It is clear that social media marketing is an important communication tool for small businesses and those that make use of it are able to engage and interact with a broader range of consumers. However, once this connection has been established, what comes next?
What follows are five innovative strategies that small businesses can implement once they have established online communities but don’t know where the next step lies. These strategies are made up of techniques that extend past the normal social media presence and while they help to reinforce a marketing message, they also push users to other profiles and business sites.
Strategy 1: Incorporating Multimedia
Small businesses can use multimedia to highlight company culture as well as to demonstrate or explain product concepts. Pictures can be taken at office parties and other exciting events and then uploaded onto a business’s website or Facebook page. This will give consumers insight into the company on a more personal level. Businesses can also use this method as a form of recruitment. Who wouldn’t want to work for a business that enjoys having fun?
Videos can also be uploaded onto a website to demonstrate how a new product works or to better explain a difficult concept. Viewers may find this method much more helpful and illuminating than an article.
Strategy 2: Integrating both Offline and Online Advertising
Many small businesses already make use of offline (or more traditional) advertising such as radio and print. To further extend their brand and customer base, small businesses should incorporate their Facebook page or website URL into these traditional forms of communication. This may encourage more people to join a brand’s community and maybe purchase more in future.
Strategy 3: Adapting Messages
What is so important for small businesses to understand is that marketing messages should be tailored to suit each individual site. What is accepted on Twitter may be regarded as spam on Facebook. And a certain style of writing that is used on LinkedIn may not be appropriate on Google+.
By adapting one’s message, consumers won’t be bombared with the same information, but will absorb what is important and best communicated to them. This will also help the underlying message to spread across social media platforms in a more effective manner.
Strategy 4: Being Part of Local Social Networks
For small businesses, being visible to consumers who are looking for a business in their geographic area is so important. It is therefore vital for businesses to be listed in local business directories so as to be easily found by potential customers. It is also clever to find out where key competitors are listed and to make sure to be added to that directory. Adding a business to Google Maps is also important.
Strategy 5: Having Discounts and Contests
Once a small business has built a community, keeping those members of the community excited is the next step. One way to achieve this is to have contests or discounts to create competition between users. A really good social media contest should include some sort of virality or sharing as a requirement to win.
Creating a basic online presence is simple enough, but getting a community to actually do something is quite tough. Taking advantage of these strategies can help increase communities, making marketing methods more effective, and encouraging buying.