Web Marketing for Small Business

Web Marketing for Small Business

Is Facebook worth it for Small Business?

For many years now we have been hearing about how big Facebook is and that as a Small Business Owner you should be on it. If you listen to Social Media Marketing people, they will tell you that it is a powerful marketing tool that will lead to countless leads. But is it really worth it?

This blog post was motivated by the picture below that I came across. I felt that it pretty much summed up my view of Facebook (and all social media for that matter), especially as far as small business goes.

Facebook - Likes vs Sales
Facebook Marketing - Likes vs Sales

Social Media Marketing on Facebook

Facebook is one of the largest Social Media Platforms out there, along with Twitter and Youtube. So it makes sense that if you are being serious about Social Media Marketing, that you include a Facebook strategy with it. But do you really benefit from a good social media campaign?

I'm a passionate believer that small business marketing should be almost exclusively aimed at generating sales. Unlike larger businesses, we really can't afford to spend loads of money to just build our brand with no obvious sales being generated. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that building your brand isn't important. What I am saying is that whereas large businesses can spend thousands and even millions on brand building, such as viral videos, sponsorship, generic advertising etc; small business doesn't have this sort of money. We need to know that if we spend money on advertising, we will have a definite return on our investment. This return is obviously sales.

So does spending time building your Facebook page generate sales?

I would argue NO. I have heard many so called "Social Media Gurus" tell me how powerful it is, but I have yet to see hard proof that it works. Most of them point to the number of "Likes" they have generated, but can't show the number of sales that resulted from these. I am yet to be convinced that a social media marketing strategy will beat a good search engine optimisation strategy.

So does that mean that Social Media is a waste of time and money?

NO, there is still a place for social media. Especially if you are in an industry where people get passionate about what you do. For example, if you supply to sports groups, 4x4 enthusiasts, hobby enthusiasts etc or maybe you're a restaurant . You can see how people may get onto your Facebook page and talk about what you do and discuss you with other users on social media. But what if you're a Plumber, Electrician, Accountant, Web Marketing etc? Can you see people passionately talking about your products and services without being prompted? Sure, they may mention you if someone asks for a referral, but otherwise you'll never get a mention.

So if you can tap into a group of people who are passionate about your product or services online, then Facebook is worth pursuing.

The other good use of social media is for building trust. If you encourage your happy customers to post reviews etc on social media, then you can refer to this during your sales process. This is very powerful at building trust and can definitely help your conversion rate.

So when should you consider Social Media Marketing?

It all comes down to budget and ROI. My personal view is that SEO and SEM will well and truly beat social media for dollar spent. So the first stages of any Web Marketing Plan should be your search engine optimisation and Adwords strategy. Once you have this under way, then start looking at your social media marketing.

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