Social Media Marketing – Is it worth it?
Social Media Marketing, Like it or hate it…
Yesterday was the fifth-annual global celebration of “2014 Social Media Day“. Did you celebrate the occasion or do you wish social marketing never happened? Is it good for business, a necessary evil or just a big waste of time?
Do you ever find yourself wondering about the huge investment in time you are investing in maintaining your Social Media marketing effort? Is it worth it? Is it (or will it ever be) a good ROI?
If you know that you have acquired new customers from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. then the answer may be yes. That would have to be balanced against the amount of time you spent acquiring those customers, and what the lifetime value of a customer means to your business.
If you don’t know if those new customers were a result of your social involvement, that’s a whole different problem involving tracking, follow-up, etc.
What if Facebook went away?
Seriously, that is not a trick question. We tend to forget that most of these social networks didn’t exist or were not mainstream just five short years ago. Yet today, we spend an inordinate amount of time playing this new social game. This post is about the business piece of social, not your personal activity that connects you to family and friends.
As it relates to marketing and trying to get more traffic to our website, social activity is mandatory today. Not just because you hope to stumble upon prospects who are searching for your products or services, but because Google is watching. Google tracks social activity and uses that information (and other metrics) to assign value to your website. That ‘value’ affects your ranking in search results. So, love it or hate it, you need to be playing the social game today. It wasn’t this way just one or two years ago, but things do change.
One of the other metrics that make up Google’s algorithm is “links”. The links that point back to your website, not the ones you have on your website pointing to other sites. It is not the quantity of links, but the quality of those links that Google evaluates, and LOCAL links are paramount. A link from a local authority website is pure gold.
Life after Facebook?
Remember MySpace? Remember the world’s largest search engine, Yahoo? Things are in a constant state of flux on the Internet and things always have and always will continue to change. Facebook makes a lot of people angry and if another social site popped up that offered more or something better, Facebook could collapse faster than you can say… Netscape.
The ONE constant that remains and the one that means so much to anyone with a business website are the links they acquire pointing to their website. Aside from the Google juice you receive from good links, they create additional paths to your website. Quality links have always been an important part of Google’s algorithm, and that is something that will probably not change.
If Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. all went away tomorrow, the one thing remaining that will differentiate your website from your competitors are the quality links pointing to your website.
Flathead Guide Links Rock!
Google likes what we are doing with the new Flathead Guide as they assigned us a Page Rank of ‘2’ in less than 40 days of operation (now a PR3). Quite honestly, that is almost impossible to achieve from a search engine optimization perspective. I know this because I’ve been an SEO professional since before Facebook left the dorm room of Mark Zuckerberg.
Everything I know about SEO and social media marketing is being applied to the Flathead Guide and I can promise you that the value you will receive from your listing in the guide will continue to increase. I launched the Guide to address a couple of problems that all Flathead Valley website owners face.
The most difficult piece of every SEO project has been the acquisition of local links for the website; the Flathead Guide is part of that solution. Secondly, now that Google is maintaining a separate index for mobile sites, it is even more important to have a mobile-friendly listing and our ‘mini-website’ listings help solve that issue.
Spend your advertising dollars wisely
You most likely spend a lot of money marketing and advertising your business and your website. One ad in the newspaper or a few radio commercials can cost hundreds of dollars. Worse yet, those are one-shot expenses with no residual benefit. A mobile-friendly listing in the Flathead Valley Business Directory costs only $4 per month and it works 24 hours per day for as long as you maintain your listing.