On Paid Search vs Social Media Spending

Fellow Sage team member Greg Tirico posted an interesting link to an article which suggests that small and medium businesses are beginning to favor social media spending over paid search.

I have always thought of paid search (and even SEO) as a mistake in the consulting profession because it tends to lead to poor customer acquistion. In other words, it produces more D and F customers than A or B customers.

By their very nature web search prospects are in the gather information step in the buying process. They tend to be tire kickers who are generally looking at buying more on (pun intended) low price rather than a long-term relationship.

I think social media has the potential to change this because it turns search on it head. Instead of looking for people who already have their hand in the air (an intercept lead), social media allows the providers to look for people who have unrecognized need.

In my opinion, it is a much better place to spending marketing dollars.


4 thoughts on “On Paid Search vs Social Media Spending

  1. Ed, I have to disagree with you on the SEO. I’ve been the running marketing strategy for consulting companies for the last 6 years. I would have to say that SEO has been a huge differentiator for my clients to be able to affordably acquire and convert high-quality leads. If companies are attracting crappy tire-kicker leads, that might be because of the quality, tone and messaging of their content.


  2. Thanks, Adrianne, for your comment.

    I think we are on the same page (or at least in the same chapter). I have seen many efforts at SEO for SEOs sake, meaning, there are some partners who do not improve their content but just drive search. I think you would agree that is a recipe for disaster.

  3. SEO for rankings, without a care on how they got there, and what you plan on doing with them once they are there? Yes, that can easily be a mistake? At the “tire kicking” stage is also when organizations are interested in new ideas and concepts, and ergo- is the time that you can introduce significant differentiators easiest.

  4. Regardless of how you get their attention, if you don’t know your customer your not going to make the deal. A B testing is also an a important part of any marketing plan. Social media can be especially helpful with this as you can target different audiences and test different approaches with them.

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