’t worked enough for him to publicly come out and tell his readers that it doesn’t work (who in turn will probably develop a bias against the platform). But in my very small universe, I have seen some pretty decent gains from it.
To illustrate this, I will show you what google+ has done for my website in the past month. Mind you, the traffic numbers on the whole aren’t going to impress you. But what should is that Steve Scott gets 1,000′s of more visitors per month, has a ton more content than mine, and is older (compared to my 1,000 or so per month total)…considering his reach is probably 100x greater than mine, you would think that he would automatically be more successful driving engaged traffic to his website than I would.
Here’s Steve Scott’s Google+ Numbers (with some commentary)
And here are my numbers….
So what did I do different than Steve? Probably not much. I probably spent a little more time on the platform. I probably spent more time interacting with the community and contributed to the community by sharing and commenting on other people’s content. The fact that I don’t automate this may play a part in it, who knows? But really, I don’t know. What I do know is that Google+ is currently my top social referrer ; which is something that illustrates the sad state of affairs for this website, traffic-wise.
That’s my very small universe. It’s not meant to impress. People like AJ Kohn would probably echo this sentiment though. Google+ traffic works for him as well.
I should point out, I don’t spend a crazy amount of time on Google+ (or any social platform for that matter). I simply don’t have the time. If I wanted to scale this, I probably could push those numbers up with a little more work.
This isn’t that Steve is wrong and I am right though. The point is that you shouldn’t take to heart when someone says that _______ doesn’t work. Because it isn’t about what works and what doesn’t. Everything works if you are willing to learn how to work it.
Image Attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/4028934580/