When you’re on a tight budget it can seem a bit superfluous to drop a lot of money on a big marketing strategy or advertising campaign. And if you share the common financial burdens of a local business, you know that a hefty marketing budget is out of the question anyway.
Fortunately, there is an affordable way to market your business and do some advertising for free and it just so happens to be on your back doorstep. I’m willing to bet that you already have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram account for your business. If you don’t, then what are you waiting for?
Of course, there’s a lot more to a successful social media campaign than just personalized accounts. Before you dive right in, here are some important strategies that you should be aware of. If you follow them closely, you will certainly have a more successful social media campaign.
This sure seems like a silly point to make about a marketing campaign, but when it comes to social media it holds true. If you only shove advertisements down potential customers’ throats then no one will want to follow you. In order to be truly successful via social media you need to spark user engagement and encourage consumer interaction with your brand. Since consumers don’t like to share advertisements with friends and family through social media, your campaign will likely have a minor impact if that’s all you focus on.
Instead, take a more subtle approach. One of the best ways to do that is to follow the next point.
Entertain and Encourage With Each Post
Everything you post and share via social media should follow one simple rule: it must be entertaining. In order to garner any kind of exposure on a social network you need people to share and interact with your content. The best way to encourage them to do that is to provide the community with something interesting. In other words, you want your posts to make a reader say, “I’ve gotta share this!”
For example, let’s say your business provides dental services in Yuma AZ. No one is going to be interested in bland text content that talks about cleaning teeth and preventing cavities, because let’s face it, that stuff can be pretty boring. Instead, this dental business could make use of media like images, video and audio to entertain. Sharing something like an image of a bad cavity could do wonders for community engagement. You could even write a short post about various foods and how they affect teeth.
The idea is to produce something that will get everyone talking. When something is shared on a social network, the exposure levels are exponentially multiplied. The more entertaining you are with your posts, the more your followers will want to repost and share. It’s really that simple.
Social Networks Are Not a One Way Street
It’s not a good idea to just throw up your content and call it a day. When someone comments on a post, reshares or even retweets, you should reach out to them. You will not find success on any social media platform if you do not interact with others. Therefore, you need to communicate and engage at every opportunity you have. Ask followers what they think of your products and services. Provide some brief customer service advice to those who are experiencing issues. Offer special deals or coupons to customers who are considering a purchase.
The point is to engage your followers whenever you can. This will naturally produce more traffic and exposure for your social media accounts.
A social account will lose its effectiveness if it is not being used regularly. Customers and followers expect frequent and consistent updates. If you are not posting on a regular basis then several things may or may not happen.
When you do post, you’re less likely to see followers interact and share your content. You’re less likely to see any kind of boost in exposure — why would anyone follow an account that hasn’t posted in weeks? Finally, the followers you do have may start to unsubscribe because your content is infrequent.
Try to maintain a steady schedule when posting to social media. It is okay to experiment with different times of day, as some may be effective than others. The important thing is that you avoid long gaps between posts and content shares.
Maintaining a presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is an inexpensive yet important way to promote your business and to build relationships with customers. Used properly, these sites can offer some of the benefits of a far more expensive marketing campaign; devote a consistent amount of time to your social media accounts, and you’re sure to reap the rewards.
Katie Elizabeth is a content coordinator and freelance blogger covering many topics including technology, blogging, WebpageFX SEO, career development, music, nonprofits and more. She focuses in many industries, like real estate, energy, used cat skidders and variable depth pools. She’s also a communications grad student. When she’s not writing, you can find her at a concert or playing with her new dog.