The average small business spends more than six hours a week on social media promotions and 55 percent of those businesses have a blog. It is obvious from these trends that business owners understand the importance of online promotions and building an audience. However, knowing how to most effectively and inexpensively invest in online promotions can mean the difference between growing your audience or barely keeping the customers you already have.
Be Consistent With Branding
It’s important to understand what your brand is and be able to figure out ways to stay consistent to that brand image. For example, if your mission statement includes helping your customer have a more organized life, your posts across all social media and your blog should reflect that philosophy of organization.
If you’ve spent any time at all on Twitter, you’ve seen the hashtags and shout outs. There is a reason why companies let other companies and individuals know that they’ve mentioned them. That person is very likely to retweet that post, follow you and let their readers know about your company. That means you’ve just extended your online reach to both your customers and their customers, and vice versa.
For example, let’s say you sell golf tees. You write an article on your blog about choosing the perfect golf tee and you mention a golfing instructor who recommends that brand to his students. When you share the post on Twitter, you should add their handle:
Learn how to find the perfect golf tee for your game. @GolfInstructorPro
See how simple that is? Social media marketing is all about interacting with others and establishing relationships that are beneficial to both parties.
Figure Out Your Competitors
Another thing you can do that only costs a bit of your time is researching what keywords are working well for your competitors and then writing on those topics for your own blog. Most of these analysis tools offer a free version and then later, when you’re making more money, you can pay for a professional version and gain even more insight. A few to try include:
- SEMRush: You’ll find out how well your competitor is doing on Google. Research what keywords are playing well for that other site and how much money each keyword is earning.
- BuzzSumo: Have you ever wondered which content is the most popular? BuzzSumo allows you to find out which content gets shared the most on social media. You can then write similar, but unique, topics that will draw traffic.
Find Groups and Get Involved
Nearly every social media site has groups of like-minded individuals. On Facebook there are groups. On Twitter there are lists. On Google+ there are circles. The key is to find or start a group, get involved by helping others and they in turn will help you.
One example would be a gardening group on Facebook. All of the members are home-and-garden bloggers. They share and like one another’s posts and content, and everyone benefits from the other members’ traffic and friends lists.
Alternatively, do the networking in person! Trade shows are a great place to find others in your industry who might be interested in what you have to share. Or host a Meetup of interest to local professionals in your industry.
Go on a Virtual Tour
Contact other blog owners who are not your direct competition but who have audiences similar to yours. For example, someone who blogs about starting your own business might team up with someone who blogs about business taxes. Find blogs that are related to your topic and contact the owner. Offer to provide a post that would answer any questions that blog owner’s readers might have about the topic.
In turn, you could host that blogger on your site if you’d like. This does a couple of things. First, you are now in front of all the readers of their blog. You also are establishing a relationship with another blogger and the two of you can team up and help one another out.
Growing your online audience doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With a little creativity and the willingness to put in a little time, you’ll gain new customers before you know it.