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Okay, I'm probably going to be dating myself a bit here, but back in the day, I spent many an hour playing Pac-Man — you know, those multi-colored arcade video game creatures you navigate through a maze, eating up all the little dots along the way, with the hope of moving on to the next stage. Well, these days, I'm once again trying to navigate my way through a maze, except this time, it's not a game, it's serious business, and the little dots that are being eaten ... well, those are minutes and hours that have been disappearing from my day as I work to increase sales through social marketing.
Thankfully, with time and effort comes reward. Sales have been good and actually even seem to be picking up. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that it may not be my new game plan after all that was advancing me to the next stage, but instead just good old dedication to the cause.
Wait.... What did she say???
Yes, checking the analytic reports for my online shops, I found that only 10% of my traffic was being referred through various links and other outside sources, social marketing included. Those familiar with and coming directly to my site made up 9% of the traffic, while the majority of traffic (81%) was still coming from pure organic searches. Hmmm...
Checking the ecommerce overview on my own website (a Google analytics feature that tells me the source of each sale), I again found that organic searches were providing the bulk of sales, with one entry reflecting that the buyer came directly to my site.
Now ever curious, I decided to extend my social reach and just get downright nosy with a couple of Internet neighbors, both of whom sell comparable items in competitive fashion (quality content and in-line pricing). I found that not only is Facebook falling flat on its face for the friend taking the social marketing route, the other — who is more old school, with no interest in Facebook or any of the vintage hangouts — has been having even greater success with her sales. Again, I thought Hmmm...
The more I've thought, the more I've come to speculate that maybe, just maybe, at least in the world of antiques and collectibles, none of this should be a great surprise. Not sure you agree? Let's experiment.
For those of you on Facebook, pick your most favorite thing to treat yourself with — maybe it's jewelry, maybe it's art glass, vintage clothing, or coins. Now pick a particular brand name, item, maybe even color, and then search for it... on Facebook. Are you at a loss for which one to choose from or are you simply at a loss in your search? If your buying habits are anything like mine, I imagine it's the latter.
Yes, we've all come to know, love, and appreciate the fact that the Internet can provide instant gratification — a good thing, since most days disappear like the dots in the maze. If there's something we want, we go to the most likely source — the bigger, the better — and then we look. Most times, it's mission accomplished.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not being a social marketing naysayer. I do believe there is definite value in creating awareness of a site, or sale or special promotion. But I tend to think that instead of link after link and "Like" after "Like," it might just make more sense to try to increase traffic through inviting, engaging means that have more of a personal and personable feel.
Maybe there are a few aspects I'm overlooking, and then again, maybe I've given some of my readers some food for thought. I'd certainly love to hear some of your thoughts on the social marketing maze, as well as buyers' search and shopping practices.
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