Home – New Forums Selling online Social media versus SEO – Which drives e-com best?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #989243
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,
    Some folk swear by social media as a driver of e-commerce sales. Others argue just as fervently that search engines (adwords and generic refs) is where it is at.

    Here is a recent article on the topic that references a Duke Uni study.

    12 Aug 14: Social media versus SEO

    The article is written by Mitchell Harper (co-founder of http://www.bigcommerce.com)

    “If you’re counting on social media to be the answer to your sales woes, you might want to take a step back and examine the problem you’re trying to solve. The truth is, social media as a strategy doesn’t account for much in terms of sales generation — certainly not when compared with direct online searches.”

    “Online searches were the greatest contributor to e-commerce visits and sales, representing 32.61 percent of traffic. Even email, at 2.72 percent, outperformed social media, which the study said accounts for a meager 1.14 percent of all e-commerce traffic.”

    My personal approach is to use a mix of Internet comms media that best suits the client’s market, audiences, resources, skills and interest. However, for new client targeting I’m a strong believer in the power of SEs.

    Now we are off the SEO forum, have at it troops…

    PS. I hope we professionals can explore the subject but keep it relevant to the business owners on FS who are looking for education and knowledge.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1171170
    Byron Trzeciak
    Participant
    • Total posts: 423
    Up
    0
    ::

    I think this question goes even further than just ecommerce systems with many websites not generating any sales and enquiries either due to their lack of performance in SEs. Online stores however are one of the biggest concerns at the moment especially from the questions I’ve answered on Flying Solo.

    They’re typically the most expensive types of site to build and have one of the lowest success rates as they’re often built without SEs in mind. Low content and poor website structure and no strategy for bringing traffic to your site (other than social media) post deployment.

    “If you build it, they won’t necessarily come”. Traffic isn’t a given.

    This article I found the other day was quite interesting
    http://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-campaign-doesnt-work-can-fix/113852/

    “When users search on Google they have a specific intent in mind, which often boils down to knowing, going, or doing. Each one of these intents is a type of question which requires a specific answer

    “People on Facebook use the social network with varying intent. They do not go to Facebook to answer a question, get directions, or perform an action. According to a recent study, the number one reason users are on Facebook is to be entertained (number two is to kill time). They are browsing around looking for entertaining, interesting, or engaging pieces of content. If you are trying to sell to users whose intent is to browse and be entertained and engaged, they are not going to buy.”

    My advice, do your research before you build your website
    – Design a website structure on paper first before you dive into building. The structure should be optimised for search engines.
    – Ask for advice in these forums too on your structure before you start and gain feedback from experts as to whether it will work well or not.
    – Ensure your product pages show are structured for SEs, unique content, text and images, reviews, video demonstrations
    – Develop a content strategy for your website to bring more visitors to your site from organic searches
    – Syndicate that content through social media sources as a way of bringing customers to your website to purchase.

    So many key areas of ecommerce stores but you want to make sure your investment returns. Organic search engine traffic is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing so it makes sense to structure around this and compliment it with social media. The last thing you want to do is pay for all the traffic you receive or wait years for your social media following to build up.

    #1171171
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::

    If anyone is looking to Facebook to solve their eCommerce woes they are fools.

    As I have said many times (social media bashing seems to be flavour of the month) SM can and does have a place in a integrated strategy.

    This sort of money does not get spend if FB does not work on some level.

    Can SM help build a brand? Yes.

    Do most small businesses fail at it miserably? Yes.

    My sister in law recently sold a large amount of a new retail product off the back of Facebook. Gawker (I think but can’t find the article) recently wrote a post about how much traffic they get from FB. (and how any changes to the algorithm is very bad)

    Really, this is my last post on this.

    There is no competition between search and FB. They whole thing is ludicrous. It’s different sides of the same coin.

    #1171172
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Up
    0
    ::
    MatthewKeath, post: 198665 wrote:
    As I have said many times (social media bashing seems to be flavour of the month) SM can and does have a place in a integrated strategy.
    .[/B]

    Don’t think we have actually seen much social media bashing on here. More a lot of asking questions, we have consultants giving a blanket, just go out and get likes and followers, and all your problems will be solved. The need and benefit of this approach needs to be legitimately questioned. Yes it may be the solution, but it needs to be justified.

    #1171173
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::
    bb1, post: 198670 wrote:
    Don’t think we have actually seen much social media bashing on here. More a lot of asking questions, we have consultants giving a blanket, just go out and get likes and followers, and all your problems will be solved. The need and benefit of this approach needs to be legitimately questioned. Yes it may be the solution, but it needs to be justified.Which consultants?

    I talk to consultants and marketers all day and I don’t think I have ever heard someone say ‘go out and get likes and followers’. without some sort of strategy or plan behind it.

    #1171174
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Here is another issue for e-commerce owners to take on board.

    Apps seem to be accounting for very large percentages of mobile phone usage with some e-comm sites:

    2 Aug 14: Mobile Plus Apps Equals Retail Engagement

    “Mobile 500 Retail Apps With The Highest Engagement Levels

    • Neiman Marcus (64.3%)
    • Kohl’s (63.6%)
    • Victoria’s Secret (61.7%)
    • H&M (56.6%)
    • Groupon (47.8%)”

    It seems these apps are tools for extending sales to existing customers.

    You still have to find potential customers to get them to install the app.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1171175
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    Urrgh…

    Not this old chestnut again. :rolleyes:

    #1171176
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    BTW, I know of a few guys making over $100,000 per month, purely from paid advertising on social media.

    They don’t do anything even remotely close to SEO.

    #1171177
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::
    John Romaine, post: 198684 wrote:
    Urrgh…

    Not this old chestnut again. :rolleyes:Didn’t you know? It’s a competition between search and social. Who will win?

    Tune back at 7 to find out…

    #1171178
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    OK, I’m guilty of using an attention getting headline for this thread. That said…

    I was rather hoping the Internet marketers on FS would see beyond it and start providing answers to the FS’s who post threads like these recent ones:

    There are a hell-of-a-lot more people who read these threads than the few who add posts. Over 200 have already viewed this thread and it hasn’t really got started!

    If the Internet marketers on FS can’t start to provide relevant info to small business owners about when, why, how to use the various online info delivery media then it looks like many of them may be tempted to switch off a group of valuable information delivery tools.

    This thread was not intended to precipitate a meaningless debate!

    If you are an Internet marketer/SEO please treat this as an opportunity to show off your knowledge to small business owners.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1171179
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,
    Here is another survey that I found today which I thought contained valuable info about this thread’s topic.

    Let’s call it a performance benchmark which…

    “analyzes billions of pieces of content from across the web, to provide a comprehensive view into the channels that drive traffic and the types of content that perform best. BrightEdge created this report to help brands understand the actual performance of site content by channel and by industry.”

    To whet your whistle with a few quotes:

    Cracking The Content Code
    A Look Inside the Channels and Content That Perform

    “Today, every brand is a publisher in their own right. However, brands need to be more than content machines to truly succeed in content marketing. Marketers must understand the ecosystem that surrounds their content, how that content performs and how it drives business results.”

    “Marketers shouldn’t spread themselves thin trying to engage with consumers at every point of entry. Instead, marketers should funnel resources into the digital marketing channels that will offer the most bang for their buck.”

    “…data reveals that the distribution of where traffic comes from varies widely.

    Business Services is the top performer at 73% when it comes to organic search, with Media and Entertainment coming in at second with 51%.”

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1171180
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    John, with all due respect mate, this thread gets up my nose.

    When it comes to online marketing, business owners should be embracing all forms of inbound marketing strategies, and saying “Ok, let’s test these channels, we’ll track and monitor them closely, and see how they perform for us”

    Only after having tracked and measured everything accurately, and having collected a sufficient amount of data, should they be making decisions about what’s working and what’s not.

    Business owners need to ask themselves….

    “Is this working?”

    If it is, ramp up your efforts in that space.

    If it isn’t they should be asking themselves “Is it a failure of the channel, or can I make changes to what I’m doing in order to make this work?”

    It should NEVER be ….”social media VS SEO”, or “email marketing VS social media”, or “forum marketing VS social media”, etc etc etc.

    It should be a collection of all inbound marketing opportunities to determine which channels work best for that particular business.

    What may work for me, might be a complete waste of time for you.

    It doesn’t make any sense for business owners to be reading some confusing report and saying ..”Oh well, that report said that social media is a waste of time, so let’s not bother”, or “My mate Grahame said that social is a waste of time, so let’s not bother”.

    Business owners should be testing and measuring everything to eliminate any doubt, and be working with absolute certainty, so that they KNOW what’s working.

    Not basing their assumptions on gossip, or what “some guy” said in a forum.

    #1171181
    Y LearnMarketing
    Member
    • Total posts: 37
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m probably not the best person to give advice on this topic, but happy to share some of my own experience here.

    I was working on an E-learning website 4-5 years ago. Besides of providing both online and live courses, we also sell books, DVDs and other studies materials. So it’s sort like an ecommerce site.

    We had really good feedback and ROI from facebook, with communities/ groups, whatever it’s called now, and paid ads. It gives us a channel to talk to our existing and potential customers, as well as promoting our free and paid seminars. We saw a huge boost in terms of the attendance rate. The group was growing at a rapid rate, then we split the group into small ones for students from different countries and cities.

    But I did notice some odd numbers came from Facebook ads. The suggested bit rate was changing up & down everyday. Then there was the bad news from some sources saying Facebook is hiring people to fake its number of likes (so called click farms)

    Then not long ago, saw this article saying Facebook news feed algorithm absolutely rewards the purchase of Facebook ads

    Personally I stopped using Facebook last year because of some privacy concerns, not because it has lost its cool among teens, but it can be a problem for some marketers.

    #1171182
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi YLearn,

    Y LearnMarketing, post: 198785 wrote:
    I was working on an E-learning website 4-5 years ago. Besides of providing both online and live courses, we also sell books, DVDs and other studies materials. So it’s sort like an ecommerce site.

    We had really good feedback and ROI from facebook, with communities/ groups…
    That should be a useful tip for many people.

    One of the most effective tactics with all forms of online info distribution is to focus as tightly as possible on target audiences.

    Business Owners: If you can identify Facebook groups that are tightly focused on applications for your products / services consider joining them.

    A word to service providers. If you can only provide services in a small geographic location, that should probably be part of your Facebook group targeting.

    Y LearnMarketing, post: 198785 wrote:
    But I did notice some odd numbers came from Facebook ads. The suggested bit rate was changing up & down everyday. Then there was the bad news from some sources saying Facebook is hiring people to fake its number of likes (so called click farms)…
    “Bad likes and clicks” – Another good point…

    I’d be surprised if Facebook was behind any ad click fraud. I think it has too much to lose to participate in this sort of activity.

    That said, fraudulent (and accidental) clicks on any online ad is an important issue. It is not just Facebook that has the problem it is Google and all the other major ad distributors.

    When there are $billions spent on online ads and ad partners who can grab a share, there will be many people drawn to trying to scam some of the honeypot.

    As well as scammers, I’ve seen studies that suggest up to 30% of clicks on Google smarthone ads are accidental.

    Business Owners: I’m not saying don’t spend on online advertising. What you do need to do is monitor your advertising results to look for anomalies.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1171183
    Snakeman
    Participant
    • Total posts: 329
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’m with John on this one.
    Search trumps social in 99% of cases when it comes to people BUYING!
    For every new customer that finds us (Reptile parties) in facebook to book with us, 99 more will get there via google – all the best

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.