Marketing on Tsu (the new social media site) is in some ways a whole new beast for small business owners. In other ways it’s the same. I’ve seen lots of articles on the pros and cons of Tsu as a social media site, its prospects for the future, and so forth, but not really a look at how an entrepreneur might use the site to develop business prospects.
But first, a brief introduction to Tsu for those who haven’t tried it yet.
What is Tsu.co? An Overview as a User
Before you start marketing on Tsu, you should know what Tsu is. The easiest way to conceptualize it is Facebook, only with YouTube’s advertising model. That is, the people who create the best content and get the most views on what they post are the people who have the most to earn. Yes: Tsu pays its users to use the site (which works much like Facebook).
Without going into too much detail, you need to join through an invitation. (Here’s one for you if you haven’t joined yet.) When you do that, you’ll become my “child” (or the child of the person whose invite you used) on the Tsu Family Tree.
That family tree comes into play really only when the ad revenue bit happens. Basically, when people click on ads–and yes, they do–the advertiser pays money to Tsu. The site takes 10% off the top. The rest gets divided among the users in a particular way. The creators of the content (i.e., posts) that were associated with the ad clicks get half of it. The other half gets distributed, mainly to your ancestors up the family tree in quickly diminishing amounts.
While some focus on that last bit as being basically multi-level marketing, note that while having prolific and popular children can bring you in a little money, the single biggest way to increase your earnings is to actually post great content. At least in theory.
Beyond that, it’s pretty much like using Facebook. You can post pictures or links, comment, Like posts or comments, send private messages, mention people with their @username, install their app on your phone, and so forth. One notable difference is that it’s much easier to become someone’s Friend (mutual connection) or Follower (one-way, like Twitter or Google Plus). Other differences include the Bank, where you can see how much ad revenue you’ve earned in your social media activity, and Analytics, where you can get more information about how many views, Likes, and comments there have been on the posts of the last 30 days so you can learn what your audience wants more of.
Finally, you can write your posts on Tsu and, if you’ve connected your Facebook or Twitter accounts, send that same post to those social sites directly.
Marketing on Tsu: Being an Advertiser
I can’t tell you much about this because currently there’s no interface for becoming an advertiser. You simply have to email them and set something up. That’s kind of a bummer because it would be great to be able to do some poking around before getting one of their sales people involved.
There are three ways you can spend your advertising budget at Tsu:
- Pushing content one layer out through your network. For those familiar with the Google+ “Extended Circles,” this is similar. It gets your post seen not only by your friends and followers, but also by their friends and followers.
- Targeting an audience. This is a more traditional advertising approach. You tell them the demographics you want to reach (whether they’re connected to you or not) and they try to get your post seen by those kinds of people. They specify geography, age, and gender as demographic groups you can target. Given the simplicity of the profile section, they might be the only demographics possible for targeting.
- Display ads. This is the oldest and most established form of Internet marketing. You pick the demographics, you make an ad image, and they show it.
It’s all pretty straightforward, but I haven’t been privy to any data in terms of effectiveness or pricing. I’ve sent a message to the Tsu folks so if you’re seeing this sentence, I haven’t heard back yet.
Marketing on Tsu: Generating Traffic & Leads
Something that really stuck out to me about Tsu this last month was the traffic. After doing some slight massaging of the data to make it a little simpler, the top traffic sources for my website look like this over my first 30 days on Tsu:
- Direct (41%)
- Email (18%)
- Google+ (15%)
- Organic Search (9%)
- Tsu (6%)
- Facebook (5%)
- LinkedIn (2%)
- Other traffic sources (2% or less, each)
I’ve been on Google+ and Facebook (and Twitter, which didn’t send me any traffic at all in this time period) basically since the beginning of July when my business launched. That’s over 120 days. I’ve been on Tsu for 1/4 of that time and it’s already sending me more traffic than Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, and about half as much as Google+. Now, that could just be my own pattern, or the fact that there are more avidly-interacting early adopters on Tsu than on other platforms, or simply a small sample size. But it at least suggests there may be some marketing power in terms of traffic generation. And if you’re curious, the other new social site, Ello, sent me no traffic either…though I’ve been less active there than on Tsu.
I should also point out that my Tsu account is not particularly branded as business. It’s mostly set up as a personal account, but does talk about what I do in my business as has a link to my business website. I’m assuming the impact would have been greater had I really focused on the branding/marketing aspect of the account.
Some Notes on Tsu and Google Analytics
I also wanted to quickly note something for those who are running to their Google Analytics to check their own Tsu stats. Google Analytics doesn’t quite treat Tsu uniformly throughout. My Tsu visits show up as “tsu / social” when I’m looking at the All Traffic section in Acquisition. But in the Social section of Acquisition, Tsu isn’t shown at all. So although All Traffic shows Tsu is recognized as a social network, its numbers aren’t included in social-specific sections.
Like I said, some of this may be because of small sample size or my own business’ patterns. If you’re on Tsu and using Analytics, I’d love to hear if your patterns confirm what I’m seeing, or contrast in some way. Let me know in the comments (or on Tsu!)