ActiveRain Tutorials: What Is Your Online Shelf Life?

What Is Your Online Shelf Life?

Expiration Social media is beginning to play more of a role in the online marketing of your business if done correctly.  Unfortunately though, too many times we get distracted by social media tools that end up becoming our main focus for our business online.    Which is why one of the topics I love to speak on the most is the importance of your website, or online home base.

What's Does The Expiration Label Say?

study done by URL shortening service bit.ly shared that on average, the shelf life for most links shared on either Twitter or Facebook is around 3 hours.  That means that most content you would share on social networks will only survive around 3 hours before it loses it's power.

So, before you begin building a strategy of using a Facebook page as the hub for your business, consider the fact that if you aren't constantly updating this page every few hours, you are not getting your message, your product or service out in front of consumers.  Sure, you could set up a bunch of scheduled post updates and monitor things all day long, but is that the most effective way to run your business? Personally I'm not a fan of things with such a short expiration date.

Push Versus Pull

While Social Networks have the ability to grow a huge community of followers, the only source of traffic is that social network.  So, if you have 2,000 followers on Twitter, your audience is just those 2,000 people unless you get lucky enough for someone to re-tweet you.  Facebook, is pretty much the same way, your content getting shared beyond your sphere is dependent on a viewer sharing it for you.  So, you must keep pushing the content in hopes your sphere will also push it beyond your page to others.

While some think this may be the absolute best way to run your online presence, I prefer going with a pull process instead of pushing.  What I mean, is that I prefer focusing my time and effort on creating content on my actual website that I own.  That way, I can drive my Twitter followers, my Facebook Fans, LinkedIn connections, G+ Circles and other social connections to my site.  But, in addition to pushing that traffic to a site, I also can pull in traffic, a new sphere of potential clients and more all through the search engines.

Take a look at this chart showing traffic sources driving visitors to my site:

Site Traffic Sources

  As you can see in comparison to all other sources of site traffic, Google alone is sending over 68% of the traffic to my site.  This traffic are visitors who are typing phrases into the search engine looking for answers and finding my site in the results.  You can see Facebook, Twitter and YouTube do a good job of driving traffic to my site, but they are not anywhere near the amount of traffic that comes from search engines.  This traffic is being pulled in by me writing content they find instead of me pushing something down their social streams.

To make sure it wasn't just my site that had these types of proportions of traffic, I then decided to look at the data for a few of my clients that I work with closely as their social media advisor to see what their traffic source breakdown looked like.

Take a look at the charts below that represents sources of traffic to two of my clients sites:

Site Stats

Site Stats

As you can see, both of these clients had almost the same identical percentage breakdown of traffic sources into their site.  While social networks push a good amount of traffic to their site, they cannot compete with the amount that is pulled in from Google and other search engines.

Creating A Lifetime Warranty

When you focus your online marketing efforts on creating good content on your own site and not hours on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking strategies you can create content that can last a lifetime.  When you begin to blog or create pages of content, you need to make sure you are answering the questions that your readers want answered.  For example, a post I wrote in June 2011 on Tracking Your Images Through Google has consistently remained one of the top viewed posts on my site.

In fact, this past month it received more traffic than even the home page of my site.  Other posts that I wrote on another site back when selling real estate over four years ago still to this day generate leads and make my phone ring.  This work is the kinds of work that you only need to do once and you can reap the rewards from it for years to come.  The beautiful part is that if I begin to notice a slip in my rankins, I simply write another post on that subject, link back to the well ranking post and it will start to climb back up.

Custom WordPress Site Results

I don't spend buckets of money each month on Google Sponsored Ad Placements, or on other Pay-Per-Click campaigns.  I simply find terms applicable to my business and then generate content that helps my site to rank on page one of Google for those terms.  While it may take my site a little longer to garner the results I want, the big difference between ranking organically and with PPC is that the minute I stop paying for an ad campaign (PPC), I also lose any source of traffic and leads as my site will disappear off of the first page of SERPS.  If you start paying again, you come back up and the minute you stop, you drop again.  Personally, I'm not a fan of my site acting like a yo-yo.

If you rank organically for a term and don't do it through shortcuts, you shouldn't ever see a sudden dip in how your site ranks on certain keywords.  You may from time to time see things drop maybe one or two places.  This is more than likely caused by your site sitting dormant or a change in Google's algorithm that determines how things should be ranked.

When this happens,  if you simply go back, write some new content, link to the page that was ranking well and possibly give that well ranking page a slight content refresh, you should be able to climb right back up the search engine ladder.  In essence what I have done is created content that can generate leads for a lifetime versus a social network in which you must continuously feed new material to reach that audience.

What Is Your Online Shelf Life?

In closing I want to leave you with this question:  What is the shelf life of your online presence?  Is it something you are building to last forever, or is it something that spoils faster than a loaf of bread?

Feel free to contact me if your website has been lacking and we can discuss strategies to turn it into a long time source of revenue to your business.

photo by: smplyme84

 Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.

 

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I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors.  I have traveled the country as a social media speaker.  If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly.  We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.

 

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Comment balloon 26 commentsJeremy Blanton • March 08 2013 11:10AM

Comments

Wow!  Pretty convincing evidence.  The headline drew me in and the content kept me interested.  Sometimes I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to learn all I need to know.  I'll just keep getting up in the morning and working on the plan!

Posted by Dan Mincher, CCIM, Sacramento Commercial Real Estate (The Vollman Company, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Great explanation and proof that organic is best.  Convincing evidence that one's own web site is the foundation their marketing.   Never been a Twitter pro, and have learned that my efforts should be on my web site.

Posted by Christine Bohn, Realtor, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) over 4 years ago

Jeremy - This is really good information.  I just don't have the time to update my Facebook page every few hours.

Posted by Pam Miller, Broker Associate - Pearland/Friendswood (Realty Associates) over 4 years ago

I find that my blogs have indefinite shelf life.  'Still getting client leads from posts written 3-5 years ago.  Nothing ever from Facebook, unless you count an Activerain agent referral sent to me via Facebook.  I think that's a stretch, since the relationship is really Activerain.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Wow - This is GREAT info - Somehow I knew not to do PPC a long time ago.  You are right on with this. This post was so helpful.  Thanks for taking the time to write such a SUPER post.

Posted by Debbie Cook, Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) over 4 years ago

for terms that count I rant great organixally.  It took time, but it was worth it.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Jeremy,

Again you bring an important aspect of SEO to the community.  Thank you!  Your contributions to AR have in fact stood the test of time, Jeremy, and some of us share the experiences you highlight.  Good blog!

Regards and respect,

jl4  Phil Leng

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) over 4 years ago

Jeremy Very interesting, and I believe you are right. I will be working on these suggestion.

Posted by Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT) over 4 years ago

I have never heard a social media marketing expert talk about FACEBOOK or any other social site as being an end-all-solution for lead generation.  

All the seminars, classes and informal discussions I've had on the subject EMPHASIZE that all social media and advertising has only one purpose -- to drive consumers to your main website so that you can cultivate the leads.  

Any "business" content you have on the Internet that isn't driving traffic to your site is wasting your time.

Posted by Richard Arnold, Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix (Keller Williams Realty East Valley) over 4 years ago

Hi Jeremy, Great info you shared.  I use Face Book mainly to keep in touch with friends and they all know what I do.  I have gotten leads on Active Rain Posts I have posted years ago too!

Posted by Christine OShea (RE/MAX Realty Select) over 4 years ago

Fabulous post! I appreciate the detail you have shared here.

Posted by Ann Samuelson (Suntree Inc.) over 4 years ago

Jeremy- what you say makes a lot of sense.  We can spend an awful lot of time on FB, Twitter and other Social Media Platforms and forget about our "home base".  We want our FB and Twitter to drive clients to our "home".  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

Jeremy, very well said - Twitter, Facebook and for that matter, even Linked-In - it's just few minutes of attention span (actually, when you mentioned 3 hours - I thought it's really too much! but then I have received a few clicks on my shortened URL from AR after couple of hours - not sure why that lag is, though.)

What is important is - content on our own pages and in our blogs!

And people still run after that shiny little object...

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

Thanks all for the comments.  Glad you enjoyed this post and found it helpful!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 4 years ago

Jeremy - I certainly don't have the time or inclination to updated Facebook every couple of hours.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 4 years ago

Jeremy - You are so right.  I have many posts on my blog that are timeless.  My blog isn't that old (1.5 yrs), but I have 4 posts w/ over 10,000 hits (one w/ 20,000).  4 of my posts get over 2,000 hits/month even though they were written just slightly over a year ago.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

I talked to a buddie property manager yesterday, they are spending $300 A MONTH to have GOOGLE give them SEO * YEOW!  he has a college-aged son who works for them and he could be doing SEO on AR, Fb, G+ in his spare AND learn something at the same time.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 4 years ago

I did not know social medias links were just brief temporary links. . I'll have to adjust some of my efforts on this. . 

Thank you for the advice 

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 4 years ago

Jeremy, this is interesting. I would have thought the shelf life on a social media site would be a lot more since so much emphasize is place on social media. The web site still rules! Thanks for the insight.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago

Time management is so important and you really just helped us out! Thanks so much for that. Also, I checked out google image, what a great concept and very helpful for many as well.

Posted by Liz McGinley (Serving Brevard Realty) over 4 years ago

In life, not many things are black and white, one or the other. You need to do it all in the harnessing of the media streams. Like an orchestra, lots of elements in the marketing music. And fresh stuff better been coming everyday like the morning paper, the nightly news as all of us are cub reporters with the live and local real estate /community pieces.

"Social media is beginning to play more of a role in the online marketing ..." 

Hello. Way past beginning. Just some real estate professionals just coming on board, forgot to read the memo and let it sink in. Or others not using it correctly, consistently.

Posted by Andrew Mooers, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 4 years ago

Very interesting and specific information. It also confirms that constantly updating one's own website is where it all begins.

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Thanks for this post, Jeremy.  Very interesting.  And, while our online presence is multi-faceted, it is an important reminder to devote the most time to a social media strategy that produces the best results.

Posted by Carie Shapiro (North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Good stuff Jeremy. Guess I had better check out which of my blog posts gets the most traffic!

Posted by Lori Cain, Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer (eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

You got it right Jeremy and I'm in your camp.  It helps when web development is a hobby that can be done anytime/all the  time.

Posted by Richard T. Dolbeare, R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist (KW Island Living) over 4 years ago

Thanks everyone!  Glad you all found this post helpful & informative.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 4 years ago

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