Much has been made of the battle for superiority between Facebook and Google over the past few years, with both of them looking at increasingly innovative new ways to outdo the other.
The battle doesn’t stop at the gates of Silicon City however and the online marketing world is full of companies who will promise you great riches as a result of them getting you to the top of Google, for a price, obviously.
But what effect does this have on the small companies who are watching their profits fall nearly as fast as their rankings as they don’t feel they can justify the substantial outlay for a professional SEO firm? And more importantly, what happens to the customer who is being priced out of online purchases by the higher charges demanded by those companies who can only afford to top Google by charging more than their competitors?
This is where Facebook has an advantage, in particular with local marketing. Not everyone can get their website to the top of Google, but everyone can build an effective Facebook page that will drive leads and build an important local reputation. Here’s how.
Imagine that you’re planning a wedding. The budget is tight and although you want your day to be memorable, you don’t want to spend a fortune. Googling “wedding dresses” and “wedding photography” spews out a myriad of irrelevant and overpriced national firms who have secured their prominence by spending vast amounts on their SEO.
Now imagine if you had something where people that you know and trust could recommend local companies. Imagine if at the click of a button you could access a world of small companies in your area who are brilliant at what they do but don’t have the marketing budget to shout about it all over Google. Not only does this exist, you probably already have access to it!
When people get married, they like to shout about it, and the chances are that in your Facebook profile there is at least one person who has been wed in the last two years. The dawn of the “Like” button on Facebook also means that more and more newlyweds are “Like”ing the shop where they bought their flowers, the people who made their cake and the venue where they got hitched, and this can be a goldmine for finding relevant, local businesses who can fulfil your needs. If they weren’t any good, the couple wouldn’t have liked them so you also have an authoritative recommendation from people who you know.
Now look at this from a business perspective. With the basic amount of knowledge you can build yourself a Facebook page and get customers to “Like” your site, giving you instant visibility to all of their “Friends”.
This is a very small but very powerful way in which one little button on one very big social network is changing local marketing and you don’t have to be a marketing guru to make it work for you. A few hours designing your page and a follow up email humbly requesting a “Like” after each job and that’s it.
Although this won’t change your business overnight, it should be an important part of your larger marketing effort when looking to establish your company in the local community.