If you’re a business owner, continuously developing new channels to promote your product and services, i.e. maximize your business, is likely your daily task.
A Herculean daily task that will never go away, if I may add.
With globalisation and so many similar businesses around the world, the task is made even more daunting by the hour. Sometimes, you might even feel that there is no sensible way to compete against the sea of rivals out there. How are you going to sell your products when there are several hundred similar outfits out there, just in your country?
Fortunately, technology has graced us with a potent weapon. One that you’re likely already well familiar with if you’re reading this guide.
Like New York City, the Internet is a weapon that never sleeps, never tires, and continues to work even when you’re having a vacation. Harnessed correctly, your online promotional efforts go way beyond advertisement too. You’d be cultivating presence, publicity, goodwill, and business connections as well.
Without further ado, here are some basic ways to use the Internet, specifically social media, to market your company.
1. Establish Your Presence. Announce Yourself on Social Media
You must already know this. There are a plethora of social media platforms out there for you to tell the world about yourself. In other words, announce your presence.
Practically all are free to use too. All you need would be an hour, some sensible copywriting, and a few attractive pictures. Once “live,” your online presence is permanently available for the world to see.
A word of caution, though. Convenient and potent as its reach is, social media can work both ways. Your entire existence could be turned upside down the moment you post something inappropriate or insensitive. You may never be forgiven too.
In short, the following are the most popular social media platforms you could consider using. Included are areas and techniques to take note of too.
- Facebook:Facebook has an astonishing 2.8 billion users in 2021. Awesome as this figure is, it could mean business promotion in such a crowded space is no longer worthwhile; not without you spending a fortune to promote your account. That said, it is still easy and free to build a business ‘page’ on Facebook, easy for you to invite friends and associates to “like” your page too. More importantly, Facebook is a far easier and cheaper avenue for you to post updates about your business, as compared to a blog or a full website. You could also consider techniques such as running a Facebook competition to encourage strangers to like your page or just read about you. Done correctly, your reach will be instantly maximized.
- Instagram: A picture tells a thousand words and that is what Instagram is all about. An extremely effective tool for connecting with certain demographics, such as the trendy, maximizing the potential of Instagram goes beyond just posting great-looking pictures too. In short, you must master the whole bag of using appropriate and less-competitive hashtags, writing compelling captions, and suitably providing links. You could also use clever tips like how to add multiple pictures to Instagram story. The summary, it’s more than just posting pictures. It’s about telling a complete visual story, in 5 seconds.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is not just about looking for employment, it’s also about managing professional identity. One of the best, if not the best social media site for entrepreneurs, LinkedIn’s slew of tools helps you to network with like-minded people while also promoting your company. With a little more budget and time, you could even advertise on LinkedIn, or maintain a professional blog. The short of it, this is one powerful tool that allows you to speak to two distinct audiences. You can look for customers. You can simultaneously connect with potential partners.
- Pinterest: Like Instagram, Pinterest is all about visual attraction. That is, compelling portrait format pictures or infographics each carrying a direct link to your website or blog post. Like Facebook, a viral “pin” could instantly bring you hundreds of visits or sales as well. The important things to note when using Pinterest: everything from your picture format to your titles and captions matters. Though there’s no stipulation, it is well-established that portrait formats i.e. tall pins work best too. Lastly, you must always think of Pinterest as a search engine. In other words, be sure to include easily discovered keywords (see below) in your title, caption, and alt text. Here’s more information on how you can utilise Pinterest for your business.
2. Keywords are Key
No matter which social media platform you’re using to maximize your business, keywords are paramount. They will always be crucial too.
The gist of it, all platforms operate on a search basis. You can never just rely on visits or likes from people who are already connected with you. The real meat, so to speak, comes from people able to search within the platforms and FIND you.
Admittedly, mastering “search” is a challenging and tedious task, one that requires much learning and updating. (Search algorithms regularly changes) The best approach is therefore to treat keyword mastery as an extended endeavour, one that gets increasingly profitable the longer you do it. You could also use the many free tools available online to help. For example, keyword analysis tools.
Remember this as well when frustrated: it often takes no more than one good post to instantly boost your presence. To cite Pinterest as an example, if someone likes one of your pins, he or she can repost that pin on their boards. The repost pin will then be read and possibly reposted by the followers of that person.
I’m sure you can work what sort of exponential exposure such reposting would bring.
3. Engaging with others
Social media is all about engagement. And so you can’t expect to post something and immediately achieve millions of views and clicks.
This so, even if your content is fantastic.
In other words, you must constantly interact with your target audiences on different levels. Other than posting helpful and interesting content that attracts attention, consider commenting on or sharing other people’s articles, photos, videos, etc. Doing so establishes new relationships and invites others to check out your profile.
A word of caution here. While commenting, be sure not to leave lame “I like this post!” “This is great!” comments. Doing so makes it clear you’re just looking for views exchange on a quid pro quo basis.
Neither should you spam tens or hundreds of thinly worded comments every day.
Doing either brands you as “digital graffiti.” You might even be marked as spam. If you have nothing meaningful to leave as a comment, best keep quiet.
4. Timing of Social Media Posts to Maximize Engagement
Last but not least, the timing of posts is crucial to social media success.
The time of the day you choose to publish has a significant impact on the amount of engagement you’d receive. Many studies have also determined sensible timing is crucial to long-term popularity. To look at the hours in which your target audience is most active, simply use built-in analytics functions available on most platforms. The figures and graphs presented should give you a clear indication.
The Room Is Not Always Best When Crowded
A tip here. Posting at peak hours might not always be best. After all, can you be heard screaming in a room full of shouting people?
Depending on your content, it could be better to post before or right after peak hours. Sometimes, it might even be best to post during off-peak periods. Whatever limited exposure you get during the latter might still be more than what you’d receive during crowded hours.