As search marketing becomes more and more saturated, many businesses are
seeking effective new ways of getting their brand in front of prospective
One of the options open to small business is to advertise on social
networks, such as Facebook, instead of just buying Google AdWords.
"The thing about AdWords now, for a lot of industries and a lot of sectors,
is that it's so incredibly competitive - much more competitive than it was
five years ago," says Jane Toohey, strategy director at marketing company
Lumino. "Unless you can be very specific about your search term, it's
almost too expensive for small business."
While the idea of advertising on social media is an appealing alternative -
presenting the possibility of direct, personal engagement with a highly
segmentable audience - it seems counter-intuitive to many business owners.
Why would you pay when it's free to have a fan page? And who wants to read
advertisements when they're browsing friends' pages, anyway?
The truth is that social media advertising is fast becoming a vital tool in
online marketing, and while it doesn't replace search engine optimisation
(SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) by any means, it's capable of
bolstering a brand in ways that more traditional methods can't.