As a small business owner, marketing is a critical aspect in driving growth. It can be costly to take out ads in newspapers, put up billboards, and even produce local commercials. However, there is something that is easily overlooked-many of the best forms of advertising cost absolutely nothing.
We are in the age of social media, tweets, posts, hashtags, and emojis are what drives interaction between millions of people every minute. Before the era of electronics, people relied on word of mouth to spread the news about their small business. Friends and family members gave each other recommendations, and you may have heard about businesses through the grapevine of small town life. Today’s social media is the modern equivalent of word of mouth, and there are ways to use it to your advantage, and like small town gossip, news spreads like wildfire on the Internet, and somehow technology has made our large world seem even smaller.
Start out by signing up for the major social networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google + are all good places to start. If you have multiple visuals to share, consider Instagram. Sometimes a picture really does say it all, and Instagram is very popular, especially with a younger demographic.
Now, how will you have time to manage all of these accounts? Simple. Try HootSuite or some other media manager to make it easy to post, check, and follow all of your social media accounts and keep them organized. You need to post updates several times a day to keep interest up. Pictures and videos of new inventory, sale updates, customer coupons, and any other news relating to your business keeps you in your customer’s thoughts.
Spread the Word
Tell everyone you know about your social media pages. Add/follow friends, family members, customers, vendors, and everyone you can think of. Ask them to spread the word/share your page among their own friends network. Search social networks using keywords to find businesses for you to follow. Get the word out through other businesses, local business owners, and everyone nearby that could potentially help you get the word out about your own business. Ask customers to post reviews and pictures of their positive experiences with your business.
Try and build relationships with people, not just as potential or current customers. Really listen to them, and respond to them. Some businesses have social media pages, but don’t interact with people. People really like to be heard, and having a friendly relationship with them can boost your business. You’ll earn a reputation for being a “people person,” and there is nothing wrong with that. Answer questions, share stories, offer solutions, and generally make yourself available for customer correspondence on a regular basis.
Take it to the Next Level
Now you’re ready to move on to the next step…sponsored advertising. This isn’t free, but it can be more effective than traditional advertising channels. Paid advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are targeted at users who most likely use your product or could become potential customers. These ads show up in consumer’s feeds and reach a large audience. Bypass traditional advertising such as mailers, billboards, and newspaper ads and channel your ad budget into something that will potentially reach millions of people.
On your business’s website, under the Contact Us page, add links to all of your social networks to make it easy for customers to find you, and add links to every email you send out to customers.
Get People to Engage
Now that you are attracting and interacting with customers and your social media platform is gaining visibility, take it to the next level by displaying your social media feeds in your store or office. Using digital signage you can display real time posts from your social media site, as well as display posts from customers encouraging them to comment or upload images to your social media page. This helps to not only create a relationship with your customers, but increases visibility of your company by their post showing up on their social page as well as their friends pages. Digital signage an be an affordable option to promote your business. If you already have a TV, you can use an Amazon Fire TV stick to display your social feeds for less than $50. To learn more and sign up for free, visit our site and be up and running in minutes – www.mangosigns.com
Get ready for your business to take off!