Free Marketing is Yours!
If someone offered you the chance to tell your potential clients about your business or product in a place they are already in—for free—you would jump on the chance, wouldn’t you? (I hope you said yes.) But, the reality is that many businesses are not taking advantage of the free marketing opportunities social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have to offer.
Social Media? For Business?
Yes, social media for business. I know, I know, social media is for consumers. Exactly! Every business is a consumer and have consumers working for them. Think about how you approach B2B business. You find a person in the company who has the ability to affect change in the company. A cola company doesn’t just send flowers and samples to a burger business. Someone at one has to take notice of the other—those are people.
This brings us back to social media being for consumers—exactly who you want to be targeting. Even if you aren’t a heavy social media user, you know that social media is where people are. Imagine if you walked in to a store and saw your target audience. What would you do to maximize the fish-in-a-barrel scenario? This is where strategy comes into play. If your audience is looking at shirts and you’re selling cars, it’s going to be difficult to make them interested in your car. Social media is a great place to observe and learn about your audience before engaging them in conversations that keep you top-of-mind for when they are looking for a car.
What a Waste!
It is understandable for small businesses with a need to make revenue quickly to see this kind of nurturing as a waste of time. What do memes have to do with catering? It depends. The right meme shared to the right audience at the right time could get your business in front of 500 people. How much would you pay for direct messaging to 500 people? In the case of social media, the answer is nothing. Even better, with a small budget, even $25-$50, you can do some paid advertising that gets your social posts in front of the kinds of people you want seeing you. You can drill down to demographic specifics such as age, location, profession, and interests. In our example above, people who are looking for shirts might not be the preferred audience for a car salesman, but through inexpensive, analytics driven paid promotion, that car salesman can find people who may be looking to buy an SUV instead of a shirt.
Large companies have also walked away from free marketing by limiting their social activity to their own industry. This limits them to only being a partner when you could be making an impression on them and anyone watching such as the time when a passenger tweeted that he was expecting a Morton’s Steak House steak when he landed. Not only did he get the steak, it was delivered to him at the airport by a tuxedoed waiter with sides, signature bread, and silverware. We’ve linked to the article in Time magazine. What would you pay to get into Time not to mention all the followers who saw the event happen on social media? Certainly more than the cost of a steak dinner and a waiter’s hourly wage.
Get Out and Play!
It may seem silly to celebrate National Teddy Bear Day, but to a teddy bear fan looking at cute pictures, your Instagram pic of take-teddy-to-work day might be the free marketing you earn. We won’t deny that social media marketing takes time, and even more if you’re doing true social media engagement, that is watching your page for responses and replying to them. We’re happy to help you get started if you haven’t already or look over your sites to give you a recommendation if you haven’t. If you want to turn the reigns over to someone who knows what they are doing, we know a place that has a fun holiday calendar bookmarked.
Yes, you’re running a business, but unless you’re actively seeking customers, you’re missing opportunities. Social media is free, or very inexpensive, and it’s where the people are. Find ways to find your audience. Be their friend. The payoff can be fantastic!