The Social Media Gold Rush and Twitter: The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed

by John Zajaros on May 29, 2009

The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed Now Examines the Benefits of Social Media as an Inbound Marketing Strategy!

We hear about the demise of this Internet phenomenon and the death of that social media platform from various pundits and prognosticators as they attempt to sound intellectual or just in the know. We even hear about the death of various forms of advertising and marketing as various Internet “gurus” and self-appointed inbound marketing “experts” attempt to validate their lofty status in an effort to improve their brand and sound “in the know.” Lately, we have heard about the death of Twitter, with its high turnover rate and lack of retention, as high as sixty percent, the death of MySpace with the emergence of mini-blog phenomena, facebook and Twitter, and the death and rebirth of network marketing, with every Tom, Dick and Web Prosperity citing Donald, Robert, and Warren as their authorities.

In an attempt to lend credence to their shaky, often tenuous arguments, the various authorities point to this indicator and that metric while all the time keeping a close eye on what the herd is doing. The herd! To paraphrase Mark Twain who said it best, writing in his notebook of 1904, if you find yourself siding with the majority, it’s time to take a step back and think about the side you are on. In other words, it’s time to “pause and reflect.” Somewhat earlier, but on the same topic, Twain wrote in an unsent letter to Baynard Taylor, 1878, “When you set aside mere names & come down to realities, you find that we are ruled by a King just as other absolute monarchies are. His name is The Majority. He is mighty in bulk & strength…He rules by the right of possessing less money & less brains & more ignorance than the other competitor for the throne, The Minority. Ours is an Absolute Monarchy.” The herd effect or herd ethic is incredibly powerful when it comes to advertising and marketing, exponentially so when it comes to Internet marketing.

The social media marketing phenomenon is a complex and difficult puzzle, a conundrum, neither fully understood nor tested, social media is an excellent example of the herd effect in full stampede. There can be little doubt that social media marketing holds with it the promise of untold wealth, if properly applied, its strategy carefully mapped out and implemented. However, the rush to Internet social marketing gold has novice and “guru” alike maneuvering, clambering, and even elbowing for the ultimate prize, Internet marketing gold. Not unlike the California Gold Rush or the race to acquire the untold and forbidden wealth of China throughout history, entrepreneurs are engaged in the ultimate Internet gold rush, pursuing the riches promised, yet rarely achieved, as many as sixty percent, and perhaps many more, going home broke.

Twitter marketing is the most recent phenomenon in the Internet marketing derby for online riches. There are a myriad of products available to automate, optimize, and monetize the Twitter experience and more created daily. Industrious marketers have created plug-ins of all sorts and kinds. Designers have created amazing landing pages and Twitter backgrounds with incredible graphics and impressive visual effects, many offered at no charge. Of course there is usually an upsell, for just a small price. After all, what self-respecting Internet marketer would forget the upsell? Others have created automated tweet functions to happily tweet the day away completely on autopilot, I still can’t believe I use that word, “tweet.” Automated follow and unfollow applications are also available and make it possible to build massive followings, again on almost total autopilot. Twitter makes it almost imperative that members drop those pesky people who either fail to reciprocate and follow back or drop followers as soon as they reciprocate, a phenomenon called “pump and dump.” You see, Twitter applies a metric, a ratio of following to followers, and if the ration is off, “the powers that be” will stop a person from following anyone else until they achieve nirvana. Well, at least until they achieve Twitter balance, the Twitter version of ying and yang, The Tao of Twitter! Being cut off from following others, particularly for the spammers, is a kind of Twitter death. Since the new mini-blog marketing phenomenon is viewed by many as a numbers game, the more followers, the greater the audience. The greater the audience, the more clicks on the links embedded in each and every tweet; and, the more clicks, the more conversions. Ultimately, tweets with links lead to clicks, and the more clicks the more conversions; and, the more conversions, the more sales. Or does it?

Interestingly, the data does not support this supposition, the logical next-step that links lead to clicks, and clicks to conversions, and conversions mean sales. What many Twitter marketers are discovering, and perhaps this is one part of the reason why the retention is so low, is the tire-kicker phenomenon. What I refer to as the tire-kicker mentality is explained best as follows:

•Twitter followers tend to follow like-minded people, other Internet marketers, coaches, soccer moms, whomever.
•Twitter marketers are marketing to other marketers who are interested in self-education.
•Internet marketers (a.k.a., Twitter marketers) can get all the free education they need by. signing up for another’s offerings, taking full advantage of the free education and whitepaper resources.
•Internet marketers who find a good product will sign up as an affiliate and purchase it from themselves, rather than from the individual who initially referred them by way of the link in the original tweet.

The conversions and sales? Yes, sales are being made but, as many find out when offering Clickbank products, particularly Clickbank products offered to other Internet marketers, they are not being made by the individual initially responsible for the introduction of the product to the consumer. Additionally, most Internet marketing products, sold by other online businesses have little or no tracking capability if an individual decides to beat the system. The moral of the story? In this author’s opinion, the opportunities to make a living as an affiliate marketer, even with a sizeable following, are limited, at best. The reality? Multiple streams of income is still the best approach. Social media in and of itself, and twitter in particular, may offer advantages as part of a total marketing strategy but if you plan on making a living solely from this sort of income producing methodology, you may be in for a bit of a disappointment.

So, what are the alternatives? What solutions are there for the Internet marketer bent on making a living from social media? One solution? Don’t sell to Internet marketers. That’s right! Get out of the Internet marketing niche altogether and offer products to the public at large, those not actively engaged in online business. Another solution? Create your own product and offer that exclusively. If you create a product that solves an immediate problem or does something better than a current application does, you can then offer that product to anyone, given the right advertising and marketing strategies. A third solution? Create your own company offering a unique service or one you feel you can do better, cheaper or with a different spin than the current online businesses are. There are other strategies for making a significant income online, and there are opportunities to cash in on the social media marketing gold rush, just not in the way many envision and not as quickly and not at the click of a link We will discuss the real value of social media and other social media marketing platforms in the next article in this series.

The transition for the old to the new, from an entirely “outbound” marketing strategy to an online focus has resulted in the formation of a new company, The Ultimate Internet Image, with offices in several states and more coming. The need for personalized marketing strategies, incorporating a synergy between the best of traditional offline marketing techniques and innovative and revolutionary new inbound, Internet marketing strategies have resulted in a company with one goal, excellence! For more information stop by our new blog at:

http://www.UltimateInternetImage.com

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Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and, if you are interested in pursuing the offer I mentioned to work along side me, and along with the rest of the Ultimate Internet Image Mastermind Group…and the business that goes along with it? Contact me at the email below!

Best wishes and I am available for personal consultation any time!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
216-712-6526
Skype: johnzajaros1
johnz@thequestrevealed.com

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney May 30, 2009 at 8:59 am

Made me think John…

You point out the problems, but most important you offered sensible solutions.

And the gold rush is a great metaphor for it all.

The good news is that you can make a heck of a lot of money selling shovels and pans to gold-diggers.

Your friend,

Courtney James
The Obvious Writer

Reply

coachz May 30, 2009 at 10:38 am

Courtney,

Thanks for the comment! You are absolutely right, the people making the most money are the ones selling the “shovels and pans!” Excellent analogy! Welcome and come back soon!

John

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