Online Marketing Blog

Web design resources and news for small business owners in Snohomish and around the world.

is social media an essential tool for small business marketing?

is social media an essential tool for small business marketing?


•      Viable marketing alternatives to Facebook/Instagram

•      How to get started with branded apparel

•      Selecting the best strategies to advance your funnel

•      Website domain name FAQ’s

Have you ever wondered if there are viable alternatives to Facebook?

A while back, we did some research and came up with a list of alternative social media platforms. The main criterion for the list was that development for the platform was funded by means other than advertising.

This list was put together with social media for personal use in mind. Now, we’re trying to figure out what the best way to run social media marketing without Facebook and Instagram is. And we’ve got good news: you don’t have to lose anything by giving up Facebook. In fact, there are other tools that might serve your needs better.

We’re currently experimenting with the use of five different social media tools for small business marketing:

1.     Telegram

2.     Signal

3.     NextDoor

4.     Minds

5.     Gab

Of all these tools, I say Telegram has the most promise. Although it’s easy to see Telegram as no more than a messaging tool, we believe it can do everything Facebook can do, only better, minus all the crap we’d prefer Facebook didn’t do.

We’ll keep you tuned on this experiment. Or, you can follow it yourself, and get marketing advice at the same time. Find our Telegram channel at:

We’d also like to remind you that social media is not necessarily an indispensable marketing tool. If done well, it can be great. But it’s not great if it distracts you from other strategies that would offer a greater ROI.

We’d further like to point out that just because social media tools are free to use, doesn’t mean that they’re a zero-cost strategy.[Unknown A1]  To really see an ROI on your social media efforts, you need to:


•      post frequently

•      craft messaging that both grabs user’s attention and provides them with value

•      Manage comment threads and discussions to maintain a dialogue with your audience

•      Assess the results of your marketing efforts

•      Redefine your goals periodically

The point is, even if you handle the social media yourself, there’s a time-cost. And that needs to be weighed against the cost and ROI of other potential strategies. Here are some other small business marketing strategies that come with a reasonable startup cost and offer a strong ROI:

•      email marketing

•      Pay-per-click ads to increase your exposure on search engines and get more traffic

•      branded apparel

Email marketing is going to be similar to social media in cost. It’s also free to use, and simply takes time (yours or somebody else’s). It has some upside over social media, in that you don’t have to game an algorithm or worry about your content getting buried by more recent or more relevant posts.

Pay-per-click ads (these are the links marked “ad”[Unknown A1]  at the top of the Google search results) are a flexible and scalable form of advertising where you get impressions for free and only pay when your ad actually converts. You can even set a monthly budget.

However, branded apparel may be our favorite method. For a relatively low up-front cost, you get:

•      unlimited impressions for the life of the garment

•      a personal endorsement of your brand by the wearer of the garment

•      a lead-in to conversations that can move highly-qualified leads into your funnel.

To get started with branded apparel, you can read this article that covers the basics.

If you want to build a powerful marketing engine that separates you from the rest of the pack, you can look into some more advanced strategies. We’ve put together a resource page to help you understand the different strategies you can use to build a basic funnel, and to take it to the next level.

Those just getting started building their online funnel often have questions about domain names. We’ve answered the some of the most common FAQ’s in this article, including:

•      what you’re paying for when you reserve a domain name

•      how it works

•      how to reserve a domain name