Why Facebook and Twitter Don’t Mean a Dang Thing for Online Success in Certain Industries

by Marcus Sheridan

I’ve come to the conclusion that the most overvalued number in all of social media and marketing is that of total ‘tweets’ and Facebook ‘likes’ when it comes to blog posts. Now now, before the hair on your neck stands up and you start screaming, please understand there are always exceptions to generalized statements, as is the case here. Notwithstanding, I’m tired of seeing so many business owners worried that their content isn’t getting ‘liked’ and ‘tweeted’ when all they really should be caring about is that their stuff is getting read and accomplishes the bottom line goal of making money.

That’s right, I say ‘making money’ because all the content and blog posts in the world don’t mean squat unless they are leading to more trust, leads, and ultimately paying customers. But I digress…

First Impressions in Social Media Don’t Mean Much

What do you say we have a little activity, shall we? I’m going to show you screen shots of blogs on my swimming pool website, including the social media stats of each (indicated with the red arrows), and then I want you to guess how many times that article has been read. Sound good? Here goes…

#1. Fiberglass Pool Prices Article

#2. Fiberglass Problems Article

 #3. Above Ground and Inground Cost Article

#4. Fiberglass vs Vinyl vs Concrete Article

#5. Small Inground Pool Designs Article

 #6. Pool Patio Materials Article

#7. Viking vs Trilogy Article

 #8. Swimming Pool Plumbing Article


(Note*** Do you remember my last article on the importance of post titles for SEO and visits? If so, can you guess the keyword goals for each of the above? Once you guess the keyword goal, type that into Google Search and see how each fared. You may be quite astounded. ;-) )

Your Impressions?

Now that you’ve had a chance to see how each of these articles did in terms of tweets, shares, G+, and Linked In; what would you guess were the total number of page views (reads) for these articles? To review, here are the social media stats for the group:

  • 1 Tweet
  • 2  Google +
  • 0 Linked in Shares

Pretty Impressive, right?

In fact, many ‘experts’ in the world of social media marketing would submit that these pieces of content were a complete failure. But alas, those folks would also not know the following stats, exactly as they show today in my site analytics:

  • Article #1: 50,432 page views with 471 inbound links
  • Article #2: 46,002 page views with 424 inbound links
  • Article #3: 39,229 page views with 707 inbound links
  • Article #4: 20,327 page views with 185 inbound links
  • Article #5: 18,362 page views with 196 inbound links
  • Article #6: 14,893 page views with 157 inbound links
  • Article #7: 12,752 page views with 123 inbound links
  • Article #8: 8,765 page views with 208 inbound links

Grand total for the 8 articles: 210, 762 page views with 2,471 inbound links

What does all of this really mean?

Now you may be thinking, “OK Marcus, you got a few page views and links, what does that really mean?”

To which I’d respond, “Dang good question!” ;-)

But seriously, upon looking deep into my website analytics (using my Hubspot tracking tools) I can account for at least $2,000,000 in sales from these 8 articles alone. There is a good chance the number is higher, but it’s at least that much.

This number brings me back to my original question: Were these articles a success?

By this point, we all  know the answer is a resounding YES.

But there are many lessons to be learned from numbers such as these, and here are a few:

1. Many, many industries and niches should not be using ‘tweets’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, etc as true success measurement tools. (This is especially true for thousands upon thousands of blue-collar industries where consumers focus on reading and researching, not sharing.)

2. Just because something doesn’t get shared on Social Media doesn’t mean it’s not a ‘cash cow‘–( drawing huge amount of visitors [usually through SEO], leads, and ultimately customers.)

3. Every business, industry, and niche needs to find what social media platform their customer are mainly using…and then go after said platform like there is no tomorrow. For some folks, this may mean your company focuses all of its attention, at least first, on creating great content through text and video on a blog. For others, it may mean you have the best Twitter account in your industry and drive much of your business through said account. As I’ve stated again and again, it goes back to the concept of knowing your shtick and shying away from being a social media jack of all trades, master of none.

4. To reiterate one more time, I think Twitter and Facebook can be great tools. They can also be decent success indicators. But every industry,  and every consumer, is different…and we must never forget that.

Your Turn:

There is plenty of room for debate on this topic, and I’d love to hear your take. Do you think platforms like Twitter and Facebook are grossly overvalued in certain industries as I do, or do you think I’m nuts and should be checked in to my local mental ward? Also, when it comes to your industry, what do you think is the best indicator of online success? Jump in everyone, the conversations we’ve been having here lately have been exceptional, and I expect this one to be no different.

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