Know Your Social Media Platform

This is the first post of a multi season and multi episode series of REM (Reverse Engineering Money).
In these series we shall dig deep into money making tactics, strategies and loopholes used by IMers all over the internet.

The goal of the series is to learn new ways to build and manage digital businesses.
You will learn how other people structure their online empires and how you can do it as well.
Instead of lurking around and waiting for a magic money making guide, we shall take measures into our own hands.

Disclaimer: All research, content, facts and figures are obtained without the intention of causing any harm to any business whatsoever. All information is obtained through legal and public ways using services such as Google and/or other websites.

In this episode we investigate the marketing done for the website
I’ve found this website through Pinterest and started doing my homework.
I initially found the website on this profile:

Profile screenshot:

You quickly see that the website is being promoted in the Website Link section and the description is empty. The account has 8k followers and an astonishing 26k followings. It has 3 times more followings than followers, making this look amazingly spammy, don’t you agree?
The account has 612 pins which is not unusual.

When you look at the pins themselves, most are re-pins from other profiles.
Many pins are re-pins from authority profiles which have +100k followers, but some are not.

This account appears to be a small piece of a large puzzle…
This finding can be confirmed since some pins are re-pins from another account which promotes their main website. It appears that this is the main account:

Profile screenshot:

This account also has a high followings rate (12k followers and 14k following).
It seems like it was grown using an automation tool (thus making it prone to being banned).

Now we have found 2 accounts that are promoting the same website.
Both have a minimum cumulative 20k followers. Maybe there are even more buffer/secondary accounts with a similar amount of followers as the first one.

From personal experience, having 20k followers can easily get you 600 visitors per day (assuming a 3% visit rate). This is usually a bare minimum, since it also depends on how many re-pins each pin has. It’s possible that two accounts, with the same amount of followers, have completely different visitor counts.

The thing I am mostly interested in is, how much “money” does this website make (some estimate at least).

When you click any of the products listed on the website, you are immediately redirected to Amazon.

At first I thought these guys were using the Amazon affiliate program and got a 5-8% commission for each sale. The price of most products is about $13, this means they would get paid between $0.50 and $1 per sale, which isn’t much. However, with at least 600 daily visitors and a terrible 3% conversion rate it comes down to 18 sales. This means they would be making between $9 and $18 per day, or $270 – $540 per month. This is definitely not a bad income.
However, if you look closely you can see their logo beneath some of the products, meaning they “own” the products and are selling them directly using Amazon. It seems they are either wholesalers or drop shipping.

In the latter case, if they are drop shipping (for instance from China/Taiwan), they might have take home at least 50% of the price. In this case they could be earning at least $117 per day ($3510 per month). There definitely is a huge difference between running an affiliate business on a mere 5% commission basis, or having just a little bit more work by drop shipping and earning 10 times more.

As far as the numbers go (hypothetically) it’s definitely making them money…
or is it?

This business has 4 social media profiles:
this one has 12k followers on their main profile, and they have at least one buffer/secondary account with 8k followers.

They have 11.6k followers
Most pins have at least 100 likes.
However, the latest upload was on February the 17th 2017 (4 months ago).

21k likes & follows.
However, the latest upload was on February the 17th 2017 as well.

Less than 150 followers.

Whether they are still in business or not I am not sure.
However, taking into consideration the fact that their FB and IG profiles haven’t been updated in 4 months means something clearly isn’t working for them.
On Pinterest I was not able to find the upload date of their latest pin(s), but I assume it’s outdated as well.

A very important lesson is that you should know which social media networks work, and which ones do not. In their case, Twitter is a complete disaster. Twitter isn’t made for selling products, at least not fashion & clothes. So if you’ve been on Twitter for at least two weeks, and don’t have many followers – it’s time to abandon the ship and choose a different platform with a more targeted audience.