October means Fall and fun. People start getting into the festive spirit early thanks to retailers pushing the "holiday" mode as early as September. Personally, I hate it and think we have become a greedy society but then again Corporations think otherwise and that bottom line must be solid by year's end so we start thinking about Christmas in September and by golly by the time Halloween is over every retailer in America has their Christmas products out, the holiday music playing and telling us "spend, spend, spend!" Having said my peace now, we are pretty much forced to get on the bandwagon or be left holding the left-over crumbs from the big box retailers right? So here are my little tidbits of suggestions for the SMBs out there to promote your business for October.
Blog a Halloween make-up or costume suggestion. Interact with your customers off your website or blogging page by suggesting fun costume or make-up ideas. If your store sells Halloween products, this will draw them into your store.
Create content summary or "roundup" as they are sometimes called. These are summary of events relevant to your business and can be really anything that may be associated to what you offer as a service or products you sell, or even related to your brand.
Sponsor or create an event. Many small businesses like to put on or sponsor a community event. You have an advantage over the big box stores doing this. They often times need to get permission all the way up from their headquarters to do anything and typically it has to be done months in advance. Here is your opportunity to shine and be in the limelight of your customer base.
Have a great Fall and enjoy it even though I might be somewhat of a "Bah Humbug!" type of guy on seeing Christmas in September.
I always try to focus on the small business owner and come up with solutions that allow them to maximize their investment in social media. The Mom & Pops that make up a large chunk of our business structure do not have the large marketing budgets of the brick and mortars, large box stores, or even professional practices. Most of us know that advertising on the big 3 such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is a common practice. But are their other less expensive ways to go to promote your brand on social media platforms? Looking around the other day, I did find some sites that might attract your market share or customer base and the best news is, your investment is minimal. Lets take a look at a few.
First, you need to spend time actually finding the right sites. Watch what your customers are doing and this is a pretty good clue where you need to go. There are other search & find sites out there besides "Google." I found a site called Quora that is pretty cool that allows you to input some information about what you are looking for in the way of your business and it comes up with a data base of information and resources. It can be a bit cumbersome at first as a newbie but once you use it for a bit, it becomes more user-friendly.
A couple of other sites that as a SMB you might want to look at are:
Bubbly This mobile app allows your voice to be recorded in weird variations and send a message. Popular overseas and making its way fast to the US, this app already is gaining popularity among businesses, celebs, and others. What a great marketing tool for mobile users!
Capshare I have always been big on video applications for mobility and if you have read any of my previous blogs, you know the big ones out there. Capshare is growing leaps and bounds and I have played around with a bit. Besides videos and images, as its name implies, you can use captions to describe what you are posting. Again, for small business, what an excellent marketing tool. You are getting in on the ground floor and a mobile app that is gaining a lot of users world-wide.
Heard My last suggestion for small business is Heard. This is kind of like the 4-Square site where people can vote and interact with content that is posted. Small Business can use this site to gain perspective on what is trending, what their market base is liking or not liking. This site is not so much for you to advertise but to know where you could be using your marketing dollars to focus your brand.
Good luck and I hope these suggestions help you gain some insight on your hard-earned advertising budget and most of all, have some fun doing some out of the box marketing strategies.