It’s nearly impossible to talk about marketing today without social media popping up in the conversation. If you own a small business, social media should be incorporated into your marketing plan, but you must first know how to use it. There are many advantages to hopping on the social networking bandwagon. Not only is social media cost effective, it’s the new “word of mouth advertising” that helps you build trust with your costumers and indirectly advertise to them.
The New Word Of Mouth Advertising: Social Media
Unfortunately, all the likability that a brand may get on Facebook, doesn’t exactly translate into dollars for small businesses. While having a consistent social media presence certainly increases brand awareness, according to a recent Baynote study, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest still drive less sales than analog catalogs.
So, if you thought that the popularity of social media would result in the death of traditional search advertising think again. Advertising isn’t bowing down to social media just yet. Search advertising has one thing social media does not – it possesses the “holy grail of intent”. Search advertising gives businesses the opportunity to present consumers with advertisements tailored to their immediate buying interests based on a keyword search.
Think about it. If you’re searching for a cab company in New York City, you would probably click on an ad shouting at you on the side of the page,
“Cheapest rates in the city”, wouldn’t you? You would. And the reason is because the ad is actually an answer to your question. You intended to find a cab by performing a keyword search and because you are eager to get your question answered, you clicked the ad. Whereas most advertising efforts can annoy the consumer with sales and gimmicks that are not personalized for their exact needs, search advertising reaches the consumer at the right place at the right time.
Search Advertising Verses Social
Done right, a well planned search advertising campaign will enable you to target potential customers who are looking specifically for your services – and can pay for itself many times over. Does this mean you should abandon social media altogether? No, of course not. Combine paid per click search advertising efforts with a positive social media presence and you’re on your way to a successful integrated marketing campaign.