EditorialGuy - 11:03 pm on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'm still not really sure how social media fits in. My main site has a page with 780 users. Probably 30% are regulars from my forums, others have found the FB page. I guess I should plug the site more on FB instead of just engaging with them.
Trouble is, many topics don't lend themselves to promotion, sharing, or discovery through social networking. When my electronic car key stops working and I need how-to information about reprogramming it, a Google search will be far quicker and more reliable than asking for advice on Facebook. If my son is planning a trip to Surinam and wonders what shots he needs, his friends and acquaintances on Twitter aren't likely to have the answer. If my cousin is suffering from a minor but embarrassing medical ailment and wants some background info before he sees the doctor, he's unlikely to broadcast his symptoms on Google+. In each case, a search engine is the user's preferred route to a site with the desired information.
From my point of view as a niche Web publisher, search is important because most of my prospective readers don't have friends who can supply expert advice on my topic. I can promote myself on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. until the cows come home, but that won't help me reach more than a tiny percentage of the people who, at some point, will be looking for the information that my site provides. Most of those people will be using Google to find the information they need, no matter how much I may bluster about the quality of Google's search results or how those users should be using DuckDuckGo, Bing, Facebook, or Twitter.