Last Friday, Adweek's IQ Daily Briefing e-newsletter linked to my blog post on Ray-Ban's viral video success -- I refrained from my usual self-congratulatory crowing until now -- and my traffic did this:
Huge impact, and I'm grateful to the Adweek team for noticing my work here and pointing it out to their readers. But at the end of the day, do you know how many new RSS feed subscriptions I got out of this spike? Two. I'll say it again - Two (2). Plus one new email subscriber. (As an interesting aside, this healthy spike was virtually invisible to Alexa and didn't change my ranking at all.)
Now, it's entirely possible that the 150 or so new readers who found me through the Adweek mention simply didn't find much of value here -- although not to pat myself on the back, clearly Adweek and BusinessWeek (who linked here earlier in the week) saw some value and, to my eye, I had some nice, meaty posts last week. Don't get me wrong -- I'm happy to have had the chance to connect even once with everyone who paid me a visit on Friday and hope that the few who chose to subscribe like what they see and stick around for a while. But there's a lesson in the numbers...
I think the disparity between the newsletter-driven visits and the new subscriptions is a signpost for the large gap between the relatively small group of people who routinely use social media tools and the much larger group of people who simply don't. We've all seen the numbers, but it's the real world examples that really hit home.
I believe in the power and importance of social media as much as any marketing blogger does, but we all need to acknowledge that not everyone we hope to reach (personally or on behalf of our companies and clients) is comfortable with, and interested in, engaging with us in new ways. Sometimes, the old media (in my example, an email newsletter from a print media stalwart) fit the bill just fine.
At the end of the day, we'll succeed based not on our ability to master one new media channel or another, but on our ability to use the new and the old together, to connect with our audiences on their terms -- even when their terms seem outmoded to those of us who traffic in the "new."