What is fake news? With new information appearing in your feed all day everyday, how can you sort through it? And how can you know who to trust?
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Fake News! Show Notes
What’s up, everybody? Anton here from eCommerce Lifestyle podcast, coming to you on a Tuesday morning from a 100 degree Austin, Texas. It’s been crazy out here. I actually lived out here last summer also, and I think I was here the summer before as well, but I don’t remember being this hot.
It’s insane, but I wanted to recorded a podcast on my way into the office today and talk about fake news, and something that I see all the time online.
In fact, I just saw it this morning while reviewing some of our ads on Facebook. If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably already are well aware of what I’m going to talk about.
If you’ve been in any type of internet marketing or eCommerce or really marketing in general, you’ll be aware of this, but for those you that are listening to this and maybe are newer, I would say, newish to the world of online entrepreneurship and business, I just want to share this message about fake news with you.
Fake News on Facebook
Basically, this morning, I was checking in on a few of our Facebook ads for one of my companies that teaches people how to build dropshipping stores, so it helps people to build dropship stores on the Shopify platform. Now, what was interesting is, well, it’s not really interesting anymore.
As I’m sure you’re aware, on Facebook posts when you’re marketing to people, people like to put in their opinion in the comments, which is fine, and no hard feelings, like if someone wants to cast a prejudgment on what it’s all about or what they’re going to learn, then to each their own. Again, if they’re not informed at that point, whatever. It is what it is. I just delete it and ban them usually because it’s not worth the back and forth because some people just don’t want to learn.
But the type of comments, like the one I saw this morning, that really do bother me are the ones that are not just misinformed but that are misinforming other people, and not about my businesses or anything like that, but about business and about, I guess you could call it techniques or tactics in general.
We had a ad running, or we have an ad running for a webinar that I’m doing this Thursday, and the webinar is all about eCommerce, obviously, and how to build a dropship store, and part of it’s about how get traffic. Someone left a comment on the ad and said, “This … ” I forgot how exactly it was worded, but basically the point was traffic to eCommerce stores now is almost impossible because SEO is dead. They said, “SEO is dead.”
That was the main part that bothered me about this fake news because then under that, their comment actually got a bunch of likes, and a bunch of people responded, “Yeah, I tried SEO years ago. It doesn’t work.” Other people, “Yeah, you have to be rich to make this work,” or, “Only people that are already successful are able to rank in Google,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
What’s funny about fake news and comments like this is, first of all, is that SEO, search engine optimization, is not even close to our biggest source of traffic for our eCommerce stores. It is something we do put time into. It is something I teach and share information on, but the part, again, that bothered me is that all these people were talking about how SEO is dead.
How to Tell if Something is Fake News
You’ve probably seen posts like this on Facebook an on YouTube and on blogs where people say, “Facebook ads are dead,” and, “Pinterest is dead,” and, “Shopify is dead,” and, “Dropshipping is dead,” and the next thing and so on and so on and so on.
The thing is that it’s just obviously to me, and again, maybe this is to everyone, but to me, it’s just obviously not true, and to other people, it obviously is true because, again, there were multiple responses to this person’s comment all agreeing. What’s crazy about it is I know that these people don’t know what they’re talking about. The easiest way to describe this for anyone thinks that things like SEO are dead is to go on google.com, and search for any type of product.
Go to Google. Type in entryway chandelier. You’re going to see your product listing ads. You’re going to see your search text ads. Then you’re going to see a whole bunch of organic listings. How are the top organic listings there? Why are they the top positions in Google? Because the website webmaster or the marketing team optimized their site for search because they’re doing SEO.
To say things like, “SEO is dead,” and then have people agree on it, and then to have the uninformed person who doesn’t even know what SEO means yet but sees that, then in their head, when the person sees this ad I’m running that’s uninformed and then sees all these comments, then in their mind, they already saw five people say something like SEO is dead. Now, to them, they think SEO is dead, when obviously, obviously it’s not.
The thing with any type of information you see online, and again, this is whether it’s coming from me or whether it’s coming from the biggest influencer or blog or news channel, people, they say things that really aren’t true. That’s where this whole fake news thing came from, because maybe they don’t do it with bad intent, but they make these comments while being uninformed themselves.
The Problem with Spreading Fake News on Social Media
The people, let’s just say the guy that said SEO is dead and started that comment thread, maybe years ago, he tried to do something like spread some fake news on social media, and again, this is all assumptions, but maybe he tried to do something like build an AdSense website or an Amazon Associate website, and then went to Fiverr and bought a bunch of backlinks because he read in some $7 eBook that that’s how you do SEO, and it didn’t work.
For him, he thought, “You know what? SEO is dead.” Maybe someone else saw a post that SEO is dead because someone that tried that way had it die or it didn’t work for them. That’s how these uninformed rumors start.
There’s a principle that I’m not going to be able to think of the name right now that came from two … I wish I could think of the principle’s name, but basically, what it says is that the less informed someone is on a certain topic, the more likely they are to give their opinion and to think they know more.
The person that knows the very, very least about SEO is the one that’s going to think that they’re the expert and they have the end-all answer. Same thing with Facebook ads. Someone that spends a hundred dollars on Facebook ads six months ago and didn’t get results, they’re the one that’s going to think that they have all the results and that knows why it’s a failure.
The way it works with any skillset, anything, the more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn, and the more proficient you get in anything, the less you are just to pass judgment.
I guess the big takeaway here, or that I hope it a big takeaway, again, it’s not for you if you’re a marketer and you’ve been doing this for a long time because you know that, yes, email marketing still works. It’s not dead because our inboxes are full of emails every day from companies that are making money off us and the rest of their list.
Yes, Facebook ads still work because every third post in your Facebook feed, it’s from an advertiser, and it’s there because it’s making them money. Yes, search engine optimization still works because when you Google a product type, the first results are optimized for search on-site and off-site.
Just know that the people that are usually throwing around these comments and saying things like, “This is dead,” or, “This doesn’t work,” or, “This is a scam,” unless, obviously, it’s an outright scam, like some kind of MLM scheme or Ponzi scheme, but when it comes to techniques that people are currently using, when people are saying they’re dead or they don’t work, it’s because the person saying that is really the person that knows the least, and they feel like they’re most qualified.
They feel like they’re the one that knows the most, when really, all the people out there, probably hundreds of thousands of people that are making money with it, just see that and laugh, but the uniformed person that sees that comment from the other uninformed person unfortunately takes that for truth.
How to Identify Fake News on Social Media
The only way you could really know if something is or isn’t fake news, especially when it comes to marketing tactics, the way that I do it I guess I could share, maybe there’s many ways, but this is the way that I know. If I see something or a new technique that someone’s talking about, well, if they say it’s dead, first, I’ll ask them, “Why do you think it’s dead,” and then whatever they tell me, I’ll say, “Why do you think that’s true? How much did you test? How much time did you put into it? How much budget?” I want to get a good feeling for it because, yes, I’m sure a ton of people have tried to optimize their sites for search and failed, whereas there’s, for every search and Google, there’s people at the top who optimized and won.
Same thing for Facebook ads, for everyone that failed, there are a bunch of people that are just making money every day. Same thing with Google PLA, same thing with everything. I would say it’s not the business model. It’s not the marketing technique. It’s usually the strategy that the uninformed person or the beginner used that they’re then passing judgment on.
Keep that in mind. Again, the only way you’re going to know if something works or not is when you put an honest effort into it for your business’s growth, and even then, before we do that in our businesses, we just try to find people that are already doing it that are making it work, and then model what they’re doing because, again, people are running Facebook ads because Facebook ads make people money.
People are advertising on Google because Google makes people money. YouTube ads, Pinterest ads, Twitter ads, whatever, people are doing it because they’re getting an ROI, and that’s really all you have to know. Don’t take someone at their word when they just say, “This thing doesn’t work,” or, “This thing’s dead.”
On the flip side of that, this is important, when someone just says, “Hey, this thing works,” it doesn’t instantly mean it’s just going to work for you right away, and that’s really important. I could tell you right now that for the past decade, Google product listing ads, Google shopping, which used to be frugal, has been our highest converting source of traffic for eCommerce stores.
That is true for my business and it’s true for a ton of eCommerce stores, but with that being said, if you have an eCommerce store and you go set up your first Google PLA campaign today, that doesn’t mean that tomorrow it’s going to be your highest converting source of traffic because, again, you will be a beginner.
It’ll take time for you to learn. It’ll take time for you to optimize, but in the long run, as you become more proficient, as you learn more, and as you realize there’s always more to lean, that’s when things will work just like it works for the other, again, whatever it is, hundred thousand advertisers they have.
Fake News and Why the Spread of it is Dangerous
That’s kind of a rant this morning, guys. It’s really … I know that … This podcast, just a heads up, with the eCommerce Lifestyle, I do want it to be for people that are already running stores, already running eCommerce businesses that are up and running and profitable.
I do hope you know this, but I did want to get this rant out just because I feel bad for the people that are uninformed because I know personally for me, when I got my start in eCommerce back in 2007, if I was seeing posts all the time from multiple people saying, “SEO is dead,” or, “Email marketing is dead,” or, “Facebook ads are dead,” or, “Google is dead,” then I might have been turned off from it. I might have not tried it. I might have thought my lack of early success meant that it just didn’t work, and I might’ve given up.
I don’t want people that really want a better lifestyle for themselves, that really want freedom, that really want the entrepreneur’s dream to give up because of something someone that literally knows next to nothing posted on one of their social media accounts.
When it comes to spotting fake news on the internet these days, just don’t take anyone at what their words on a screen say, including myself. Try things yourself. I’m telling you, if it’s working for other people, there’s no doubt that it will work for you as well, as long as you put in that work, as long as you stick to your goals, as long as you focus on improving every day.
Hope you guys found that valuable. Hope you got some insight. If you did, please do share this eCommerce lifestyle podcast. I’m trying to, really trying to honestly impact as many people as possible. That’s one of my goals this year. Really, for no other reason than I want more people to be entrepreneurs and to be able to control really their destiny and just to be happy.
If you know anyone that’s struggling in business that’s struggled to start, I think this episode would be useful for them. Please do email it to them. Do what you gotta do, and I would definitely appreciate that.