With all the buzz about “Web 2.0” coming, the social networking sites that are at the hub of this new internet phase are gaining in popularity as a potential marketplace for online entrepreneurs. Facebook now allows you to place ads, similar to the Google Adwords campaigns, and online marketers for years have been leaving comments in forums as a way of getting the word out about their site.
It’s a constantly shifting internet landscape and the possibilities are expanding as the potential for profiting from social networking increases. However, as with anything related to the fickle internet, these constant changes mean you have to constantly adapt to stay “in the game”.
With Facebook ads, for example, even though you may have had a successful Adwords campaign in the past, you’ll find the Facebook audience needs a different approach. I find the click thru rate (CTR) to be higher, but the conversions are lower. Unlike Google, the Facebook clickers haven’t already searched for your keywords, but see your ad while logging into the site and click more out of interest even when they’re not looking to buy anything. This flurry of clicking can drive up your daily ad budget very quickly.
A much cheaper (free) alternative is posting your links as comments in forums and on blogs and social networking sites. However, while posting in forums on social sites can be of a certain benefit, you shouldn’t overdo it. At the webmaster forum for Link Referral, where I post often, I see people every day post comments that have nothing to do with the discussion thread they post in, but they do it just to spam the thread with their link. Some even go as far as copying the posts of others, word for word, because they’re too lazy to write something original themselves.
I never spam a forum and I’ll only post if I actually have something to add to the discussion. I’m honest and I don’t want to send someone in the wrong direction, so I won’t post in a thread on a topic I know nothing about. Spamming, while it will get your link seen, has no overall advantage since people will see your post for what it is (spam) and they’ll avoid your site entirely.
I’m sure many of you with blogs have had spammers leave comments on your site with links to their insurance or pill sites. Would you buy insurance from a site that spams people? I don’t think so! So, don’t bother doing any comment spamming yourself.
Just find that balance between getting your site seen without being intrusive about it. Offer helpful advice on forums and in comments without being a pest and surfers will want to visit your site to read more. Draw visitors to your ad links through sincerity over hype and you’ll soon find yourself with an audience who will actually want what you have to offer them. Just don’t overdo it!