Still No Love for Social Networking as an Affiliate Business Model
Social networking, the next big thing. Facebook and Twitter have seen tremendous growth… By 2012 Forrester Research says Social Networking will… blah blah blah. Well, in the world of successful affiliate revenue models Social Networking ranks just 1% higher than the Corporate Intranet? Yikes!
This information comes from the most success affiliate revenue methods research performed by @Econsultancy (UK) in February 2009.
Let’s analyze the above chart. Over 50% of the most successful affiliate revenue models are made up of SEO and PPC. If you’re in the industry, you know this isn’t really a surprise. However, only 3% from social networking. Actually this isn’t surprising either due to the point in the shopping cycle when social networking takes place. Most social shopping sites to date focus on Discovery, which is at the beginning of the shopping cycle. Consumers are likely to end up doing price comparison, or looking for coupon (voucher) codes, or even cash-back before making a final purchase decision.
Further, it is difficult to tell from this chart if they are basing the data around revenue coming “directly” from social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. If that is the case then this does make sense. It correlates with recent findings from Forrester Research:
"Sixty-two percent of US online buyers use social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.com for communicating and keeping up with friends. Only 2% of US online buyers have purchased products through social networking sites. " (via MarketPilgrim.com in Andy Beal’s article “One Word Describes Affiliate Marketing via Social Networks – Craptastic!”)
Forrester also states “we shouldn’t rely on social networks to drive purchases anytime in the next five years.” For direct revenue this may be true, but I think social networking already does, and will continue to, play a large role in affiliate revenue models.
While the rest of the data in the chart above is fairly straight forward I’m still not really sure I understand the break down completely. I’m not certain if it is referring to direct PPC (no landing page) or all PPC activity in general. I would also think Blogs and Forums could go hand and hand with content (SEO), and that voucher codes could also be grouped in with SEO or PPC.
Anyway… I still think the data can be misleading as social networking is still generally considered as a "complement" to other methods. Are you able to pinpoint how much social networking correlates to your end of day revenue? Perhaps that should be investigated first.