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When social media isn’t the answer (and alternatives to consider)

It’s hard not to adopt the mindset that social media is one of the most critical tools in marketing your business. That’s been the overarching message delivered for years now – and, of course, that’s always the message you hear from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

 
At Ring Ring Marketing, we’ve found that social media can be a useful tool in marketing a business, but that’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Some local businesses see some notable benefits from social media; some do not.

 
It really depends on your particular situation. That’s why every time we consult with a potential business partner, we investigate and scrutinize every aspect of that specific business. No single campaign works for all businesses; the campaigns that work best are tailor made to an individual company’s needs.

 
When it comes to small local businesses, the reality is that a large investment in social media isn’t right for everybody. These enterprises have limited resources, so their money and time must be spent as effectively as possible.

 
Social media marketing is just one of an impressive collection of strategies that can help local businesses prosper. Email marketing, SEO, local SEO, and paid advertising can all be very effective.

 
It’s probably beneficial to go over the pros and cons of each approach to help you determine how much (or how little) social media should be a part of your overall marketing approach.

 
Email marketing

 
Direct email endorsements have by far the best return on investment of any form of online marketing — as long as you’re doing it right. If you already have a strong email list but haven’t really been using it, what are you waiting for?

 
Start by determining your overall goal and offer. Then create a simple email template and test a small percentage of the list with a few email promotions. Once you find something that converts well, push it out to the larger portion of the list. When done well, this can quickly attract new customers and increase new sales from old customers.

 
However, if your business hasn’t already built a good list of customers and potential customers who have given you permission to contact them, this clearly isn’t the best place to start.

 
Paid advertising

 
Generally the best way to generate new leads as quickly as possible is by leveraging paid advertising. From Google AdWords and Bing Ads to Facebook Ads and Pinterest’s Paid Ads, you have many avenues at your disposal.

 
It’s true that paid advertising requires more of your budget up front, but if you have the capital to employ, it’s the best way to get things cranking quickly and effectively.

 
SEO

 
Optimizing your website doesn’t deliver the immediate marketing results you’ll find from paid advertising, but it does have crucial long-term effects, and increasing organic rankings helps create a solid foundation for all your other marketing efforts.

 
Depending on the competition in your local market, even just a little on-page optimization and/or a couple of decent links can propel a website upward in search results or into the local packs to quickly begin driving traffic to the site.

 
Local SEO

 
Local SEO remains one of the best ways to improve client generation through local search results without necessarily breaking the bank. Some of the important factors that can help an enterprise rank better in local search — such as having good online reviews on a variety of important websites, gaining more citations in trusted places and earning good local links — can be beefed up quickly without too much expense.

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