Social Media, PR vs Traffic.
I was asked a few days ago by a research company to give my views on whether social media sites, like facebook and twitter are of use to large corporations as traffic sources, or are they just vehicles for public relations and one to one, or one to many communications.
Its something that I have actually changed my mind on quite a bit over the last quarter of 2009, and to be honest for years Ive been harking on about how social media and search are two different beasts and never the two shall meet, however I have now done a bit of U turn – and I will explain why:
Social media marketing is reaching an interesting point now, lets say its reaching maturity adolescence – there are tools that you can use to measure effectiveness, there are even moves towards opening up advertising API’s for facebook (I attended a great seminar on exactly this subject hosted by TBG London in December), and wherever your can measure, you can refine and improve on your efforts.
And thats the clincher for me, for far too long those “specialists” in social media have harped on about benefits that can be attained but have never made any attempt to accurately measure the impact that their time (and cost) were bringing to the table. My first goal for 2010 is to build out our social media spending plan for the year, and to actually make things work this year!
So, in answer to the researcher that asked me the question, its a resounding YES – social media sites can and should be used for traffic generation!