Five Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing

This is a guest post from Steven Snell who blogs about social media marketing at Traffikd.

Social media marketing gets a great deal of attention from bloggers and online marketers because of the huge amount of potential traffic that it provides, but there are still a number of misconceptions involving social media and using it to draw traffic to your site. Here we’ll take a look at five of these misconceptions.

1. Social Media Traffic is Useless

Some bloggers and website owners get excited when they see a ruch of traffic coming to their site from Digg, StumbleUpon, or some other social media site, but then they get discouraged when the traffic is gone and they have nothing to show for it. This leads some people to conclude that social media traffic is a waste of time since it didn’t produce anything lasting.

The truth is social media traffic can produce lasting results, but you need to have a plan. It’s true that in general social media traffic will be less responsive than the average website visitor, but when you’re able to get thousands of visitors for free, social media traffic can more than make up for that lower level of responsiveness.

Before you set out to actively market your website or blog with social media, take some time to think about what you really want to gain from the traffic that you’re after. Selling a lot of products through social media is probably not realistic, but developing name recognition and increasing links and subscribers is realistic. Once you know specifically what you want from social media, make it easy for visitors to take that action and lead them to what’s most important.

2. Social Media Marketing Takes too Much Time

Being an active user at social media websites can be extremely time consuming, but it doesn’t have to. You don’t necessarily have to be a “power user” in order to get the benefits of social media traffic. Like anything else related to marketing your blog or website, you should decide what will work best for you and put it into practice. Set a specific amount of time to be on social media sites each day or each week.

Also, don’t try to participate at every social media site, there are way too many. Pick 2 or 3 that work well for your audience and be active with them. It’s fine to have accounts other places and participate occasionally, but focus your efforts on a smaller number of sites.

3. Nothing Touches Digg

To a lot of people Social Media Marketing means trying to reach the front page of Digg. While Digg may send more traffic than other social media sites, it is not the only one worth your attention. In fact, you’ll have better success with almost any other social media site. Because of the amount of competition at Digg, it is pretty difficult to reach the front page. Instead of chasing after a shot at the Digg front page you could be consistently reaching a smaller, more-targeted audience at a niche social media site.

Digg is certainly worth your attention as a marketer, but it shouldn’t own all of your focus. StumbleUpon is actually much easier to get results from, and the traffic will last longer.

4. If You Have Enough Friends Anything You Submit Will Do Well

While friends and contacts are important to builing strong profiles, many social media users get in the habit of adding everyone they come across as a friend. Being a friend on a social media site means more than just showing up on someone else’s list of friends. If friends aren’t helping each other in some way they really don’t matter. Focus on adding quality friends, not just a lot of friends.

5. My Audience Doesn’t Use Social Media

Some marketers think that only teenagers use social media, and since this isn’t the audience they target they don’t want to waste their time. While it is true that certain audiences are more prone or less prone to use social media, no audience is truly excluded. Every day new niche social media sites are being launched and these sites are taking social media to users that wouldn’t be on Digg or the other major social news sites (to find a social media site in your niche, see this categorized list). With major news outlets beginning to add social media elements to their sites this trend of new audiences should only increase.


45 thoughts on “Five Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing”

  1. Neil says:

    Thanks for the post. I’m starting to experiment with social media so it was a good read 😀

    1. Agreed – that post was definitely useful. So many newbies have misconceptions about Social Media Marketing.. it was good to see a rundown of these! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Post was very helpful! I believe this info is great for newbies like myself.

    1. Flimjo says:

      Digg is helpful, but only if you have the right message.

      1. Syed Balkhi says:

        yes .. digg is only helpful if you have something super cool or controversial … otherwise forget about it.

      2. Sha says:

        Agreed. I’ve seen people try to submit useless articles to Digg & wonder why they never made the front page.

  3. Ashley says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that even if a blog post doesn’t get a lot of traffic from Digg, it will show up as an inbound link – so I’m thinking it has postive SEO effects.

    1. Steven Snell says:

      Ashley,
      Yes, the Digg pages have a nice PR in some cases. I’m not an SEO expert, but I think there is some value in those links. The value of a link from the frontpage is high, but your submissions won’t stay there for long.

      John,
      Thanks for posting the article.

    2. Syed Balkhi says:

      sometimes it often ends up ranking higher than your site and then that becomes an issue … I am sure u dont want digg to beat you in your keyword …

  4. Thiago Prado says:

    Lately I sign up for almost every social media networking but none of them are sending any traffic to my website. Even on digg I don’t have success. I try to focus more on StumbleUpon.

    1. Steven Snell says:

      Thiago,
      In general StumbleUpon is a great source of traffic. I would recommend sticking with no more than 2 or 3 social media sites at first. Get to know other users and get to know what types of content does well and what doesn’t. Once you know more about the site and the users you can create content that will target that audience.

      1. Flimjo says:

        I recommend hiring virtual assistants from India to handle this stuff. It’s really time-consuming, and it helps to delegate these tasks.

        1. Thiago Prado says:

          how can I get this type of virtual assistant?

        2. Steven Snell says:

          I don’t really think virtual assistants are necessarily the answer. I’m sure some people have had good results this way, but paying someone to submit your content to 100 different social media sites may not be a good idea. Most content only fits well with the audience of a few social media sites, not everyone. You can make yourself look bad and spammy if your virtual assistant submits your posts to places where they really don’t belong.

      2. Sha says:

        A lot of people say that StumbleUpon only brings “one time traffic”, meaning people look, but leave a few minutes later & don’t return.

  5. Paolo U says:

    whenever I have posted an article on my blog, I would always submit them to at least 5 social sites. They have given me traffic.

    1. Verbal says:

      This is something that I am starting to do now.

    2. Flimjo says:

      I submit to Digg and Reddit. But it doesn’t work real well. I think it depends heavily upon the number of friends or contacts you have on those sites.

    3. Googlelady says:

      Be aware of that, because it seems that I have been banned from Stumbleupon. The reason? Still don’t know because they are not answering my emails. Even if I am paid member there. What a waste of time & Money…

      1. Sha says:

        That’s messed up. You have the right to know what happened. Some customer service…

    4. Syed Balkhi says:

      yes beware because some of these websites will ban your domain entirely rather than your account so you can never use this domain in the future and that would really hurt your traffic.

  6. Excellent article. I pretty much agree with everything you say.

    Social media is important. The bottom line reality is that it is a part of the world in which we live and if you want your site to be a part of that world, then you need to have social media as part of your marketing efforts.

    MrAchievement
    Stanley Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA, Author, Blogger & Professional Motivational Speaker

  7. These are all great points. I have often not submitted to social sites because of hang ups that I have along these lines.

  8. Zero and Up says:

    Traffic wise, I’ve received about 100 hits from Digg ever, while from stumbleupon I’ve received tens of thousands of hits over the past 5 or 6 months.

    1. Steven Snell says:

      Digg is definitely all or nothing.

  9. I’ve gotten much better results from StumbleUpon than Digg. In fact, I’ve gotten about zero from Digg.

    1. Googlelady says:

      I have noticed that must of the diggers use stumbleupon. If you got a popular story in Digg you will have many people stumbleupon your article as well. For me digg was much better (in my case study) because digg rank well in Google for example.

      1. For whatever reason, I’ve just never been able to get into the clique at Digg, I’ve never got that much traffic from them at all.

    2. Steven Snell says:

      SU is much more realistic for most people.

    3. Syed Balkhi says:

      Stumble is king … I was reading and it is almost at its 5 billionth stumble or something that is sweet.

  10. Terry Tay says:

    The social media sites provide value to website owners, but as with everything there is only so much time you have to spend to utilize them. I personally don’t even like some of the social sites because if I was just an average visitor just surfing the internet, I don’t really see any benefit in some of them. Some people live at these sites it seems.
    ~Terry

    1. Googlelady says:

      Yes, Like the top diggers. Every time *different times on the day & night* they keep digging. But I am dissapointed because those that got at the Main Homepage of digg are the same people again and again. It seems that if you want to succeed in a social network you should be the first people and digg a lot of stories at the beggining. Diggers digg (and others) the story not because of the tittle of the story (must of the time) but because who submitted the article. *Dissapointed*

  11. Wade says:

    Social networks are a climbing majority of my traffic. They are definitely not to be overlooked. I feel they will help boost my ad sales and my own affiliate program!

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  12. Fitness Site says:

    What a co-incidence.
    I found this social media blog before I read this post. 😯

    And that blog is great.

  13. Homebizseo says:

    Social media is some of the best traffic I receive. But as I always say their is no bad traffic just that some are better than others.

  14. Googlelady says:

    I stopped reading the whole article when I read the paragraph about “1. Social Media Traffic is Useless”. I agree with you big time and one example is my case study on how to make money online in 3 months I started with social media traffic, the results? You can check and see how much I made in 3 months with this new site using (at the beggining) Social media traffic only.

    The site was new and was not even indexed so how I can attract traffic with a niche that most of the sites are not bloggers but sites based on scripts? Social media was and is a solution if you know how to do it. One example: Digg is an authority site which some of the diggs will be ranked very well in search engines (explained in depth in the case study).

  15. Anil Gupta says:

    Social media marketing is really effective for both traffic & link building. I have been actively using Digg, propeller, stumbleUpon etc for promoting my blogs

  16. Social media is powerful if you use it correctly. Apply Buzz marketing and you will see the huge impact on your traffic. I did that once and it added 100 Unique Visitors per day to my blog. And it has not ceased since then.

  17. Eric says:

    I have been Stumbling since 2003 – StumbleUpon gives your site some of the best distributed traffic over the long-term.

  18. Keith Cash says:

    I have some good luck with stumbling.

    I am in the process of test many of them to see how well they work

  19. Sha says:

    It has helped me. Social media marketing works if done right.

  20. social media campaigns done right can be a huge help towards a successful digital campign. Much more than just one click influx of traffic
    A great read.

  21. Chetan says:

    This read helps me a bit in my future experiment with social media marketing..

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