Why You Have To Be On Facebook, YouTube, Etc. Or Not.
You've heard the argument before: "Facebook is the biggest site on the internet. They get 70 gajillion hits a day. If you're not marketing on Facebook, you're missing out on the biggest traffic opportunity on the internet."
You'll hear the same thing about YouTube -- it's the third biggest site on the internet. Therefore, only an idiot wouldn't be posting on YouTube and cashing in on all that traffic.
But is it true?
Let's do two thought experiments.
First, what's even bigger than Facebook? The entire internet. "The internet gets 100% of the traffic on the internet. If you're not marketing on the internet, you're missing out on the biggest traffic opportunity on the internet."
Okay, that sounds sorta dumb. But it's also a valid analogy. Just like being on the internet doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get any of the internet's traffic, being on Facebook doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get any Facebook traffic. Posting videos on YouTube doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get your share of all that YouTube traffic.
Thought experiment #2: what if one day 99% of all internet traffic went to Facebook. Would that be the day to throw in the towel on your old site and move to Facebook?
Maybe. Maybe not. What if YOUR site got the other 1%? I'd rather have all of 1% than some miniscule share of 99%.
I'm not saying that you should ignore the big sites. Being there is the only way you'll ever have a shot at a slice of their traffic. And the more traffic they have, the more potential for you to get traffic from them.
But it's just that -- potential. Until you figure out how to drive traffic to YOUR profile or page or video, just being there means nothing. And who's to say that you'll have better luck driving traffic to your profile, page or video than you would driving traffic to your own website?
If somebody's got a strategy that works especially well on a particular, high-traffic site, then great. By all means, use it. Just don't be too quick to follow the hype.