In times gone by, people went door to door, gave out business cards, and relied upon word of mouth to advertise their business. There was so much opportunity for business owners to make plenty of money if they only put in the effort. These days, the competition is fierce, and it can be hard to tell a good business from a bad one when they all advertise online.
The only other advertising a business has to fall back on are signs that will only reach a local populous, or paying for a pricey advertisement on the television. Social media has become a giant very quickly once people realized it’s potential reach for marketing purposes.
It’s interactive capabilities allow for a more personal touch, and an easy way for people to share links and information with a mouse click. A study done by Nielsen, a leader in consumer insights shows just how imperative the internet and social media has become in our culture. What’s Empowering the New Digital Consumer?
Quality over Quantity
Using social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Facebook to give broader reach in terms of potential clients is not simply as easy as making a page. Use the social media moguls best selling points as your own. They are interactive, and engaging. You can use Facebook’s “like” feature on other pages similar to yours, and you’ll find that many will return the favor. By searching for things online that are similar to your product or service, and posting things like “Did you know…” you’re helping to inform people about things they might not know right away when they think of your business. For instance, a pest exterminator could post the dangers of termites, but also mention that his business has saved people a ton of money when during the investigation they uncovered black mold issues. He could then go on to post the dangers in black mold, and who locally eradicates it. This is networking at it’s finest, and it’s necessary. People are fickle creatures online, and if their attention is not snared within the first few minutes, it’s a potentially lost customer. Provide bright and bold photos, post videos, and be sure to post customer testimonials on your front page so others have a reason to trust you right away. Post things that encourage people to respond, especially if it’s fun. If they comment on something, they take more ownership on the page and feel personally connected. Be sure not to push sales at them until you have established the quality of the page first.
By providing quality content for people to see before you ever post anything that sounds like a sales pitch, you’ve already won their trust and made them feel a part of your campaign and product.
There Exists Such a Thing as Too Much
When you first begin making your page, try to filter in things a little at a time. Think of it like a drip coffee maker. If you rush it, and try to create something huge immediately, you risk nobody seeing what you have made. Facebook penalizes people and pages for oversharing and stops showing the posts in people’s newsfeed. By doing too much, you alienate yourself from the very people you are hoping to market to. Facebook’s algorithm decides what to put in people’s news feeds, and if they have “liked” a particular service or industry, and you do the same, there is a better chance they will see your posts. Facebook is attempting to have people purchase posting power by boosting posts singly or creating entire advertising campaigns. If you’re not looking to sink money into your social media budget, be sure not to share too much or post things in bulk to avoid being penalized by Facebook’s bot. It’s also important to consider who you’re marketing to, and where they live. Time your posts wisely. Try to post just before they leave for work, and just after they get home, and again after supper. This keeps your news at the top of their feed, instead of buried where they may never see it.
People Love the Word “Free”
There exists no better way to bring in new business than to give something away for nothing. Department stores have been using this gimmick for decades with success because people love the word FREE. Find ways to get them in the door by posting on your favorite social media site, things like giveaways, contests, photos for them to caption (they love that one) and anything else you can think of. By doing this, you’re giving your prospective clientele fun, you’re expanding your reach, and people will spread the word about the great business offering this “thing” for free! This helps to establish trust between you and your audience also, which the importance of cannot be overstated. You cannot hard-sell to people before the trust is there, or they will bolt. You should appear friendly, helpful, fun, and trustworthy. You post things that have their best interests in mind, and help to inform them about things, keeping your role very neutral throughout. You have answered questions, helped in your local community and provided services to them, but your role has remained passive. By being patient, and allowing people to become loyal to your page and product/service before pushing sales, you’ve made a huge investment in your future gains. Remember that you’re not the only one out there. 80% of small business owners are on social media competing for the same pool of people you are. Stand out!
Social Media Continued Growth
Referencing back to the Nielsen study, the youngest generation is online more than any other. Over 75% do so by cell phone alone. There even exist ways to create your own business app for Android and iPhone with BiznessApps or Como. This can allow you to reach people any time of the day when they have that spare moment between classes, meetings, or as they sit down to lunch. By marketing on multiple social media platforms you increase the reach by age group as well. More young people use Twitter, while more adults are on Facebook. LinkedIn caters more to a professional community and two image sites are also age segregated. Pinterest tends to attract adults far more than Instagram, which is used more by the younger generation. Know your target audience, and you can effectively market to them. There’s a huge opportunity here as people become more and more engaged with their internet lives, and putting a bit of patience and time into creating a network will pay off immensely.