The transition of traditional media hasn’t really effected large corporations, has it? Febreeze will simply buy less network television spots (or buy them for less money) and reach their target through a CPM (Cost Per Thousand) basis on Hulu, YouTube, or a number of different video platforms. Ditto radio to Pandora. Ditto major newspapers to their online versions, or major blogs or pure play news sites. Even those local businesses who could afford some traditional mass media usually relied on their community newspapers as a stalwart guarantee for a Return on Investment (ROI). As community newspapers see their readerships decline they consequently fail to provide the ROI they historically have. Fear not, local business owner. It may take a bit more time, but social media will provide you with the same (if not far better) marketing safety net (if there is such a thing).
1). Target By Geography. The same way that bought ads in the Pleasantville Bee to only reach residents of Pleasantville, you can target Facebook and other social media ads by town, zip code, etc.
2). Community Support. Your ad ran next to the junior high school honor roll or the story of the new addition to the public library and it was good for your image as a supporter of the community. Post, tweet, and/or blog photos of your business being active in the community and post/tweet them to the pages, blogs, or Twitter accounts of the organizations/individuals you’ve helped.
3). Response. Your All Time Favorite, Ms. Business Owner. Grandma Brown physically cut out your coupon out of that paper and she physically brought it in to your store, and you physically saw it with your own eyes. That’s what made it better than any other form of advertising. Her grandson won’t do that. And Social Media isn’t the place to sell. But you can post special offers and promote them with promoted tweets or Facebook’s promoted posts. Then track with analytics and how many came back to the store (if offline).
4). Inexpensive. The Mayberry Monitor sold full page ads for $300 and Facebook bids CPC (cost per click) between 50 and 75 cents for most categories.
Of course, Social Media can do far more for you than the community newspaper ever could. But that’s for another post.