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Cure Your "Business Insanity"

A small business owner decides to boost his online presence. Dipping his toe into the Pool of Digital Media, he throws a minimal amount of money into banner ads on some local media websites for a month. Bounce rates are high; time spent on the site is nominal. The next campaign is more of the same: the few people who are clicking over to the website are hastily leaving. But at least we're advertising online, right? Another campaign, another batch of banner ads. The client wonders why things aren't getting better. Online isn't working. Let's pull all dollars out of online.

It reminds me of the quote by Albert Einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Are your marketing efforts suffering from a case of "Business Insanity?" At a closer look, are your marketing plans from the past couple years eerily similar? Do you find yourself saying things like, "Well, this is just the way we've always done it!" without stopping to ask, "Why?" Is the growth of your business crawling to a near standstill while the media landscape is continuing to evolve and change?

Here are four ways you can break out of the "Business Insanity" rut by tapping into Social Media:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A majority of web traffic comes from commercial search engines, and most consumers aren't willing to sift past the first three or four results to find what they're looking for. Optimizing your site to reach these information seekers can boost traffic, publicity, and revenue.

Blogging

A company blog gives a human voice to what might otherwise feel like an impersonal entity. From a public relations standpoint, you can control your own message and have a built-in platform to interact with your audience.

Online Branding/PR with Social Media Networking

There is little excuse for not having a presence on social networks, as the main ones — like Facebook — are completely free. For more information on how to create a Facebook fan page and/or a Facebook landing page, please visit our recent blog entries.

E-Newsletters

By incorporating your brand into an e-blast, you are reaching a very targeted audience who is more engaged than the typical online user. This consumer has opted into receiving this message, as it relates to his or her needs in some way.

There are logical reasons why small business owners haven't yet taken advantage of what social media has to offer. Some methods, like SEO and e-newsletters, require a financial investment into an "unknown world" of sorts. Meanwhile, blogging and social media networking require time and resources -- a different investment altogether. This can be daunting to clients who have historically allocated the bulk of their budgets toward traditional media.

However, the question must be asked: If I want to see different results, am I willing to take a different path?

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