There is more to social media then links

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I’ve never been a fan of the word “linkbait” but it has stuck within our industry and so I’ve learned to adapt and accept it, even use it. One of the problems with linkbait is that it doesn’t suggest a well thought out social media marketing campaign. It suggests that all we care about are links so we can increase our search engine rankings, nothing else.
Brian Provost wrote a great post on this subject the other day…

Adam would have been a great audience baiter. And that’s what we’re all chasing. An audience. Not just links. Not just traffic. Not just mindshare. We are lining up the dominoes so they fall in such a way that all of those things happen as we create a captive, recurring, defensible audience.

Sure, I love links as much as the next guy and I’ve never been one to turn down a good link, but if you’re doing a social media marketing campaign for links alone you’re missing out on some benefits in a big way. Some of these benefits include…
– Branding
– Traffic
– Increased sign ups and sales
I know what you’re about to say, social media marketing campaigns don’t convert. That traffic just comes in one big wave that doesn’t amount to anything but a few links and a increased server bill. The truth is, if you create a well planned social media marketing campaign which involves determining your audience and making sure you engage them, you can accomplish all of the above things. The process of planning and executing a social media campaign is something that deserves it’s own posts, so I will leave it at that for now. Anyone have any ideas on this, are there any other things of value that you have noticed when it comes to social media marketing?

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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  • Brian Provost

    Did you just call me “Brain”? 🙂
    Good stuff. There are so many other facets to a Social Media campaign that we all miss while we’re popping the top on the Cristal after a Digg homepager.

  • Cameron Olthuis

    Sorry, my bad. Made the change.
    The Cristal sure tastes good though!

  • Justin Kistner

    The draw to linkbait is strong within a marketer. There is little as satisfying as seeing a huge spike in traffic. I have one post on my blog that accounts for 20% of all of my search traffic. I wrote the post expecting strong traffic after I saw a trend in my stats. If I was making my money on pageviews, linkbait is where it’s at. But, if you are trying to accomplish different marketing objectives, then it’s more about quality than quantity.

  • chris

    but isn’t the premise of leveraging these social media outlets is to create compelling enough content, be it for your product or your company, to attract these sites? in other words, make your content so that the social media circles will want to link to your work – which, in turn, creates the buzz folks so desperately desire. i guess another way to look at it is, “getting links from the social media providers is only the beginning”…

  • Cameron Olthuis

    Chris – yes and no. The problem is that often times the campaign does nothing more than produce the links, it never goes past that point. The buzz is definitely desired, but more needs to come from the buzz then just links.
    Zach – I’m planning to write a post on properly planning and executing one of these campaigns, stay tuned for that.
    Justin – agreed, quality over quantity!
    Yuri – nice articles, reading those now.
    Brian – You know it 😉

  • Social Dude

    One of the major issues we are dealing with in regards to this topic. Is that yes a social media campaign can attract many visitors but it cannot be easily translated to sales, even when you try and control the page a visitor lands on.
    The other issue we are seeing when we are pitching a new reputation management or social networking campaign is that, because of the nature of human social networks, there is really no control over the visitors.
    And in instances like stumble upon, even though you can target social tagged spheres of people you are still getting a URL in front of them randomly, not necessarily in their buying cycle.
    I totally agree with Chris, getting the interest is only the beginning, much optimization needs to be done to fine tune the campaign so that it will convert. Once the traffic or buzz is generated you can then start to examine your visitors behavior and hopefully turn a percentage into sales for your customer.