5 Advanced Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Social media marketing and the businesses that utilize it have become more sophisticated. More small businesses are beginning to understand how to best leverage online tools to build a community and recognize that engagement and interaction are the foundations of social marketing, but most don’t know what’s next.What follows are five advanced strategies for small businesses that may already have small online communities and understand how to create an online presence, but don’t know what to do next.

What Is An Advanced Strategy?

The definition of an advanced social strategy is a technique that goes beyond the normal social media presence. It introduces or reinforces a marketing message while pushing a user to another profile or business site. Before moving forward with an advanced strategy, it’s important that your business understands social marketing, has experience engaging consumers, and that you possess a basic understanding of online marketing.

Strategy 1: Multimedia Usage

The term “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer. Consumers are now using the web to look for product pictures and videos; they want more information and want to see what they’re considering buying. The good news is that it’s easy for a company to create and publish videos and pictures.

In addition to taking photos of products, you can also take pictures at office events as a way to highlight company culture. This not only helps convince others to work with you or to buy from you (consumers see that you are down to earth and one of them, instead of a stuffy company), it also helps your HR department recruit new employees. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that celebrates birthdays and has a good time?

Videos are useful for explaining complex how-tos or concepts. Showing step by step directions can have a greater impact than even the most well written article. Businesses don’t have to invest huge sums of money to create good videos, either. I highly recommend the relatively cheap Flip camcorder, which takes great videos and is easy for even a non-technical marketer to use.

Multimedia can break down the faceless business-to-consumer sales flow and make your company appear friendlier. Use videos and images to show that your business is fun, you care about your employees, and most importantly, that you care about your customers.

Example: WorldMusicSupply.com

WorldMusicSupply.com, an online retailer of musical instruments and accessories, has usedYouTube to build a strong online community. Their channel has built over 7,000 subscribers and has over 260,000 views.

worldmusicsupply

Strategy 2: Integrate Offline and Online Advertising

Many small businesses do some sort of offline advertising, whether it be radio, print, or cable. Social marketing allows a business to extend their offline sales pitch.

Including your Facebook Page or blog URL in offline ads act as social proof, inviting potential consumers to see your community and increase trust in your business. Not only can integrating online and offline advertising help the conversion process, but it can also help build your community. Introducing potential consumers to your social profiles means they may join your community now and buy later.

integrate advertising image

Strategy 3: Message Adaptation

As businesses start to become more sophisticated with social media they are starting to leverage more online platforms. However, most deliver the same message over multiple platforms instead of tailoring communications for each individual site.

Social platforms each have an ecosystem of their own. What might be acceptable on Tumblrmight be considered spam on Facebook. A specific style of writing might spread on Twitter but fail on FriendFeed. Understanding that each site is different and then customizing your message ensures they do well on each respective site.

Not only does customizing messages across sites help the message spread but it keeps users from receiving multiple identical communications. Be sure to maximize your potential by sending a user that follows the business on Twitter and Facebook two different messages, instead of the same thing.

message adaptation image

Strategy 4: Local Social Networks, Beyond Yelp

For a small business, local search can be a big win. Being visible to consumers looking for a business in their area is extremely important. Make sure your site is included in local business directories in order to help ensure that consumers find you when they need you. Sometimes finding that many sites can be difficult, however.

First, make sure you check your competitors. Where are they listed? Check their inbound links to check for business directories you can add yourself to. Also, make sure your business has been added to Google Maps, using the Local Business Center.

Take the time to include all the information you can and update any old news. For many consumers, this will be their first interaction with the business.

Example: Bella Napoli in New York

Bella Napoli is a small pizzeria in New York that has done a great job of making sure they appear in as many local searches as possible.

bellanapoli

Strategy 5: Contests and Discounts

Building a community is only the first part of social marketing. Using that community to drive sales, propagate marketing, or crowdsource operations is the true power of social media. One way to excite the community is to collectively do something to create a contest or offer an exclusive discount (i.e., the contest can create competition between users). Not only does a contest build buzz organically but if contestants need to, for example, publish an article that gets the most comments in order to win, the contest itself becomes viral.

A good social media contest should include some sort of sharing or virality as a requirement for winning.

Discounts are also a great way to connect with your community. By giving exclusive coupons to your social community, you’re rewarding and reminding them that you are not only a brand to engage with, but also to buy from.

Example: NetFirms.com

NetFirms.com decided to make it easier to register a domain by allowing people to do it via Twitter. Those who participated or spread the word by tweeting, were also entered into a prize drawing.

netfirms

Conclusion

Creating a basic social media presence is easy enough, getting your community to actually dosomething is more difficult. Taking advantage of these strategies can help you build your community, make your marketing more effective, and incentivize buying.

Source: http://mashable.com/2009/09/30/small-business-strategies/

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • how to make some fast money  On May 24, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to give it
    a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Exceptional blog and great design.

  • how to Make extra Money online  On May 25, 2013 at 12:26 am

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go
    along with your views on this site.

  • localrealestate  On May 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Great information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

  • how to make money fast  On May 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Hurrah! In the end I got a web site from where I be able to actually get helpful data regarding my study and knowledge.

  • informative essay examples  On May 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Wow! At last I got a website from where I know how to in fact take
    valuable data concerning my study and knowledge.

  • options trading  On May 26, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my sister is analyzing these things, so I am going to inform her.

  • how to make money really fast  On May 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.
    I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.
    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your
    great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

  • kimberley  On May 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers
    and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  • eugenegeer  On May 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    always i used to read smaller articles or reviews
    that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article
    which I am reading now.

  • ronda  On May 28, 2013 at 3:14 am

    Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my web site
    so i got here to go back the choose?.I’m trying to to find things to improve my website!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  • bugs bunny t shirts men  On May 30, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly
    loved every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

  • movie chasing mavericks quote fear and panic  On May 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Wonderful article! That is the kind of info that should be shared across the
    web. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this put up higher!
    Come on over and discuss with my website .
    Thank you =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: