One SMB’s Imperfect Social Media Strategy

I was walking downtown in San Francisco and saw this sign in the window of a photography store:

Picture 50

It took me some time, using Google and Facebook search, to find the company’s page (no vanity URL here yet):

Picture 56

But if you go to the company’s last-generation website, there’s no reference to Facebook:

Picture 55

I wasn’t able to check Twitter because it’s currently down for maintenance. (Update: checked Twitter and didn’t find anything for the store.)

So while it’s great that the store is using Facebook, it needs to put that information on its site, right after it redesigns that site.


16 Responses to “One SMB’s Imperfect Social Media Strategy”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    I guess having a RFID to push a “mobile special” offer or coupon would be out of the question then.

  2. One SMB’s Imperfect Social Media Strategy « Business Heat Says:

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  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Probably 🙂

  4. earlpearl Says:

    The smb owner is in a tough pickle. They simply don’t have time to spend on staying up to date with most technology, let alone evolving and new applications. They are not inclined to do so in most cases.

    As an smb we have unique time investment in that…but it is very very rare.

    One wants high visibility in search, in social media, but it is above all time consuming. The alternative is that it costs….and frankly I am growing increasingly skeptical of the results and information coming from any sources, especially the ppc resellers…but also other sources.

    As exciting as social media is…it continuously underperforms search. Making social media work requires time and work. On top of the fact that this small business isn’t using latest innovations, doesn’t have his facebook page referenced on his latest website…he has very few followers.

    So many areas in which to improve…so much time required.

    Yes it is imperfect. Maybe the guy needs a best advice set of ideas..on where to start making improvements. Where should he start making improvements to get the most bang for his buck.

    Nine times out of ten….no matter what is going on with social media…I’d say check out the website. How does he do in search/maps/local/ppc…how much visibility does he get vis a vis the other area photographers.

    Then move to social media.

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree re time. Nobody wants to become a social media expert who’s running a small business. The complexity of all this is confounding for most.

  6. Mark McCormack Says:

    It’s actually a very common problem when a local merchant takes marketing into their own hands. This is the modern day version of not putting your address or telephone number on a print ad.

    In this particular example, I would imagine that Adolph decided to promote is business on Facebook (a good thing) but decided to take copy and production in his own hands (obviously, a bad thing in this case). Either he didn’t understand Facebook or it was a simple error of omission. Either way, I can imagine his oops moment and the calculated decision to keep the sign up based on the production costs of the banner.

    To people in the industry, this is such a basic mistake that it could easily have made the Tonight Show’s Funniest Ads Skit …. but most people wouldn’t get it.

    All that said, let’s give Adolph some kudos here … he understands the benefit of launching a Facebook presence AND, more importantly, that it needs to be promoted to his customers.

  7. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yes they get credit for doing this. Agree.

  8. KevinL. Says:

    I like how you have like 323 messages in your Facebook Inbox. 🙂 I’ll remember to never message you on Facebook!

  9. Tim Cohn Says:

    @earl I think you have indirectly posed a great question: “What is Social Media’s Return on Investment?”

    The ROI subject coincides with a job posting I saw yesterday on Twitter and wrote about today:

  10. earlpearl Says:

    Tim: I read your piece.

    I have my doubts about current ROI analyses used by SEM’s. In a previous business life I started out as a financial analyst at a big corporation w/ a fair number of investments. I performed ROI analyses all the time.

    I operate businesses. I handle a bunch of stuff including web activities and track analytics closely.

    Our goal is to dominate important search phrases. I want to dominate them by using everything on the search package; organic, maps(they are all local businesses) and ppc.

    Here is what I see. When we have dominant positions across the board ie #1 in search, ppc, and maps; the total PERCENTAGE of all searches in the target geography hits our site. It tends to get to landing pages for actions.

    When we hit these high percentages against total impressions as shown in ppc for that geography….I’m happy.

    The assumption is that the majority of searchers in that local geography are hitting our site and information one way or the other. When that occurs I don’t care about ROI on ppc; which is the one area of spend that I can adjust (dramatically).

    Then I’m looking at ad spend versus revenues coming from total search.

    When we don’t dominate w/ all those #1’s the percentages drop dramatically. We like the dominance situation…(obviously). We don’t hit it everywhere (obviously).

    So my main focus is on percentage of clicks in total to total searches as shown by ppc impressions.

    When we do dominate…I don’t fixate on where the clicks are coming from; search/maps/ppc.

    Then we fixate on our internal sales operation.

    I believe in ROI. I just like to look at it differently.

    If we weren’t focused on local smb/brick and mortars I would not use the above described methodology.

    To date, we weigh search as significantly better than social media. On the other hand we are somewhat like the photographer referenced above. We are behind the curve in implementing all social media effectively. We are catching up…but again…it is the time element that is the largest restriction.

  11. Tim Cohn Says:

    @earl Thanks for your response.

    Indeed – its been my experience numbers can be used to prove or disprove most anything.

    I also understand ROI analysis is an imperfect science when it comes to customer acquisition.

    However, with PPC and SEM – to a degree – media costs can be directly reconciled with acquisition costs whether the action produced is a click, sign-up, lead or sale.

    Most if not all other media with the exception of direct response aren’t held to the same level of acquisition cost accountability.

    Social media hasn’t yet been around long enough yet for it to flesh out the metrics used to justify the spend or quantify the results (if there are any).

    I think in the end, whatever Social Media formula materializes (if one does) and becomes standardized, it will still fall well short of PPC / SEM’s levels of accountability and performance.

  12. earlpearl Says:

    @ Tim: Yes. Current analytics provide dramatically better results to create much more helpful analyses and ROI than at any time in the past, and certainly with preweb advertising. And its easier. You don’t have to rely on tracking numbers, special phone numbers etc.

    Big big improvement. In my case, and on the other hand….the dramatic difference in traffic and opportunities for “dominance” in search…and the amazing increases in total % of all the calls within the targeted ppc local advertising region….really amazed me.

    When these big jumps occurred…I was also seeing a wide and different percentage of clicks on maps/organic/ppc.

    I’m guessing that multiple domination of the page really helped. I also suspect we get multiple hits from the same searcher.

    In any case…”page domination” is wonderful. When the opportunity hits…I don’t give a hoot about more precise measurements on SEO methodology for ROI.

    Its a nicer ball of wax 😉

  13. Tim Cohn Says:

    @earl – I agree. Anyone who has spent time pounding the pavement knocking on doors or smiling and dialing – quickly understands the powerful difference between going and finding business vs. having business find you.

  14. earlpearl Says:


    LOL. Agreed. I went through a lot of shoes pounding that pavement. & having to look professional while doing so…and feeling disconsolate.

    Thank goodness for Allen Edmunds…(great shoes for pavement pounding, & looking professional). 😉

  15. Tim Cohn Says:

    @earl – Have a 10+ year old pair – on its who knows what number soles & heels.

    Only having lived Glengary Glen Ross can make the price of admission into the search business look cheap.

  16. earlpearl Says:

    @Tim LOL. BOY OH BOY do I ever agree. 😀 Glengary Glen Ross….great reference. LOL

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