The question then is not whether social media has value, but how much value it has. If you look at an
experiment done by Marketing Experiments Journal (
you quickly begin to believe that social media might be more valuable than you thought.
The experiment compared the cost and effectiveness of social-media marketing against pay-per-click
advertising over the span of one year. And the results? Social-media marketing cost the company
$3,600 — the salary ($10 an hour) for an employee to become a part of and market to social net-
works. That investment drew 93,207 visitors to the site over the course of the year (which works
out to be just under $.04 per visitor).
The PPC application was a little faster. Instead of having to wait weeks or months to get involved
in a community, the PPC ads could be started almost immediately. The company spent $1,250 on
PPC ads over the course of the year, and those ads drew 2,057 visitors to the site for a total cost of
almost $.61 per visitor.
Social media had much more impact, and ultimately cost the company less money on a per-visit
basis. In fact, the social-media optimization yielded a 1,578 percent better return on investment
than the PPC ads did.
The value of social media is there. But so are the difficulties that you may face as you try to implement
a social-media optimization effort. For example, you can’t rush headlong into a new social network
and expect to be able to post your ads anywhere you want. That will get you banned from the com-
munity fairly quickly. It will also create animosity between you and the very people you’re trying to
You also have to participate in the communities. You can’t fake your participation, either. Social
networkers will recognize your efforts as being fake and will treat you accordingly. So the only way
to be effective with social-media optimization is to become a real part of the social network. But if
you can accomplish that, the rewards are better than any marketing plan you’ve used to date.
We’ve established that using social media as a marketing technique requires a different approach
than some of the more traditional marketing that you’ve probably done to this point. It’s also very
different than the tasks that you’ll complete as part of your SEO efforts.
Social-media optimization is a term coined by Rohit Bhargava. When he came up with it, he also
came up with five strategies to help you accomplish optimization of your social-media efforts. Over
the next few months, several other industry experts added to the list and there are now 16 guide-
lines that will help you optimize your social-media efforts:
Increase your linkability:
The linkability of your site is determined by the amount of
content that you have available to users who might come from social networks. Old, stale,
and rarely changing content will not help with your social-media optimization, so begin by
updating your content and your content strategy to ensure that it is interesting for visitors
who might come from your social network.
Optimizing Search Strategies
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