For marketers, it’s a fantastic time to be in business. With social media on the rise (Facebook and Twitter combined have over 606 million users) and a plethora of low-cast advertising options, online marketers have plenty of ways to promote their business.
Perhaps too many. Increasingly, marketers struggle with developing strategies which rise above the noise of a very, very loud marketplace. Fortunately, there are several social media strategies which are low-cost (some cost nothing more than time) and more importantly, proven to work. Below are five such strategies to help you stand out in the social media scene…
Become A Leader In Your Market
The saying “Content is king” is truer today than five years ago. Whether its on your website, company blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page, your content helps build your brand and establish you as an expert in your industry.
If you do it right, at least. The key to becoming an expert is very simple: create good content and share it with others.
Every day, try to create something valuable to your market… and share it with them in as many places as possible. Using Pixelpipe you can automatically submit to all major social media sites, third party blogs and even photo and video sharing sites for free.
Reward Brand Advocates
As you establish yourself as an expert – and word gets out about your brand – you’ll start to develop fans. Some of your fans will become brand advocates, preaching your virtues to the world at large simply because they like your product/service.
These people are out there; the trick is to keep them excited about your businesses. Perhaps the best tool for finding brand advocates is Twitter Search. Simply type in the name of your brand (or top product/service offerings) and Twitter Search displays who is talking about them. Then, provide incentives to those advocates.
For example, let’s say your new business sells pet care products. Using Twitter Search, you find ten people who regularly tweet about dog care products; you can then offer them free supplies for them to try out, or offer a discount on larger ticket items. The key here is offer value without asking for anything in return; the goodwill alone can lead to exposure, links and brand awareness for nearly free.
Get Noticed in Local Search
Many local businesses will list their website on Google Places and Yelp. However, that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, Search Local, Yahoo Local, YellowPages.com, Google Local Business Center, and Super Pages are just a few free online directories for local businesses. Not only do they offer additional ways for users to find you, they build links to your site (which aids in SEO efforts).
But perhaps the biggest draw of these sites are reviews. Positive reviews from a third-party site carry much more weight than anything you could say yourself; therefore, make an effort to encourage your customers to leave reviews on them. You can do this by offering a free gift or discount in exchange for a review, or just by asking nicely. Personally, I’m a big fan of ethical bribery, and would suggest offering an incentive of some sort.
Be careful with this, however. Don’t offer incentives for positive reviews, let your customers be 100% about your company. Not only does this build trust, it’s great for identifying areas for improvement, too.
Offer Pre and Post-Sale Transactions
If you’ve already got significant traffic to your site, consider implementing TrialPay’s pre and post-sale transaction service. Here’s how it works: consumers get your product for free in exchange for buying another product from brand-name companies like Netflix. The advertiser then pays you for the sale.
It’s a win/win for everyone. Consumers get more value, advertisers pay for results, and you (hopefully) increase sales.
As social media continues to grow, the challenge posed to marketers is how to stay above the noise. These four low-cost methods will help build brand awareness, increase traffic and overall profits.
About the Author: Adam Costa is the author of Business In A Backpack, which shows how to run a profitable business while traveling the world. He helps small and midsize firms create high quality marketing materials, from sell sheets to brochures.