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There’s a lot of hype around the idea of social media these days, and we’re not going to beat around the bush — most of it is crap. Social media is way overblown in a lot of respects, and it’s a matter of pure math. It’s simple: everyone wants to sell you on social media as the way of keeping in touch with your base, but here’s the thing: we call buy products from hundreds and hundreds of companies as part of our everyday life, and of those, we might contact one, maybe two each month — and we might only get genuinely involved with a few in our lifetimes.
If your actual customer base is 10,000 people, you might expect to hear from 10 of them each month, and maybe one of them would actually get excited enough about your product to go out of his way to mention it on Facebook or Twitter. Unless you are a social media expert, SEO is a much better investment dollar per dollar in terms of long-term ROI — and PPC is a much better investment dollar per dollar in terms of immediate ROI.
So why do all the top SEO companies do social marketing anyway? Because if you are an expert — if you genuinely have the touch to manipulate crowds and get people talking — social marketing is genius. What’s the difference? How about Chevy vs. Ford?
Chevrolet pulled all of the advertising from Facebook a few months ago, citing poor RoI and a failing social marketing campaign. They had been trying to drum up publicity for their cars via the major social media channels and had gotten basically zero effective response.
Ford dumped a metric ton(ne) of money into a series of Facebook ads, YouTube videos, tweets, and basically created a massive grassroots campaign of contests, exhibitions, and other mini-events that got people so psyched up about the Ford Fiesta that it was selling better than their other models before it’s commercials went on the air.
That’s the difference between using social media and being a social media expert (or at least having one on staff.) That’s why every SEO company in the country is snapping up social media gurus like Cheesy Poofs — because if you’re going to go to them for SEO, you might as well get your social expertise under the same umbrella.