Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of opportunities there are online for free or cheap marketing? These sites are free in the sense that they don't cost money, but they can zap your time. I believe that many of the social networking sites are useful --when used correctly and for the right reasons. It's just like when every company thought they had to have their product on television to get anyone to notice it. Not true. If you are just jumping on the bandwagon because everyone else seems to be and you don't want to get left in the dust, take a step back and think about whether or not the people you are trying to reach can even be found on a site like Facebook or Twitter. Maybe they are on MySpace -- people have preferences and prejudices regarding these sites.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong advocate for online networking, but it seems like everyone is everywhere, with no real strategy. Maybe you're trying to get the attention of the 20-something crowd to come into your new salon -- Google AdWords might be the best. Or maybe you should be going with an old-school newsletter -- on actual "paper" if you want to tell local businesses about a sale you're having at the end of the week or a new service you're offering. Figure out where your time and money is best spent, and go from there.
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