Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat…if your business doesn’t have at least one of these social media accounts, you’re floating dead in the water. Or maybe not? It just might be possible that your business can boom without a single social media account. Discover how you can navigate the online marketplace without the benefit of social media, and relish in all of that time you’ll save.
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Marketing on the Internet
First of all, why is social media so darn important? Because it is a seemingly cheap and easy method of marketing online. People use their social media accounts to post information that is gold for marketers. From products they’ve purchased to businesses they’ve visited, all of this information is free for the taken from consumers’ social media profiles. Then you have the business pages and profiles that dot the social media landscape. If a consumer wants to connect with a business or to review its’ customer experiences, they can do so via social media.
Yet social media has only been around in the last decade or so. Facebook was born in 2004, while Twitter began in 2006. Pinterest didn’t start until 2010, and SnapChat is even younger with a birth date of 2011. What about YouTube, the video market giant? Mr. Broadcast Yourself was started in 2005. Now, what did businesses do before all of these social media services got started? They didn’t fret about SEO or post counts, that’s for sure.
Marketing was just starting to become stagnant due to the rise of the internet and a lack of print advertising, which is why social media became so important. It filled the marketing void that the web created. Today we see the results of this switchover from newspapers, magazine ads and commercials to banner ads, tweets and Facebook Pages. Clearly social media serves a marketing purpose, but is it worth the effort for your business?
Return on Time Invested with Social Media
The biggest problem with social media is finding that balance between energy invested and the benefits gained. This is where businesses fall to the wayside. When you’ve spent hours on various social media accounts creating profiles, updating these, and posting comments at just the right time…not to mention replying to comments and clearing up negative reviews…it’s a lot! Multiply this across all of the possible platforms, and you’ve got yourself so much social media work to do you’ll need to hire a professional service to do it for you.
Social Media Demands Attention
Then you also have the issue of social media accounts left stagnant. Let’s say you started out using Facebook, but haven’t updated your business to have a Page. You’re already behind on the times, and your personal business profile is sitting silent. Instead of working for you, this social media profile leaves visitors wondering if your business is still doing business. When you don’t enough time or energy to keep all of your accounts active, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of would-be customers who are checking you out online.
Businesses Thriving Without Social Media
This is where social media can quickly cost more than it’s worth. It’s also why some businesses do not need to jump on the social media bandwagon. Here are some cases in point of businesses that can excel without social media success:
- You do not have a website or blog, which means you have no home base presence on the internet. If you aren’t focused on having a web-based brand, then social media is pointless for your business.
- Your brand is based on old fashioned values, hipster ethics, or is anti-establishment, in which case the last thing you want to do is follow the social media sheep and drink that Kool-Aid.
- You are already well-established business and thought leader in your industry, and you’ve accomplished this without the aid of social media. In that case, keep doing what you’re doing!
- Your business is just getting started and you have very limited resources to divulge on marketing methods. Rather than scattering your marketing wide across the web, spend that investment on building your brand by providing the best products and/or services you can offer.
As you can see, social media is not a shoe-in for all businesses and brands. What should you do instead of depending on social media platforms for online advertising?
Word of Mouth Alternatives to Social Media
Instead of fretting about how to keep up with all of the social media try some alternatives to this form of marketing. Word of mouth is still the biggest winner in marketing, whether you have an online store or brick-and-mortar business. Yes, social media is one way to share word of mouth successes. However, there are plenty of other ways to make that happen including:
- Email marketing, which is the top method of establishing a tribe for your brand through leads
- Phone conversations whether via customer service situations or through, hold the phone, hotlines set up for your business as a way to share new products or the latest deals; rap artist K.Flay does this very well!
- Texting with friends and colleagues
- Actual face to face conversations with people
- Conferences, events, seminars, festivals, fairs, lectures…you know, all of those gatherings of like-minded individuals who may be interested in what you’re selling
- E-books, resource guides, and other forms of literature where you set yourself up as an industry expert
And then you still have the possibilities of advertising in newspapers, magazines, streaming network commercials, and the like. The truth is, even though social media likes to believe it’s the star of marketing in the 21st century, it’s not the only option out there.
A takeaway here is you can have a successful business without depending on social media for support. However, this is a case by case evaluation that only you can determine. But taking this time to analyze whether social media is worth it to your brand is imperative. Most businesses forgo this process and end up sunk by social media. So take a long, hard look at how social media would benefit, as well as deter, your business’s marketing goals. Then make the best marketing move for your brand.