I’m not above using click bait. However, I did deliver the cute cat pic.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with social media and I’ve documented those feelings several times on my blog. I will continue to use social media to engage and interact with friends. However, I’m abandoning social media as a marketing strategy. Not that I ever pimped my wares much anyway. I would occasionally tweet or post a sale, but I’ve never pushed the hard sell because I always knew it wouldn’t work. Now I have proof.
Twitter is still black listing jthorn.net. All of the 4000+ tweets I’ve ever sent that have a link to my site are blocked. Any future tweet sent by me (or anyone else for that matter) with jthorn.net in it will be blocked by Twitter. Long story. Read about here. The bottom line is my site has been on the Google Safe Browsing list for almost 4 weeks and Twitter has yet to remove it from their black list, has not responded to my emails and has no customer service phone number. [UPDATE: As of January 25th, 2015, my site has been removed from Google’s naughty list.]
I decided to let my followers know Twitter killed my links. Therefore, my followers would probably want to join my mailing list. I Tweeted an offer to a free novel to 3749 followers. I received one favorite, one retweet and two people clicked on the link for the free novel. Conversion rate: 0.003%. So much for Twitter. If your core marketing strategy involves gaining followers or building a connection via Twitter, remember this cautionary tale. I guess I’ll just wait until the new social media platform comes along and destroys Twitter. Remember MySpace? Yeah, me neither.
Surely Facebook is a great way to advertise, right? They changed their algorithm which means it HAS to be an effective way to reach customers, right? Before I begin, let me say that I don’t care about how I could “optimize” my Facebook post to make it more effective. I know several social marketing gurus who could explain how I could better target my ad. Good for you. I’m not interested. Before this week, I had never spent a dime on Facebook ads. After tossing $80 into Zuckerberg’s pocket, I won’t be doing it again. Let’s look at the numbers…
Wrap your mind around this. I Facebook boosted a post about my philosophical opposition to boosting Facebook posts. I included (1) a cool image and (2) a call to action with a link. I wasn’t selling. In fact, I was giving away a free novel in exchange for a click. One simple, goddamn click. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is. According to my Ad Manager, the $20 boost (over 3 days) reached 5390 people. Before posting, Facebook told me I could reach between 14,000-36,000 people. Huh? 5390? Okay. Out the 5390 people who saw the post, 12 of them clicked on the link to get a free novel and opt-in to my mailing list. Out of those 12 people, 3 joined. In conclusion, I spent $6.67 per person to add three people to my list. Score!
Maybe it was all of those pesky words that reached people but didn’t engage them. Fair enough. Words suck. This time I boosted a post for a free giveaway and I decided to up the budget to $60. I gave away a signed DVD of The Blair Witch Project. In my Facebook post target field, I added “The Blair Witch Project.” Seems like a fairly accurate keyword match. I used the iconic (dripping snot girl) movie image with a few lines of text explaining it’s a free giveaway along with one link to enter. Not only not selling, but giving away a signed DVD of a movie my target audience loves. According to my Ad Manager, the $60 boost (over 3 days) reached 25400 people. Before posting, Facebook told me I could reach between 45,000-120,000 people. Huh? 25400? Okay. Out the 25400 people who saw the post, 57 of them clicked on the link to enter a free giveaway. Out of those 57 people, 2 entered. In conclusion, I spent $30.00 per person to add two people to a free giveaway that I paid for and sponsored. Score!
You can do your own math. With both boosts, the engagement level is a fraction of a percent. Reach doesn’t matter without engagement. Maybe folks don’t want to engage with me. That’s quite possible. Or maybe Facebook is taking advantage of us, knowing we can “reach” thousands but it doesn’t matter if nobody engages. Or maybe social media is, by its very nature, not a place for business.
Whatever. Maybe I should start Facebook boosting cat videos.
One last thing. This week’s giveaway is Intensity by Dean Koontz, a 1996 first edition hardcover. Free to enter with no strings attached.