Submitted by Teo Graca
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Social Media Advertising - The Most Effective Way to Generate Website Traffic
Three Sources of Web Traffic
Although there are currently 3 primary ways for people to find your website, two of these are completely new approaches to advertising. As people are still trying to come to grips with search engine marketing (SEM), pay per click (PPC) and social media, most have already forgotten or discounted traditional advertising as a viable form of advertising for their businesses. So, what is the most effective way to advertise your website and get a measurable ROI for your investment dollars?
I have found it amazing to observe the Evolution of Advertising over the last 15+ years. The newer generations don't understand what it was like before the Internet was available, and this wasn't that long ago. Finding information was difficult at best. Libraries and paper publications were very important and traditional advertising was the only way to promote a website. When the Internet was released to the public in 1994 and through about 1998, the only way for people to find your website other than personally telling them about it was television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising. Although these methods are still used, for most small businesses, traditional advertising is just not as effective anymore and it is much more expensive than the newer forms of advertising.
Search Engines Destroyed Traditional Advertising
Another fact that most people have forgotten (or never knew) is that Google was the first company that actually had an effective search engine that worked for everyone. It didn't become very popular until about 1999. Advertisers are still trying to catch up with the effect this had on advertising. Whether you noticed or not, newspapers have been going out of business and are almost a thing of the past. It was the success of search engines that set this industry up for failure as people moved to the Internet to find news. Printing, delivery, etc. of newspapers is expensive. Newspapers that DID NOT begin changing their business model early are either out of business or behind the technology curve and on their way out. Publishing on the web (blogging) allows these "Publishers" to focus their entire budget on content. Radio and television stations are going through the same thing now as bloggers adopt videos and audio into their broadcasts.
Search Engine Advertising has become the second major source of website traffic and is a matter of impressions (visibility) and interest (clicks: people go to your website).
Advertising Versus Marketing
Notice in this article's title that I specified Social Media "Advertising" instead of Social Media "Marketing". Marketing is generally used for efforts that have a visibility strategy, whereas advertising generates traffic (clicks). Advertising is designed to give you a guaranteed return on investment (ROI). Traditional advertising promises exposure to a specific number of potential people that may or may not actually see your ad (visibility). It also offers demographics to entice you into buying into this type of advertising, but this is just not good enough anymore.
The newer generations generally don't watch TV, read newspapers or listen to the radio anymore - they get all of their information over the Internet from their cell phones or home computers.
Short History of Social Media
The latest and third major stream of traffic came to popularity only a few years ago with social media.
Social media came out of the social networking movement. It added the "information sharing" element and as Internet connection speeds became generally faster, video became the catalyst that clinched the term social media. People are reeling from the shifts with all this new terminology. In the mean time, businesses have no idea how to effectively spend their advertising dollars.
Generating Social Media Buzz
The value of social media marketing is getting "Buzz" for your content. When people read and like your content, they provide "Votes" and you can see the real users that have voted. It can be audited and is guaranteed. The problem to date is that most firms offer social media marketing, not advertising. They do not offer any guarantee of the "Buzz" they will generate. They place your content in a position where it is "likely" to get buzz, and that is as good as this type of "marketing" gets. If you want a guaranteed ROI for social media advertising, it comes in the form of Votes.
Building Syndicates That Guarantee the Buzz
As we began building organic (naturally occurring) social media syndicates a couple years ago, we found several important effects from this effort.
- Social Media Syndicates generate Buzz In the Social Media Sites (You Can't Do This By Yourself)
- Traffic Come Directly from the Social Media Sites to the Content
- Search Engines Pay Attention to Social Media Sites - Search Engine Rankings Are Increased
Working with social media syndicates to promote informational and promotional content effectively generates traffic from two of the 3 sources of traffic. It generates traffic directly from the social media sites and it builds rankings in the search engines, which generates traffic from that source too.
Social Media Advertising And Syndication
We have several social media syndicates developed that trade votes. We don't pay them for votes (this is considered social media spam), but we do have a way for them to submit and track votes given and received. The result is that when we (and they) submit content to the syndicate, it gets 50, 100, 150 or more votes very quickly. We have been consistently getting these numbers within a couple weeks for every good piece of content we submit and we guarantee results (votes) to our customers for the content we submit on their behalf.
These votes have a very long shelf life, and once in place, attract more votes from outside our syndicates!
Submitting Quality Content
Informational content does better than promotional content. There is a real art to creating and organizing both. In general, both types are marketable through our system. We will run your content through a quality control check before we submit it and make or recommend changes. Once in our system, the content will get 50, 100 or 150 votes within 1 to 3 weeks. We provide a report on the meta data associated with the submission to our customers, and when the campaign is done, you get a full report with the user names and social media sites where the votes exist, which you can audit.
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