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Social Media Versus Search

It seems like it’s impossible to get away from articles nowadays that start with the phrase “In these hard economic times…” But gear up for another, because in these hard economic times, companies are looking for any excuse to yield revenue and cut costs. Perhaps that accounts for part of the reason social media tactics are so very popular right now.

After all, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can disseminate information about your company’s products and services in a quick and (most importantly) free way. And this ability has many touting this means of marketing as the next best thing.

But there’s also something to be said for holding off on any fad that simply seems too good to be true. After all, any new marketing efforts require time and energy. Even if there isn’t any money required upfront, there is still the necessary dedication of manpower. And this can be viewed as tantamount to expense, because time is most certainly money. As such, before you or your company launches an organized social media effort, make sure it’s right for your business and make sure your business is ready for that kind of campaign.

Ideally, social media should yield concrete value, revenue, and fit with your overall business concept. If these goals can’t be accomplished, any efforts you make towards social media campaigns can be seen as little more than wasted effort.

But there’s also no denying that social media has proved successful for many. For those companies that sing the praises of social networking, this type of marketing campaign has produced not only positive results but real dollars and cents results.

Cash flow is helped along by social media’s ability to:

-Directly connect you with the users of your brand
-Make a favorable impression on your new users
-Help you utilize an entirely new venue for marketing, branding, and overall communication

If you’re skeptical or wary of social media, there is an alternative in SEO. Search has the distinct benefit of helping you gain visibility across the internet as a whole—not just from the users that haunt social media sites. Also, if you utilize social media before your site is user ready, it could result in some minor backlash. Negative comments and negative feelings towards your company are never something you want drifting around the internet. And there truly is no substitute for a high quality website with well written, useful content and an easy-to-use interface.

Knowing that, perhaps it’s not even helpful to pit search against social media in an either/or debate. Perhaps instead it’s most helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of both and utilize them in conjunction to create the most successful business model possible.

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