Monetizing Social Media Traffic

SMS Text

Have you ever been to MSN, Google or Yahoo and seen a “personalized” message pop up?

The picture above shows a message that [MSN]( displayed to me. MSN noticed that Live Search was not the default search feature in FireFox and the purpose of this message was to convince me to add it. Not too many sites have implemented anything like this; it could be a great way to monetize social media traffic. If someone came from [Digg]( you could display a personalized message that may appeal to them and actually increase your conversion rate by encouraging these visitors from Digg do something meaningful on your website.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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  • Rich McIver

    It would depend entirely on the reason why you wanted the social media traffic in the first place. If you put up a personalized message targeted to Digg users which prompted them to purchase something you would certainly increase conversions, but you’d also lose out on the branding / link building components of social media as well.
    I can imagine that for an authority site with little to gain from extra backlinks or branding, however, that this might be a decent way to convert a few extra sales.

  • Tony

    I actually do something like that when the referring traffic comes from Facebook – there’s a very good chance that this is a person who I personally know, and has clicked through one of my “share links” postings (because they don’t know what RSS is).
    Covering all the different social traffic on impersonal basis is another story though…

  • Daniel R

    That’s not just Social Media Marketing. That’s Behavioral Targeting and can be applied to any website – with the appropriate backend software and tracking.
    Websites could also adjust depending on the referring keyword was used to find the site, say from doing a Yahoo Search.
    If I was searching for “White Nike Running Shoes” on Yahoo, and clicked on an Amazon page on “Black Nike Basketball Shoes” (who knows why that ‘basketball shoes’ page ranks for ‘running shows’, but that can happen), Amazon would check the referral, see the keyword I used and may present an in-page pop-up asking “Are you looking for White Nike Running Shoes?”)

  • kelvin newman

    An interesting idea neil, it’s a step further than adding subscribe to my feed link when a story goes popular.
    I like it though its got to be an addition that doesn’t detract from the social media users experience. Sure there are plenty of examples of where this could work.
    Maybe next time you have a pronet story go popular you could add a tab like this for your rss feed then post a story about its effect on subsriber levels…

  • Brian Breslin

    Neil, I had talked to Hiten about doing something along these lines using crazyegg to collect the data. Not sure if anything ever came of it, but you are onto a solid idea.

  • Zach Katkin

    Good idea. I have a question about Rich’s comment at the top though, maybe anyone can answer it. Are you saying that ads, in any form usually lead to less backlinks? Is this commonly accepted?

  • Joel Mueller

    My biggest question I have for Shoemoney, or anything that has setup an affiliate network of their own (like AuctionAds) is what do they use to manage payouts to their affiliate users?