Are you willing to question the value of social media traffic?

“If you could choose between 1,000 social media visitors and 1,000 search engine visitors for your blog or business, which would you choose?” This is a question asked at a “SEO vs SMO – Traffic Quality Put To The Test” post at the SEO Scoop website. The conclusion in short is that Social Media Optimization is far beyond traffic from the search engines. Most of my studies have concluded the same results, but not always as straight forward as shown the SEM Scoop article/research. My friend Matt Bailey is one of many industry experts to question the value of social media traffic and in a great article at his blog he writes about social media and it being under the microscope.

What I am finding is that agencies are using these buzz words to throw at their clients and because of the hype around it most are buying into it. The best (and the worst) thing about Internet marketing is that it is so measurable and it is possible in real time to see the impact of all online marketing efforts with nearly 100% accuracy.

My advice to companies that want to use social media optimization is to go through their web analytics see what and how their traffic is being driven, do A and B testing. What happens before and what happens after.

Look the models Matt and Lucio have made and see how they fit your company.

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  1. That is a very interesting question. I think the emergence of semantic search and social search (e.g. Delver) will further ‘muddy the water’. I suppose it boils down to whether someone is there to ‘buy or browse’. The social traffic would seem to be slightly better targeted (i.e. word of mouth recommendation) and therefore have better overall quality in the sample. As you say, statistics are really the only way to uncover the truth…

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