These days, social media should always be part of a comprehensive online marketing program. And for some businesses, especially lifestyle and image-related businesses, social media is particularly important.
Social Media Misconceptions – Advertisers can have unrealistic expectations of what social media can accomplish. Traffic does not equal sales, and most social media visits do not convert into sales, because that’s not what people are usually looking for when they go to a social media site. What they are looking for is engagement and a sense of community. Craigslist and Yelp, two of the top-40 sites in the world, are of course exceptions.
Another misconception is the real cost of managing an effective social media program; the upfront cost is usually negligible, but the labor cost is significant. A neglected social media program is worse than none at all, and a good one can take many hours a week to effectively manage.
There are literally thousands of sites, blogs, email newsletters and white papers with advice on how to run an effective social media program. We think the best approach is to focus on a short list of established, high-traffic sites, appropriate to your business, and do a good job there before expanding.
For starters, we like Yelp and Facebook:
Yelp – Yelp is the perfect social media complement to a robust local search marketing program. It has more user-generated reviews than any website in the world, and is among the best at identifying and removing fake reviews. And there is a lot you can do to optimize your presence on Yelp before paying for advertising on Yelp, consistent with our philosophy of accomplishing everything possible organically and paying selectively to supplement. Yelp is also a good source of online listing data.
Facebook – Like Yelp, having a Facebook presence allows you to leverage a vast existing community, but is not necessarily appropriate for all businesses. If you have or want a Facebook presence, the key is to make sure you’ve allocated regular, dedicated time to keep your content current, relevant, fun and on-brand, and to keep up with Facebook's constant changes. We are happy to develop a custom Facebook presence for your business, help you take better advantage of existing Facebook features or consult on your regular Facebook messaging.