Social Media Marketing is Not Always the Answer for Small, Local Businesses
 by Mary Bowling

Social Media Marketing is Not Always the Answer for Small, Local Businesses — by Mary Bowling

lemmings Many small businesses believe that social media marketing is crucial to being successful online. This belief is fed by familiarity with platforms like Facebook and Twitter and by all of the hype they hear regarding the success of others who use it. However, in my experience, social media marketing is usually NOT the best place to begin promoting small, local businesses.

These enterprises have very limited resources, so their money and time must be spent as effectively as possible. As marketers, we need to quickly start showing them some return on their investment, both to prove the value of our services and to provide them with profits to re-invest in additional promotional efforts. Therefore, zeroing in on the single best marketing option with which to get them started is critical.

Social media marketing is just one of an impressive collection of strategies at our disposal to help local businesses prosper online. Email marketing, SEO, local SEO, and paid advertising can all be very effective. So, before deciding that social media presents the best opportunity for any given small local business, you must first take a close look at the other online marketing avenues available to them and discover where they stand when compared to their competitors. Only then can you decide if social media should come first in their marketing plans or if it needs to wait until later in the project to be implemented.

Email marketing

Direct email endorsements have by far the best return on investment (ROI) of any form of online marketing. As long as you're doing it right that is.

  • Pros: If the enterprise has a good email list, but isn't using it effectively, then you have a big opportunity on your hands. You can start by determining what your overall goal and offer is. Then create a simple email template and start out by testing a small percentage of the list with a few email promotions. Once you find something that converts well then push it out to the larger portion of the list. When done right ...