Having been part of the beginning of internet marketing, before social media, I have developed extreme skepticism with any accumulation of data pulled from any social networking user database.
That also goes for online user traffic data. Why?
Back when many of the more influential digital marketing consultants were in junior high school I was venturing into learning all that could be learned about this new thing called “The Internet”. There were, at the time, no social networks, just forums of people asking questions mostly pertaining to how the internet worked. This was well before Facebook and Twitter.
A Lot Help From My Friends
I was fortunate to have run into some of the more innovative programmers of the times. Many were part of the development of a number of today’s mainstream social networks. It was from this association I got to get a very, very close look at how social networks were put together and was told the TRUE motives on why social networks were created.
True, the movie Social Network highlighted some of the reasons Facebook was evaluated as a big money maker, but not ALL was told on what they put into their program that was going to make them all that money…for obvious reasons.
Cannot Be Validated
One of the reasons today’s mainstream social networks appear to be bastions for, what they want you to think are, billions of users is the actual total number of users cannot be validated. Knowing this they could tell the world they have trillions of users and there would be no way for anyone to validate it. It amazes me how investors ignore this and just keep writing out thoer checks.
What has been in question since the beginning of social media dealt with the social networks inability to validate that the interaction…the comments being made to Facebook and Twitter post…was not made by BOT’s.
BOTs have been around since the beginning of internet marketing and have been part of most internet marketing strategies. That was before Google took back control of the internet by awarding only organic (non-BOT) activity to their Google Search field.
Today, there are thousands of businesses who can produce BOT’s to do anything, including to appear to be a person interacting with your social media.
BOT help the mainstream social networks with their claim they have a vibrant user base. This also is how they can make one user appear more popular than another.
Unfortunately, none of the businesses who create these BOTs have yet created a BOT that will purchase your business’ service or buy your products. If they have I am certain their purchase of your service or product is included in their invoice.
It is becoming harder to determine what to believe from all the data reports being developed for social media. From the beginning these reports have been the centerpiece of what was deemed “The Number Game”.
Have a Strategy Developed
The best social media strategy is always based on reality and reality is firmly based offline. Online internet marketing should never be a business’ only marketing. Granted, some businesses should use more digital marketing than traditional marketing, but there should never be a marketing strategy to use ONLY the internet.
The true determination of what online data to believe should always come from what you can actually see..i.e. improved sales and more attendance to an event prove that your digital marketing is working.
Don’t get caught up in feeling you need 1 million followers on Twitters or 5000 Likes on Facebook to justify your ROI on digital marketing. Only use your online presence as a validation of your professionalism.
Believe in reality and…Let me know how I can help.