Often, small businesses shy away from online tools such as social media marketing because either they don’t understand how to use them or they cannot perceive their value.
Creating an online hub for your business, aside from your website, opens up a two-way channel that:
a) collects your most loyal supporters and allows you to share news, promote products and events
b) empowers your customers to be able to speak to you and others about your brand, which in today’s age is what they have come to expect.
If you do understand the multiple benefits of social media marketing, the most daunting thought is the time it will take to grow your community. Who has time to post all day or inundating family and friends to follow or fan?
Instead, here are 5 easy ways to grow your online following:
- Create an interactive experience: if you have an event or trade show, ask permission for pictures or videos and let them know where to find them post-event
- Offer online coupons exclusive to that channel
- Run short-term, targeted ads (i.e. Facebook ads)
- Email your existing database with an announcement of your new channel launch
- Build up your email database and following using contests that promote sharing and mass voting
At the end of the day, you have to offer a value proposition to your customers – make sure they understand the extra benefits they’ll receive by joining your online communities.
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