If you think Google is the only real way to promote your business online – you’re mistaken. The reality is – social media is bigger than ever. And it looks set to continue to grow. While you shouldn’t ignore Google completely – you might be wasting a lot of time (and money) trying to improve your ranking when alternative marketing channels might be a better option.
Search engines have always been the bread-and-butter of internet marketing – but things are changing. You won’t be alone in thinking getting a good ranking on Google is the only way to help your business get big online. But it isn’t. In this article, we’re going to look at how social media could be the answer – and how it could overtake Google as the number one way to promote your business online.
Why Google Isn’t Necessarily The Only Answer
First things first – Google simply isn’t the marketing powerhouse it was 5 or so years ago. While Google still is the number one player in town (at least for now), its meteoric rise looks to be tapering off a bit.
Sometimes it comes down to simple cost-benefit analysis when trying to get the most bang for your marketing buck. Will getting to number 1 on Google get you more traffic than most other options? Probably, yes. But think how much time, effort and money it takes to get there. Some digital marketers have even started optimizing for search engines like Bing and Yahoo after doing a simple analysis of the time and effort it takes to get a good ranking when compared to Google.
And that’s before we even start to take a step away from search engines to look at how effective a strong social media marketing campaign can be….
How Social Media Has Taken A Big Slice Of The Marketing Pie
People are spending more and more time on social media platforms. With the growth of mobile internet usage, some are even ignoring traditional web-browsers altogether and heading straight for their Twitter or Facebook app. They might still fire up Google to find out something quickly – but they aren’t wasting hours on there like they are on social media.
That means if you can get their attention – you’ve got it for longer.
People also like to feel “connected” to something – and that’s why social media has become huge in recent years. It’s a two-way communication street. If someone likes your brand on Facebook – they’re not only giving you a boost – but they’re telling all their friends about it. It’s a hugely powerful marketing tool that you need to start making the most of.
If you can get your message to go viral, it’ll be shared by thousands of people without costing a penny.
Getting a follower on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms like Instagram is hugely valuable to your business. Not only does it open up a direct line of communication with the follower (something that used to be difficult for traditional businesses) – it also helps them spread the word for you.
To really get social media to start working for you – you need to keep people engaged and most of all – you need them to SHARE. Nobody is really going to get excited about, or tweet, a 10% discount. While it’s a good start – you need more active engagement than that. Run contests that get people active on a frequent basis (like quizzes and other fun interactive competitions). Offer great prizes and get photos of the winners. People love to share photos of themselves so if you can get them with your brand or wearing a t-shirt they won – your message should spread even quicker.
How You Can Successfully Market Your Business Through Social Media
Firstly, you need to get as many followers as you can. Make it a goal for your business and make sure all your staff are on board. Incentivize new followers by offering contests and exclusive special offers.
Don’t take your followers for granted by bombarding them with spam. Offer them something genuine and special and they’ll stay loyal. Simply staying in touch with previous customers used to be difficult – but now it’s simple. If you make the most of your social media presence, this following should start to grow to potential new customers organically.
Key Advantages Of Having An Active Social Media Marketing Strategy
Firstly – it’s practically free. It’s also easy to do if you do it right. Ranking on the first page of Google could take months of work, a large marketing budget and a load of man hours – and you might not even get it! The great thing about marketing on platforms like Facebook is that you’ve got an active audience sitting there ready to do your marketing work for you. Fine-tune your offering and hopefully it should spread.
This article has mainly looked at using social media as a viral marketing platform and a great way to keep in touch with both existing and future customers (and hopefully get more of them). We haven’t even touched upon the growth of Facebook advertising channels as a viable alternative to Google Adwords – but that’s another area where social media looks to be getting a bigger piece of the pie.
While social media shouldn’t be the only way you promote your business – it certainly shouldn’t be ignored. You’d be surprised how many businesses are resistant to change and don’t take their social media presence seriously. Don’t be one of them.