In the late 90′s, when we first began building website most small businesses didn’t have, and, honestly, didn’t really need a website. But,within a few short years, the undeniable growth of the internet began to reach out in every direction, including that of the small business community. The tremendous potential for a new form of very effective marketing, combined with the “everyone else seems to be doing it, so I have to as well” popularity of internet branding, soon had websites for every type of business sprouting up all over the place. No one who was anyone could get by without a website, and if your answer to the “Are you online?” question was no, you were clearly not a “serious” contender for success within your industry.
However, as with most impulsive business decisions into unexplored terrain, the results tended to be a little lackluster. People who just wanted to be able to say “yes! We’re online!” were suddenly aware that having a bad website was actually a worse situation to be in than having no website at all. In just another few years, one of the most common thing we heard from incoming clients was “HELP! We have to redo our website ASAP, what we have up now is just embarrassing, and hurting our business!” And so began the age of internet marketing for the small business.
With that in mind, I can’t help but draw similar parallels to the whole “social media craze” that we are currently experiencing. I can no longer count how many businesses impulsively ask clients to follow or like them on a social network without so much as a second thought as to why thier clients should, or if they do… well, what then?
Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.
With the ever growing importance and potential of social media marketing you can bet in a very short time, we’ll be hearing quotes like “We have to revamp our social media campaigns! What we’re doing right now (or not doing!) is hurting our business!”