It’s been over ten years since I originally wrote the article below (May 26, 2019) under the title “Which Medium When.” Yet, most of it still applies in December 2019. In italics are notes I have added since initial publication.

Although I make a living by helping businesses attract new customers and sales online, I don’t quickly jump on every new social media platform.

This is because I’ve learned from experience that:

  • some platforms are huge time wasters that provide very little meaningful communication
  • others don’t last long enough to be proven as effective social networking or marketing systems
  • others change format so often that no one wants to keep up with the latest version of the system (over engineering-itis)

Therefore, I read reviews about the new systems, ask people about their experiences, and test each system for sufficient evidence that it is worth spending time to learn yet another system.

As a result of this process, I have chosen to set up LinkedIn accounts to keep connected with business associates. I also have set up a Twitter profile to follow a business associate’s tweets and found that other business associates were looking for me on Twitter. Then I began to set up Facebook pages – one for personal use and others for client businesses.

So has this helped business?

Yes and no. It has:

  • increased the number of incoming links and visitors to websites that I manage
  • helped me keep updated on who’s doing what where
  • helped renew and strengthen business relationships

However, it has not brought significant volumes of new clients or sales yet.

Therefore, when a prospective client asks me whether he/she should invest in social media, I say, “Only if your website, blog, and email communications are already optimized and producing new customers and more sales. Websites, blogs, and email marketing are still very effective strategies and the new social communication systems do not replace them, they simply augment them.”

Recommended Order of Electronic Marketing Initiatives for Emerging and Small Businesses Based on ROI

As for which order to implement traditional web and newer web marketing strategies, it does depend somewhat on the market niche and the business’ marketing budget. However, the typical succession is

  1. responsive design, quick to load, mobile-friendly website with on page and in site natural search optimization strategies implemented (website may or may not include a blog)
  2. off page optimization of the website (i.e. keyword rich links from other well-optimized, geographically or topically on target websites including local map search sites, online directories and other industry-related web pages)
  3. pay per click marketing
  4. email marketing
  5. article marketing,(Switch 3 and 5 if you are focusing on greatest ROI.)
  6. social marketing (selection of specific strategies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest, and Etsy depends on market niche and ideal customer demographics)

To help businesses develop a prioritized outline of possible marketing mediums, I offer a one hour complimentary consultation. To schedule your complimentary consultation, please call me at 206.244.9092 or email [email protected]. (We have always and still do offer this so feel free to reach out!)