Social Media Isn't Always the Answer
If you’re running a small business, chances are you know you need to build a social media presence. It’s free, 80.9% of people in the US use it, and it’s an easy way to get your name out there. One thing’s for sure: it’s really easy to get caught up in your social media presence and forget about other forms of marketing. When you need to get your name out in the world, social media isn’t always the only answer! Let’s talk about some other ways to market your business.
The first thing we love to recommend to people when they’re looking for marketing strategies is networking. We’ve talked about how important networking can be in a previous blog, but here are a few bullet points for you:
- Networking is the quickest way to connect with other professionals.
- It creates a virtual “sales force” of people who will promote your business because they like you.
- It connects you to your community: neighbor businesses, nonprofit organizations, your school district, and even local government.
Some of our best friends and business partners are people we met through networking, too! If you plan ahead, actively build relationships with your fellow members, and practice your self-introduction, networking can be one of the strongest marketing tools you have.
Another way to market your business is through a regular newsletter. Newsletters offer something social media can’t: long-form content. This is a great way to build trust and credibility with your audience because you can write this email as if you’re speaking directly to them. It tells your potential client, “I’m sending this to you because I know you’d be interested in it.” A great way to make your newsletter more than just an ad is to include a link to one of your blog posts. This not only informs your audience that you have a blog in the first place, but it gives you a place to expand on your products and services and tell them in detail how your business can help them. Sending people to your blog also increases traffic and visibility for your website. A newsletter is also a great place to offer a free download or a coupon. With social media platforms being so impersonal so often, a newsletter is a great way to build that relationship with your audience.
Sometimes the best way to market your business is to spread the word face-to-face. Would it be appropriate for your business to have a booth at your local farmer’s market? How about a festival nearby? Sponsoring a golf tournament, nonprofit fundraiser or school event? Something as simple as a banner in front of a table can give you the opportunity to talk to people about what you do. If you’re someone who sells products, this is a great opportunity to move some inventory! If you’re someone who sells services, a local event is your chance to talk to people about what you do. Make some fliers, bring handouts, and have give-aways to keep your business in the person’s brain once they move on to the next booth. Make sure you have something at your booth that draws the eye and encourages people to drop by. Oftentimes the coordinators for these events can let you know how many people usually attend so you can prepare enough supplies and know your booth fee will be worth it.
These, of course, aren’t all the strategies out there that don’t involve social media. Some other options are:
- Your own website.
- A print newsletter.
- Event Sponsorships.
- A mobile app.
- Newspaper/magazine ads.
- And so much more!
Here’s the bottom line: you need a full marketing plan to be successful, not just a social media account or two. Choosing which marketing tactics your company will use should always start with your customer. Who are you trying to reach? Where can you find them? What messaging will appeal to them? It’s very likely that social media will be a part of your plan, but it should never be your whole plan.
If you need help, we’d love to work with you on creating your marketing plan and strategy. Reach out to your Flourish team to schedule a consultation!
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