For those of you in business using social media. You need to ask yourself. "How well am I engaged and embracing current trends?" Does your business marketing strategies consider the trends in social media? If you do not, you can easily lose a large percentage of your target market by not having the right platform to engage them. Lets take a look at some platforms that are not going away and if you see one of these that you are scratching your head over or are not presently using, You need to seriously take a second look at your marketing strategy.
Facebook is a "given" in that while it is true milliners and the under 30 crowd are moving away from Facebook it still boasts over 1 billion users. If you are not marketing on Facebook, shame on you!
Live stream video. I have done a piece on this before and it is here to stay. YouTube, Meerkat, and Periscope among a few others all have the capability now to live stream your event. With the simple use of your smart phone, you can become a "world premier" event. Yes, it is a trend but consider this. nearly 400,000 hours of video is live streamed every day and it is up over 60%. Yes, we love to hate them but marketers are embracing them to allow brand to consumer direct marketing. Many companies now have developed their own apps so consumers can download them and have direct contact with their favorite brand 24-7. This allows messaging customer service, advanced tips on new product launches, loyalty awards coupons, and more.
CTA buttons or call to action buttons. You know, buy now, click here, want to learn more, click here... Facebook has them, Instagram and Pinterest now has incorporated them into their platforms. It has increased traffic for brands 3 fold. Engagement through social media is priority for any business. So, what are you doing?
If you are a small business owner, you and I have something in common. How to promote ourselves without spending a fortune. I have discussed in previous blogs about the use of co-op dollars and marketing development funds (MDF) to help offset your budgets but what about all that pre-planning? Can that too be done for little or no cost? Absolutely!
Whether you use someone like me or you do it yourself, plan your campaign or marketing activity very carefully. Know where your dollars are going and how much you can really spend to make everything work in your favor. (ROI) Know what you have avialable before you and of those, what you want to use or not use. Also it is OK to make last minute changes or revise on the fly if you have to. It is your money.
Know Your Market
It does not take a rocket scientist to know your market area. You can do this using the web for free. If you don't know who you are selling to and why they are coming in to buy your products and services then you have a serious problem. Also make sure you are marketing to your area and your customers. What you might think or hear worked really well in a metro area may not be right for you if your business is in a rural area. People's buying habits and use of media is very different as is the demographics.
If you email your clients at all then you have a tool before you to use to market. Tell them about your promotion. Emails are free. Now there are companies out there that will blast for you and also sell you lists that "fit" your potential customer base. Personally, I hate these lists. I have used them before and 9 out of 10 are either outdated, dead emails, or the contacts are no longer valid. You are better off developing your own by gathering business cards, networking, and doing one on ones with people.
Social Media. Oh what a buzzword. Where do I go? What platforms do I use? That is your choice but the good news is It is free! Most businesses, even the smallest have at the very least a web site and Facebook page. Use them to your advantage to get the word out that you have a product or service to sell and maybe even a special or sale coming up! Other platforms at your disposal that is free is Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Look into these as well and see if they would work for your business marketing.
My Final Thoughts
As you can tell from all this, you don't have to that guy running for President that owns a lot of businesses to run a marketing or promotion campaign. You can promote your business for almost nothing. Just be smart about it and do the research. Good luck!