If you’ve ever asked “why is social media important to business?”, this article will answer lots of questions for you.
Whether you’re an online entrepreneur or an offline entrepreneur, you know getting visibility for your business is important. Nobody knows about offers = no sales…simple as that.
Once you learn a few things about online marketing, you can quickly see two common things most internet users use: social media and search engines (mostly Google).
With this in mind, if you’re serious about getting eyes on your business and your offers, you have to meet people where they’re at. After analyzing that there are two primary places where people are, it’s common to have questions like:
- Which traffic source is more important?
- Which should you spend majority of your time on?
- What activities have the highest ROI?
- Which social media platforms perform best?
- and, what’s a good strategy starting out?
With all these questions in mind, I wrote this article, and I’m hoping by answering these questions for you, it’ll be very helpful to the growth of your business. Let’s get started…
- 1 Traffic Sources
- 2 The Bad Side of SEO
- 3 Which Traffic Source is More Important?
- 4 Which Should You Spend Majority of Your Time on?
- 5 Jim’s Improve Photography Social Media Story
- 6 …Back to What You Should Spend Time On
- 7 Which Activities have the Highest ROI?
- 8 Which Social Media Platforms Perform Best?
- 9 What’s a Good Strategy Starting Out?
- 10 Final Words answering, “Why is Social Media Important for Business?”
- 11 Now, it’s Your Turn…
As I stated before, social media and search engines are the two primary traffic sources for most website owners. When looking at internetlivestats, you can see there are 3.9 billion internet users.
Those internet users are searching Google almost 4 billion times daily.
and, the other social media sites trail drastically behind Google by the billions (even Facebook is behind!).
For this reason, most internet entrepreneurs put their emphasis on search engine optimization or search engine marketing because it drives an average of 70% of website traffic!
The Bad Side of SEO
On the bad side, SEO takes about 6 months or more to start working. Even with an aggressive content publishing schedule, Google will not send you traffic.
Instead, new websites have to rely on other means such as guest posting, backlinking, or social media.
With many social media platforms, it’s not so much about searching to find information and answering queries, instead, it’s about sparking the interest of social circles and people with common interests. There are completely different drivers for content to do well on social media.
Which Traffic Source is More Important?
When it comes to the volume of traffic you can amass over time organically, search engine traffic is more important. When it’s about quick spurt of traffic or emotion-based content, social media may be the more viable option.
Neither of the traffic sources are more important in the overall picture. As Moz says, “It’s like the pizza without the cheese”. They’re both valuable traffic sources that can help increase brand awareness and trust with customers or potential customers.
Which Should You Spend Majority of Your Time on?
When you really study the internet, you’ll find many companies who seemed like the talk of the time, but now, they’ve disappeared. They may have had an apex of 5-10 years, then they lost their competitive advantage as someone else came up with the edge.
Myspace is one such example. They were very popular and people were spending lots of time: uploading profile songs, adding pictures, networking and “making friends”. Then, one day, other social media sites rose up, and Myspace lost it’s “it” factor. They didn’t keep up.
Over the history of social media, you see the story of Myspace happened quite a bit. While Facebook is the leading social media platform today, they’re only a few decisions away from not being a trend.
The most important place for you to spend your time is where you can control the returns of your efforts. Social media is like rented land.
Jim’s Improve Photography Social Media Story
In one of his Income School videos, Jim talks about how he spent hours on Facebook: growing his fanpage Improve Photography….
He was getting 30% of his website traffic from Facebook, so he thought his time spent was well worth it.
He grew his fanpage to about 1 million fans! 30% of 1 million fans is a nice chunk of traffic, right?
Facebook changed their algorithm. They didn’t ask. They just went for it. Instantly Jim went from 1 million fans and 30% conversions to website visitors down to 1 million fans and less than 1% conversions to website visitors.
He didn’t do anything wrong. Facebook tweaked their goals.
Now, they’re trying to get more ad buyers, so they’re making adjustments to their algorithms that make those who have business pages feel more compelled to buy ads. In other words, if you get 6% or less organic reach with your social media posts, then you’ll feel compelled to boost a post or pay for advertising because you want effective campaigns.
Now, Jim looks back at all that time spent and says that it wasn’t worth it, but that’s what happens on “rented” land. The landlords have the upper hand and they can modify things when they want.
…Back to What You Should Spend Time On
As a result of the Myspace story, Jim’s story, and many other stories like it, I recommend you spend most of your time on creating content on your site and building your email list.
Social media is a lesser priority than satisfying your customers by delivering a sufficient volume of high quality content.
Which Activities have the Highest ROI?
There are some activities that leave you stuck in a cycle, then there are other ones that seem like you can build, then reap from your construction effort for years to come. Many people spend load of time creating content to send out on social media platforms that only share their content to small percentages of people for very brief periods of time.
This is a rat wheel. You may have a spike in traffic, but unless you keep churning out content, your traffic will spike and fall repeatedly. If you’re looking for ways to drive traffic from platforms other than Google, I’d recommend spending time on platforms where users predominantly search topics to find content, rather than primarily relying on social circles.
For this reason, Pinterest is my favorite social media platform.
Here’s a little plug…
“Stop by and like the How To Entrepreneur Pinterest Profile“. I curate lots of content there about starting and scaling businesses. Also, if you REALLY want to be nice, check out my personal Pinterest page as well! On my personal profile, I curate content on full lifestyle improvement: health, spiritual, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and relationships.
Why Search Engine Platforms are Worth Your Time
Social media platforms that are driven by search use the same basis that search engines use. Therefore, if you are creating content based on gaps in the searches, you will also have a likely chance to be found there also. As an added benefit, when you search something on Google, look at this…
I went to Google and searched “home office ideas”, and look what popped up! Pinterest is in the search results! This means when a search user goes to Google and searches, maybe your website may not show up in the search results, but you can leverage the SEO of Pinterest by adding your pins onto their platform!
Very cool, right?
Other Search Engines You Should Consider
In addition to Pinterest, internet users predominantly use the following sites to search and find specific content:
- Websites (like when you guest post or comment)
- and there are more….
Which Social Media Platforms Perform Best?
Each social media platform has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss a few…
- Large user base
- Picture, text, and video platform
- Very highly targeted ads using psychographics, imitation audiences, and buying behaviors
- Low CPC on paid ads
- Facebook groups segment common interests and can be good for networking
- Low organic reach
- Difficult to get organic traffic
- Low shelf life for posts
- Picture and video platform
- Highly engaged
- Quickly growing
- Ads available
- Difficult to get organic traffic from Instagram
- Post shelf lives are short
Linked In Pros
- Great professional platform
- Groups segment professions
- Helps to identify people by professional skills
- Paid ads available
Linked In Cons
- Low traffic to your website
- Low shelf life on posts
By now, your probably seeing the trends…
The social media models that are based on social circles typically are more for networking, meeting small ratios of people, and the paid platforms can be used to drive traffic or build brand awareness.
Social media is moving more and more into a model where you have to pay to obtain traffic conversions or major brand awareness. Many internet statistics are showing organic reach and engagement declining on the social media platforms.
The model that’s based on searches allows people to find the content that serves their need (potentially created by someone they did not know prior). If you have a small social circle, but you create content that’s relevant to large populations, you have a chance at growing an audience because of your niche selection.
Even with the search models, we may see declines in the ease of organic reach. New website owners are being told they need to wait for the 6 month mark to see traffic, and content lengths and qualities are getting steeper (in comparison to the past). The internet traffic generation space is changing.
On the contrary, if you were primarily focused on social media and building your social circle, it would be a more costly and time-consuming process than optimizing for search engines.
What’s a Good Strategy Starting Out?
So, what do we do with all this information now? Well, if we break down your schedule into percentages, I’d say…
1. Focus on Building a Site with Great Content Consistently (65%)
2. Make sure each article uses SEO best practices including keyword research (10%)
3. Grow your email list and mail your content to subscribers (15%)
4. Share the Content on Social Media (3.3%)
5. Join Groups (3.3%)
6. Share Content with Social Media Groups (3.3%)
The percentages weren’t set-in-stone, but I just wanted to illustrate an emphasis on your website assets.
Final Words answering, “Why is Social Media Important for Business?”
The goal of this article was to answer the question, “Why is social media important for business?”. Hopefully, you can see that even with the changing of social media models from organic discovery into “pay-to-play”, you can still see the overall value of using social media. It’s very likely that your audience is there.
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Has social media been good for your business? Why or why not? Leave your comments, questions, and feedback below.