Just like the Guns N’ Roses song “Dead Horse“, I really feel like that is the point I have reached. Not a day goes by where at least ten new articles are talking about some algorithm change, or some other way to get links or create content that Google will favor.
Why am I not seeing more articles on the other parts of the web that drive HIGH QUALITY CONVERTING VISITORS?
I think it’s because most proclaimed “SEO Experts” don’t know how to really use social media other than buying some Facebook ads. Now let’s get some things cleared up right away. I’m not saying that all of these paid social efforts don’t work – they do. Sponsored tweets and paying attention to Google are important.
But they aren’t the only source of quality traffic.
Why do I not see more articles about optimizing Tumblr or Instagram? Is it really because most internet marketers have yet to understand how to leverage those platforms to make money?
My guess is that many marketers are SCARED TO DEATH about moving away from the focus of Google. It’s easier to charge a client for “algorithm fluctuations” and “focus on creating awesome content” instead of getting their hands dirty and building a community on the “kids” social networks. It’s easier to report on and see the direct impact of effort on social networks since most results can be seen almost immediately.
Instead of a linking report where there will always be an explanation on why it takes so long for links to be added, or reported on, social behaves differently. There are still many enterprise level companies that are doing social, but have no clue on how to measure the value of their efforts.
Really? Who let this happen?
It’s almost like billboard advertising. They know it works (so they think), yet they have no way of proving it. It can always be justified as building brand awareness to them. And it makes them look good to appear where they think many eyeballs will see the advertisement. If that’s the reasoning for this action, then they’ve completely misunderstood social.
I get contacted by clients who have blogs THAT DON’T ALLOW COMMENTING. That is their social strategy. Blog some stuff, announce it on their optimized and pretty looking social profiles, then move on to the next piece of content. Then they wonder why their social efforts aren’t really working.
They seem amazed when I inform them about the potential of of business on the smaller social sites like a Tumblr and Instagram. They always want to see examples, of which I am glad to provide. But then the scary part sets in. What if someone says something negative about the brand?
I would really hope at this point, the answer to the question is already known. But many times the same regurgitated answer escapes from my mouth. It’s the answer that so many big brands fear – you have to acknowledge it.
No one on this planet is perfect. We all make mistakes. If the brand is too arrogant to reply to those who would criticize them, it further demonstrates the reasons for their hesitation to truly participate online. Acknowledging that something went wrong and that they are aware of the situation, and working to resolve it will earn more respect than the coolest advertisement ever made.
And yes, this can be done on Tumblr and Instagram.
So my call to action for web marketers is to jump into the abyss of a world without Google traffic. If you’ve been around long enough like me, you remember a time when you had to get traffic to your site by being found on topical sites. Today, you are just a few key strokes away from tapping into groups of people who are dedicated fans of whatever niche you want to
target market to.
Get out of your comfort zone and view the web without Google. It’s amazing how liberating that feeling is!
If you’re wondering how to leverage Instagram for business, read my article I posted on the SEMRush Blog.