Free Marketing: The Truth about Social Networking for Businesses 1
May 8, 2012
Businesses frequently tell me, with pride, that they are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and various other social networking sites. It is as if they believe that by having a social network account they have cracked marketing and all their marketing problems are over.
If only it were that simple.
I also read social networking “experts” rants on social networking sites (where else) that some businesses just don’t get it. Apparently if they aren’t “doing” social networking they don’t get it, are idiots, haven’t time or haven’t woken up to technology.
Again it isn’t that simple.
I have to confess that I love social networking. I think it offers great opportunities for businesses to market themselves effectively without spending any money.
Sadly, once again, it isn’t that simple.
The truth is that social networking on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is an excellent way for some businesses to market themselves; but it certainly isn’t the answer for every business.
Social Networking Truth Number One
Social networking isn’t a marketing panacea.
There are hundreds of ways to market a business and whereas the use of social networking is a great way to get noticed there are other ways.
Many of the other marketing methods are actually easier than social networking; they are effectively the low hanging fruit you should harvest before looking elsewhere.
For example I believe that having an effective website is far more important than social networking. Your website is under your control, works 24/7, and is your business shop window. Ensuring it has good content and good metatags etc. is far more effective, easier and quicker than setting up and implementing a social networking strategy. Once a new page goes on your website it can sit there for years and get you enquiries every day .. a Tweet or post on a social networking site is less substantial and not as likely to find you the same level of business.
Another example of marketing that I believe is usually more effective for most businesses than social networking is PR. Write a media release or article and your news can go worldwide very quickly. You can be seen on websites, in papers and magazines, heard on radio or seen on TV.
Does PR work? Yes!
In the last few weeks my business has been featured on websites as far away as New Zealand .. as well as across the UK and Europe. Of course the reality is that once your business is featured on a website you can be seen by people anywhere in the world.
Some businesses tell me that being seen overseas isn’t important to them as they only trade locally. If that were so then it wouldn’t be worth me going online to book accommodation, restaurants, car hire, and a load of other things before I go overseas on holiday or business. And don’t forget that people that currently live overseas may be about to move close to you and may require furniture, carpets, a haulage company, a photographer .. or a host of other products and services.
There are dozens of other marketing methods that you ought to consider before focusing on social networking.
Discover Social Networking Truth Number Two