A recent Small Business Search Marketing Survey by American Express OPEN and Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) shows that more small businesses are using Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc…) to attract new business than Mass Email Marketing, Organic SEO and Pay-Per-Click Advertising.
Fortunately (for all of us web designer and web developers anyways), Company websites are still the primary tactic for most small businesses online efforts. This makes total sense as the business can actually (and hopefully do) own their own websites. The social media channels are just that. They are marketing channels and not actually entities that the companies own. If Facebook ever changes their policies (and we know from experience that this happens quite frequently), a company may one day find themselves locked out of their account. If this happens you may lose all of your access to your ‘friends’. It is a good idea to keep your website as your central online marketing base and consider your social media efforts as embassies.
Social Media has such a low cost barrier to entry that it is almost a ‘no brainer’ to participate. A website is an essential part of any business today. If nothing else, it is essentially a requirement to establish legitimacy as a professional organization. Other online marketing channels require considerable knowledge, effort and/or dollars to participate. In addition, Social Media is ingrained in many personal lives. The boundary between personal and professional interaction is blurred thus making it much easier for many individuals to participate.
Interestingly, overall businesses find new customers through “word-of-mouth” as the primary method (82%) over internet and other marketing methods. Meaning that traditional networking (Hello Hollywood Chamber of Commerce) is still alive and going strong. So don’t forget your traditional physical networking channels. Social Media may be such a big factor in businesses online tactics because it does have the social one-on-one interaction that is so familiar to traditional networking, but do not discount the power of Search Marketing and Email Marketing. While these tried and true methods are not as “Hot” right now as the new kid on the block. They can produce huge results when implemented properly.
Published On: Apr 15, 2011