Tinu Abayomi-PaulBlogger at The Web

Entrepreneur who assists other small business owners with web marketing. Your business is unique, so let's build you a unique solution.

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I believe I see what you're getting at but I think you're starting off with the wrong question. "Get results" is too vague. What you want to do is think "What is the chief aim of having this social presence and how does it fit into the larger plan of the organization?"

Once that question is answered, you'll have a goal in mind. When you have a goal you can paint a picture of what success looks like. And when you know how success looks you can work backwards to achieve that aim.

What does this nonprofit need to achieve that can be supported or attained through social media? Heightened awareness? The first touch that leads to a partnership with other organizations that already have the audience you want but would not be threatened by plugging you into their community?

You need to answer those questions first, then do an internal SWOT analysis. (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.) I say internal because in some organizations, there are people bottlenecking power, who have glorious titles but aren't able to actually help you, who want forward progress but only if it looks like they led the charge.

You need to know where your landmines are, who your allies are and how to navigate the space you're in.

You also need to see how you can use whatever leverage you have to inspire action offline- if the offer happens in person, how do you use social to get people to *gasp* go outside?

You may find out that there are, say, five key organizations where the leader is very involved in social, where you have a hope of connecting to a person who can actually make decisions like announcing your event in their newsletter or blog.

Or you may find that you need to create content that solves a pain your community has, and get it delivered them via email, using Twitter, Facebook or Google tech that allows them to sign up with those accounts, via the address they use for those accounts. Some people love that it gives them greater control over subscribing/unsubscribing.

Then there are issues like having a search, local or mobile ready blog. Do you have one? Do you need one for your purposes - some brands have enough traction without a blog but still need a home base. Though I suggest that you always operate social from the foundation of a blog (which is part of social media, an oft-forgotten fact), if you don't have content creators nor the budget to hire them, it may not be the time.

Think about those questions. Then come back and get really specific. Let me know when you've got a target and I'm happy to help.

If I'm choosing something that is unique to entrepreneurship, I'd say the flexible lifestyle. I had my choices of work I love to do without owning a small business, so it's not just loving my work, though I do.

And it's not the unlimited income potential. You can't eat potential, and you can have the same potential if you go into outside sales.

For me, it's going to movies on Tuesday mornings, then working for the rest of the day. It's being able to take vacations in the middle of the week while colleagues are at work, then return just in time to join friends and peers for a Friday night drink.

It's not just knowing I can work from anywhere, but actually Doing it, packing my laptop and three days of clothes and just leaving, with no particular plan.

It took a couple of years of working 18 to 20 hour days to get to this stage, but it's wonderful to have these options.

It seems like it will have a major effect, especially in separating the wheat from the chaff. The people who saw this coming and prepared for it will be fine. Agencies that haven't been paying attention will be the most affected, some may even close.

But most of all it will affect the small business owners who were doing most of their SEO on their own, using basic techniques and strategies, because frankly, they didn't need to buy AdWords or hire an SEO company or freelancer. They were getting the results they needed from the tools they had, and bootstrapping into a position to hire help.

While keywords should not be the only focus of a search strategy plan, having access to the data that tells you how a person got to your site, is helpful in determining WHY people are arriving at certain pages. It gives clues on what they may have expected to find, and helps track whether what you're doing is on target.

Think about what would happen offline if you ran a restaurant, but suddenly could not find out how people are finding out about your place. Is it word of mouth? Are your television ads working? Did you get a great review from a critic?

Without that knowledge, yes, you can still figure out what to change or adjust. Process of elimination would be one way to find out - stop doing certain things for a set period and watch what happens to your foot traffic.

But it's extremely inefficient, isn't it?

While I don't think this event is a major catastrophe, I do take note when major search publications by fellow experts that I respect advise caution and report it as major news. Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, and other major industry publications are watching this closely. I've worked with some of the people at the major publications and respect their work, and thus their opinions.

To your second question, I think it will, because small business owners, especially microbusiness owners will look at the cost of hiring someone to do their SEO vs paying for traffic, and the same thing will happen way back when Yahoo was king of search.

They'll pay. For most small companies it will become more cost effective to pay for traffic than to pay for help, and nearly impossible to do this themselves.

As far as your third question, ROI is proven by metrics. Many other metrics will remain to show the value of search. It still drives the most traffic. Smart search professionals already know multiple ways to show how targeted traffic impacts the generation of leads and sales.

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