Like all things in life, life in the cyber world goes through different fads and cycles. I remember when I launched my first website (this one) my method of letting people know was through email and magazine advertising. At the time email marketing was very effective and served my business very well.
ENTER SOCIAL MEDIA
Remember Myspace? At the time it was the bees knees but over time it slowly faded away and Facebook emerged in its place. As time progressed, through clever marketing, businesses were made to believe that they could no longer function without using social media. As a result Facebook and co evolved from social contact to wall to wall advertising. Businesses were encouraged to sign up and write snippets of advertising cleverly disguised as a social interaction. This worked well for a while but the public eventually saw through the sneaky disguise.
KEEPING UP WITH ALGORITHMS
As Facebook grew so did the need for business owners to keep up with technology. More time was needed to be successful in social media marketing. As a result a new industry was created. Enter Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin and all the rest. Marketing decisions became a quagmire. Of course magazines, newspapers and Television advertising were and still are available to those who could afford the extra costs associated. However, those smaller businesses dedicated a lot of time to market their product through social media. Through all this the social media moguls were constantly moving the goalposts. Fiddling with a thing called an algorithm. Eventually keeping up with these changes out weighed the returns. Time spent vs revenue raised.
BACK TO ITS ROOTS
In 2018 the powers that be decided it was time for Facebook to go back to being a site for social interaction. Algorithms were once again tweaked and business owners were once again left scratching their heads. I am one such business owner. Justcuttin.com.au is my humble little website dedicated to the equine sport of cutting and associated cowhorse events. It’s humble beginnings was before the social media explosion and I relied mostly on email marketing to get it out there. I then fell into the social media trap of believing it was the be all and end all of business marketing. After the last set of changes to Facebook I have noticed just how ineffective social media has become in terms of business advertising. Ok lets crunch some numbers.
EMAIL MARKETING VERSUS FACEBOOK
Back in January traffic to my website Justcuttin.com.au came from three sources. Direct address, search engines and external links. Obviously because of its popularity a significant amount of traffic (79%) came from people coming directly to the site. The balance between search engines, in particular google vs traffic brought in through Facebook was nearly 50/50 with Google having the slight edge. We then jump to November after Facebook decided to become more social. There was a slight decline in direct traffic, a 20% rise from google and …. wait for it …. an 86% decline in traffic generated through Facebook. Oh no!!! I thought what am I to do?
BACK TO THE FUTURE
A few weeks ago I decided to go back to email marketing to see what I could achieve. Fortunately through having membership to my website for the first 6 years or so I generated quite a sizable email list. I then decided to have days where I would use my email list to send new ads straight to peoples email boxes and other days sharing them on Facebook. What I discovered was nothing short of astonishing. My website traffic on some days, rose by some 100 to 300% . I have been doing this now for a month and the results are consistently the same. Over a period of one week where I used email marketing every day, my website traffic for that week rose 177%.
SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
I don’t know about you but it leaves me in a much nicer space. Suddenly after years of head scratching and fingernail biting I find myself utilising an old by effective marketing tool. The time spent on this compared to social media is far less and with greater returns. I now find myself back in the days where I can spend a substantial amount of time being productive and less time running around trying to get the edge on social media. I can now go back to using social media they way I once did and enjoyed, that being a fantastic way of keeping in touch with friends and family. Me being an introvert it actually is a better fit for me. Hmmm time for a cuppa I think.