Is social media the new Yellow Pages?

At the risk of showing my age by admitting this, there was a time (not that long ago actually!) when the methods by which small to medium sized businesses could market and advertise themselves consisted mainly of print publications. Local newspapers, Thomson Local directories and the Yellow Pages were a consumer’s go-to when they needed to find a plumber, a gardener or a locksmith.

Having enjoyed many years working for my own local papers on the editorial side of things myself, I hate to admit it but times are a-changing and print media is no longer that go-to solution. For small businesses looking to get their name out into the community, online is where it’s at, often with far more cost effective advertising options too. 

Social media is a case in point. I am shocked by the number of clients I speak to who tell me that they have signed up to a long advertising run with Yellow Pages or a similar directory only to find that they haven’t got much from it. Yet, they look at me hesitantly when I suggest that they should try investing some of their budget into marketing their business on social media instead.

The fact is that advertising with print directories and in local papers doesn’t allow you to target your marketing any further than the geographical area that its distribution covers. The directory or newspaper lands on doormats, is tucked away in a drawer or popped straight into the recycling bin and the opportunity you had to make a connection and grow your brand is lost. And even if it were to be read from cover to cover, there is no way of knowing that your advert will be noticed by your ideal customer. 

That’s not the case with social media. For comparatively little outlay, platforms such as Facebook allow you to drill down your advertising so that it is seen by exactly those people who are likely to be interested in what you are offering. And you are in control of the budget – if an advert isn’t quite working you can tweak it or stop it altogether and you can even set a maximum spend so you know you won’t break the bank!

Even if you haven’t got any money in reserve for advertising, by investing some time into your social media platforms and posting value added content that is relevant to your target audience you should see results. 

So, while I would genuinely hate to see the end of print media altogether, long live social media!

If you need help getting started with social media for your business get in touch for a no obligation chat.

Published by Kelly Lavender

Social Media Manager and Content Writer, based in Northamptonshire.

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