Can social media give your marketing plan a kick?
If you’re reading this post, you’ve already dipped your toe in the sea of social media, but are you really putting the technology to work? Even if you’ve established a web site, you may not be taking full advantage of social media to stretch your marketing efforts farther.
While old school methods like brochures, flyers and cold calling remain a staple for tight marketing budgets, you can also employ inexpensive tactics like blogging or tweeting to reach new customers – beyond your block or even your hometown – and build loyalty among current clients.
In fact, some entrepreneurs realize that websites and mobile technology let them forgo traditional ‘storefront’ locations and choose virtual offices without costly leases. That said, it’s important to start slowly, have a realistic understanding of costs and benefits, and take small strides to test the water.
How can you get started? Try a simple Twitter account. This micro-blogging tool can help a business build a community of supporters, by sharing expertise online, seeking consumer opinions, or announcing business events. For instance, a flower shop may:
- ‘tweet’ seasonal garden tips;
- send a Mother’s Day reminder;
- issue a ‘friends only’ discount coupon.
But remember to avoid blatant advertising and instead build connections through networking and referrals. Start by watching and learning from others to get ideas. Then, like any business investment, you should set specific targets, evaluate your results and revise the plan as needed.
What do you think? What social media tactics have you tried? How’d it go, and what would you recommend to others?