This post is brought to you by Karen Velakoulis, Connected Communications
Social media has certainly made it easier and cheaper for businesses to talk directly to customers. The platforms within social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube) are far more cost effective and targeted for reaching your audience than traditional outbound marketing.
Social media is a great low budget platform where you can focus on building your brand and reputation, as a trusted source within your specific industry. It provides easily accessible tools to connect with your customers on a regular basis.
Here are 10 steps you can implement as part of a low-budget on-line marketing plan.
1. Start slow. Don't try to too much, all at once. Focus on one or two social media platforms. Look around to see where your audience is - this will give you a guide as to where to place your focus.
2. Your profile (on each platform) needs to be professional but personable. Include keywords that are most relevant to your profession. This enables others to find you via a search. And where possible include a link to your website and blog.
3. Show your smile. Your online profile is a social situation. People want to connect with people not a logo.
4. Create a clear cover photo. The cover photo enhances your profile page. Put some thought into the image you use. Make sure it highlights your brand's essence.
5. Follow others on social media and engage with those you follow. You can always revise your list and un-follow people and companies that simply no longer fit with your core values.
6. Build trust by being consistent. You'll need to schedule time for social media, to build momentum and keep it going and to be considered an active and trust worthy person within the field. Sharing content with a daily post or every other day at a minimum would be best.
7. Be visual. Using images can increase the interaction rate on each of the social media platforms. For example use a behind the scenes shot of a new product.
8. Tell people where to find you. Include each of your social media links on your website, blog page, email signature, business cards, shop front et cetera.
9. Create an email signature containing your website and social media links. Also include your company name, telephone number and email address.
10. Recommendations. Your audience will enjoy reading about a happy client's experience. Include testimonials from clients on your website.
Karen Velakoulis from Connected Communications provides marketing and communication strategies to small and medium businesses.
Laptop image credit: Start-up Stock Photos