Beware of shiny objects.

facebook shiny object

At some time or another, shiny objects come to exist within businesses. These objects come in various forms, but they are a major time suck in the organization, producing little or no return on investment.

Many organizations are focusing massive investment and resources into to the great social media enigma. We all believe that eventually this wonderful set of social spaces will generate revenue for our businesses, but that day has yet to arrive.

If there is more focus on your Facebook page than your home page, then you have a problem. The shiny object has officially hypnotized you, and you’re heading down the wrong, unprofitable path.

I, too, believe that social media are important, but the focus you give to these channels needs to be consistent with the revenue they drive for your business today. I recently received a solicitation from a social media service, and what it said was something I had to write down. “You need to think about social media as a branding initiative and not something that drives revenue for your business.” Needless to say, this was a short conversation. It is probably not a good idea for a small business to focus on brand over driving revenue.

I believe much of the focus on these social channels today stems from the ease of understanding. Social media is simple. You don’t have to keep up to date on the latest panda updates in organic search. You don’t have to worry about match types, negative keywords, quality score and bid rank in PPC. In social media, you simply post and people choose to respond or ignore you. It is brilliant in its simplicity, and it is easy for management of all levels to understand (not implying anything here). It is a far cry from the perceived black box that surrounds search marketing today.

I am not advocating shutting down your Facebook page and hanging up your hat. I am simply asking you to take a look at your website today, along with your current revenue-driving marketing channels. You need to ask yourself a few questions. Is your website perfect? Are your conversions over 2%? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then by all means focus heavily on social, but if you answered “no,” then you have a lot of work to do. Amazon’s conversion rates are 12 to 18% (a high bar). Work smarter and cast aside the shiny objects until you have time to focus on them.

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