In today’s fast-paced landscape, a new app or website seems to debut every hour, hailed as the ultimate marketing tool poised to revolutionize the industry itself – at least until the next big thing arrives tomorrow.

Marketers often find themselves dedicating more time and effort to selling rather than innovating new products or services. This approach serves as a cash flow life support system rather than a genuine growth tool. The primary question remains: how can a company effectively reach its customers without them realizing they’ve been reached?

The initial instinct leads many to the perceived holy grail of the 2000s – social media. However, is this instinct realistic in an environment with an abundance of options, contributing to the ever-growing and crowded search landscape? The answer is no, especially if the goal is to stand out in the vast world of search.

Social media platforms like Facebook were originally designed as portals for individuals (or friends) to connect and communicate life’s events with other people (or friends). The idea of slipping in a marketing message alongside pictures of Tom’s graduation or Suzie’s new (third) cat may seem appealing. However, no marketer wishes to upset the genuine socializing users to the point of being ignored or, worse yet, relegated to the dreaded SPAM folder.

When executed correctly, social media can contribute to developing awareness and credibility. Yet, if approached improperly, it can become a time-consuming endeavor, particularly because platforms like Facebook are structured to generate revenue – for themselves. Facebook, due to its industry prominence, can almost diminish organic search results by restricting access without payment.

Other social media outlets such as Snapchat or Instagram, along with numerous other platforms, aren’t designed as marketing tools at all. Marketers should exercise caution in investing too much effort in promotion or sales on these sites. While it’s not advised to completely avoid a presence on social media, it should be integrated into an overall marketing strategy. Undeniably, every marketer dreams of their product becoming part of a viral phenomenon, putting their name or product on every desktop.

Conducting thorough research may reveal that expanding SEO efforts to create organic results proves to be a more worthwhile investment. Supplementing these results with paid advertising offers complete control over content and allows the message to be tailored as desired.

In essence, proper SEO and organic search techniques are often more time-worthy. Marketing is both an art and a science. Focus on results and consider steering clear of social sites unless your offerings happen to revolve around cat food or graduation announcements.