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    1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 22, 2009 2:13 PM by studio 525

    Adwords is expensive. How can I use social networking?

    vinod1978 Adventurer
      "Google Adwords is expensive. How can I use social networking to promote my business?"
      From the blog Strategies for Success (

      I've been asked a few times how social networking can promote a business and decrease advertising costs related to Google AdWords. Read on for the answer.

      It was back in 2001 when I first starting using Google AdWords to promote products online. I was the Creative Director for a retail communications company that sold virtual phone cards. Part of my responsibilities included marketing the company on the web and Google AdWords was a highly effective solution. In fact, considering all other forms of advertising, it was the most cost effective solution at that time. The cost-per-click bid rates were significantly cheaper back then, and because it was not a widely used medium for most large companies at the time, it allowed smaller companies to utilize the power of advertising on the Google Search engine. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. A few thousand dollars in AdWords advertising doesn't really go as far as it used to.

      Google AdWords continues to be a great form of advertising through search engines, yet when many small business owners hear about the "buzz" that has been created with Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace they want to know if they should be moving their advertising dollars over from Google to other mediums. Many companies have already started to utilize them, however before I can discuss cost effective advertising opportunities it's important to discuss some basics about the importance of organic page ranking as it relates to this form of advertising.

      Google continuously 'crawls' the web in order to find out what websites are linking to you. It also tries to determine what is the 'quality' of each of these websites that are linking to you, and how often these websites update their information. If you post links to direct people to your website on forums, blogs, or other web sites that have low traffic volume your SEO (search engine optimization) activities will not mean as much. If you posted links on sites that were created solely to try and fool Google's search engine software then Google (and other search engines) will not only lower your existing page rank, but they could also end up blocking your entire site from their search results. This is why organic search engine optimization is the preferred method when you are trying to improve your page rank instead of hiring a company that tries to increase it artificially. This information is not new. In fact, I've discussed this a previous blog post. So what does this have to do with other advertising opportunities? Read on:

      Facebook: One of the advantages of creating a Facebook page is increasing your Google page rank organically within Google's search results without even paying for advertising. Facebook has over 300 million users worldwide, and it is quickly becoming one of the most visited websites on the planet. Creating a company page will definitely help increase your page rank, but that is not the only benefit.

      Facebook Ads: Facebook has created an easy way to target users that fit in your demographic. For example, Tonangi Media's ads on Facebook (take a look on the left) targets small business owners that are over the age of 25 and are located in the United States. In a few minutes you can determine your maximum bid, upload a picture, add some text and start running your campaign. This is another option that will allow you to lower the amount of expenses to your Google AdWords account and get more exposure on a different, yet highly used website. With Facebook ads you can create advertisements that point the user to your Facebook Fan page, or directly to your own website. You can link a company page to your own personal account if you wish, although I highly recommend creating a separate account instead of linking your personal and professional accounts on Facebook.

      However, even this solution is not perfect. Seventy (70%) of it's users are outside of the United States, and many users utilize a mobile version of the website, where ads do NOT display. While you won't pay for an ad that does not fit your target demographic it does lower the amount of people that you can successfully advertise to. However, it is a cost-effective option that can supplement (although not replace) your Google AdWords campaign.

      Twitter: What are all the 'tweets' about? Twitter can be used to communicate with the public, or just to the people that choose to 'follow' you. Certain companies such as AT&T have started to interact with their customers over Twitter when their brand name started to be associated with 'bad service', and it seems to be working at least somewhat. Even if your product is not exciting enough for your customers to 'follow' you, is it worth it getting a Twitter account? Yes. It is - Even if you utilize it for no other reason other then to improve your exposure and page ranking on Google and other search engines. Twitter is also a great way for you to meet other small business owners that you most likely would never be able to get a direct response from. Twitter will not help you increase your sales directly and there is no way to advertise to other Twitter users. Speaking only in terms of business use, it is currently meant for self-promotion, however with a growth rate of over 1000% in the past year it's not hard to understand that having a presence on Twitter will likely be more important in the future. The more you 'tweet', the more people will know your company exists and the products and services it can provide.

      MySpace: Myspace is becoming more and more marginalized as a social networking tool for both personal and professional use, however there are a few niche markets where it does make sense to spend some time creating and promoting a MySpace page. These areas are specifically within the realm of music. Soloists, Bands, and Independent labels find MySpace a good way to share music and create awareness online. If your business is not directly or indirectly related to the music industry it probably is not worth your time creating a page; never mind spending your hard earned dollars advertising on this network.

      LinkedIn: There is no reason not to have a personal free linked in account. LinkedIn is a great way to create a summary page of your work experience. If you own a small business and your name is made available online then you should have a LinkedIn account. In fact, if your name is not disclosed it probably should be. When people 'Google' owners of small businesses, or any company your public LinkedIn profile will show up in some of the very first searches on Google and other search engines. When people can read about your work experiences, and see that you have been recommended by other users in LinkedIn, and see how long you have been in the industry it makes your company seem more reliable. LinkedIn is also a good way to find contacts to may want to partner with your existing business. LinkedIn, however, is not a useful place to spend your advertising dollars. Most users do not login to their linked in account on a regular basis, and LinkedIn's advertising solutions are not innovative, or interesting to the end user.

      Hopefully you have an understanding of how to use social networking to generate brand awareness, and increase exposure for your services and products online. Of course there are many other ways to successfully promote your business and your products utilizing other mediums such as local television or pre-rolled video ads online. For more information on how Tonangi Media can help you produce your video and promote your business through television and internet advertising please go to for more information.

      Visit the blog, Strategies for Success ( for more articles to help small businesses utilize their advertising dollars effectively.

      Vinod Tonangi
      Tonangi Media

      Video Production & Advertising Services for Small Businesses
        • Re: Adwords is expensive. How can I use social networking?
          studio 525 Adventurer
          This is a very good summary of some of the leading social networking sites.
          Adwords is still effective for many of my clients, but it is expensive. We've managed to get a number of our clients on Google's first page for organic searches and that's great. Daily traffic comes in consistently and free. But for certain competitive keywords where they don't rank on the first page, we use Google Adwords.

          Personally I've been using Twitter as a free Google Adwords alternative and great testing ground for ads.

          You have to do this with finese and care. But it works great.

          It's easy to build up your list of Followers on Twitter. And you can do this in a very targeted way. Simply use the search tool to search for your keywords. Look at the profiles that fit those keywords most accurately. Find the ones with the most Followers. Click on their list of Followers. And Follow them. Most Twitter users are on automatic Follow of those who Follow them. So your list will build very quickly. Getting over a thousand targeted Followers is easy. You can do it in 5 days. You can go as high as you want in very little time. Although you want to limit it to 200 new Follows per day.

          Now that you have your thousand or so Followers, you want to be very careful of the Tweets you post. If you Spam them with offers constantly, they will unFollow you and your list will get smaller fast. So be kind. Be generous. Send them valuable information with no links back to your website. Every 5th message or so can be a link back to your website, Sales Page or Landing Page.

          If you use to shorten your urls, you can watch in real time as people click on your links. This all happens very quickly as there are millions of people sending Tweets (posts) every second. I find it a great way to test sales messages. Which Tweets (posts) get the most clicks. You can also seach for the same keywords on and compare your click results with other Twitter users. This is a great tool for fine tuning your sales message based on actual results. Then go to Google Analytics and measure the conversions from Twitter.

          Bare in mind that for certain industries and niches, many of your Twitter Followers will inevitably be your competitors. But this happens with Google Adwords too. It can't be helped.

          Still, you'll see what sales messages get the best responses, all in real time. You'll be able to compare those with your peers and competitors. And you'll get sales. All for free.

          But make sure you send at least 5 valuabe pieces of info or links to interesing useful articles on other people's sites for every one you link back to your own site. And make sure the link to your own site also has valuable information. That way your list will continue to grow. If your Tweets are interesting enough they will go viral as people Re-Tweet them (RT).

          Done right, Twitter can be a great FREE alternative to Google Adwords. And certainly an additional resource. It does take a little more time and effort. But there are great free tools like TweetLater that let your write all your posts at once and schedule when you want them sent out.

          It's worth a try. It works for me.


          Peter Cutler
          Principal / Creative Director
          Studio 525

          We don't just create websites.
          We create results.