My guess, you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a startup that wants to grow your online business using the social media but you don’t want to spend vast sums of money on sponsored ads.
Well, technology has solved so many problems we faced that it’s now possible to grow your business using the social media at absolutely zero cost.
Billions of people practically live on social networking sites and it makes sense to use that platform for reaching out to prospective customers.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and the likes have changed the way business was done before the 21st century that you can now boost sales absolutely free of charge with these social networking sites.
In this article, I’m going to…
- Give you general tips on using the social media to grow your business without paying a dime. And,
- Give you great tips on growing your business with Facebook and Twitter.
- General tips on using the social media for business purposes.
Just like gravity, there are principles you just can’t disprove. These tips I’m about to give has been tested, still, stands and it stretches across the social media.
In essence, irrespective of the platform, do not neglect these principles, abide by them and you’ll reap the benefits, I promise. So, without further ado, let’s get down to the points.
1. Know your target Audience.
Trust me, you do not want to defy the ultimate rule. Have this taken care of and you’ll find all other subsequent tips easier to accomplish.
“Be sure you positively identify your target before you pull the trigger.” -Tom Flynn.
When you know your target, you reduce the possibility of targeting the wrong crowd.
Ask questions like these:
* What’s the purpose of this business?
* Who has a need for my products or services? Men, women, teens, old people?
* What age group do they fall under? Just teens, people over 45, under 10?
* Who’s more likely to patronize me? Educated people, non-educated?
* Where can I find them (location)? Within or outside your locality?
Note that even if you want to reach a wider audience, narrowing down and concentrating on a Location for startups is usually the best option.
Except you have a business that doesn’t require physical contact for sales, then you may care less about locations at the moment.
It’s important for you to understand that not all 3 billion social media users represent your target audience. It’s better to have few hundred active followers than thousands of people who just like or follow you but never comment or share. Define your target audience.
2. Strategically get followers.
This is the main reason you need to know your target audience. Because it’s going to be very useful in getting followers. Remember, you want to get people you really need and not just anyone. So, if you didn’t answer the questions on the first tip, guess you should do it now.
But how is knowing your target audience important in getting followers without sponsored ads? And how do you actually get them?
Let’s take it that I run a software company that creates software which grades secondary school students. I answer those questions,
What’s the Purpose?
Answer- To help automate score grading in secondary schools.
Who needs it?
Answer- Teachers and school owners.
(Know that students don’t need that kind of software for any purpose whatsoever).
Who’s more likely to patronize me?
Answers – School owners.
(Remember it’s a software, it doesn’t require physical contact because it can be sent/downloaded from any part of the world).
Note that what I want to do is know my ideal customer, what type of people will most likely buy my software and now that I’ve answered these questions, this is the thing, I target pages, groups or conversations that I may likely find school teachers and/or school owners.
Place a post in that discussion, group, page, or use hashtags related to schools to write a post advertising my business to my targets, including the benefits of using my software.
Do you get the idea?
I’m targeting where my customers may most likely be. And it’s absolutely a free way to get people who may really need my product to get in touch with me.
But what if it was a business that required physical contact for sales, like owning a female beads-making business?
For startups, in order not to waste your time achieving fewer results, you do not want to target people far from where you live or men (except on Valentine though).
You want to target women, and most importantly, females in your locality.
Note that age groups don’t matter here, all females can wear beads.
Then reach friends, encourage them to share your work, then friends of friends hear of your business and it keeps spreading.
That’s how it goes if you focus on concentrating your forces.
What a totally cost-free way to get followers.
3. Engage them.
You’ve known your target audience, gotten followers, but you want to keep them and keep growing, don’t you? That’s where engaging them comes in. But how do you engage them without losing them? Act, think and speak like them. In other words, try to get into their heads and try to figure out what appeals to them.
But how do you engage them without losing them? Act, think and speak like them. In other words, try to get into their heads and try to figure out what appeals to them.
In other words, try to get into their heads and try to figure out what appeals to them.
Have fun: Know that most social media users basically come online to have fun, not get business deals or “stumble” on something to buy. That’s why you do not want to be too serious about your business that people fail to see the human behind that page or account.
A little joke or something interesting here and there will be very helpful in encouraging discussions and probably shares.
Do not post stuff that doesn’t appeal to your Audience. You run a fast food and write a joke about how unhealthy fries, doughnuts and hamburgers are to consume. Never try to contradict what you stand for, even slightly.
Don’t hype facts or lie, it’s a huge turn off.
For engaging followers, there are vast number of techniques, be creative.
You should know when to reach your audience because you want the maximum engagements possible.
There’s no fixed rule for this one, that’s why you have to experiment for yourself to know when your followers respond best because people love to witness trending topics or fresh content.
For online businesses that do not require physical contact for sales, you should watch out for time zones and locations of the world with the most responses also, because people from across the globe may want to get fresh feeds and you don’t want to leave them out of the excitement.
As I said, it varies from place to place, test to see for yourself when your followers are most likely to respond and stick to that time.
Even at that, you should never post infrequently, you do not want to come across as being unserious.
4. Think long-term.
Know that building your business via the social media isn’t going to be as easy as you’re reading now.
It’s going to require your time and most times, it won’t work out as expected. So be patient. I’ll quote Gary Vaynerchuk, “Macro patience, micro speed”.
Realise that it won’t grow overnight but keep that speed alive.
Keep working and keep learning because nothing worthwhile comes by folding your hands and leaving it all to the hands of fate, people create their fate and destinies.
Keep in mind also that though you want to sell stuff, making deeper connections with your followers will pay off in the long run.
5. The little details matter.
“It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” -John Wooden.
Here, I’ll talk about what you’re very likely to overlook and what to do.
Profiles- Have this regularly updated.
Likes- Know which posts have the most likes or retweets and try to post similar content in the future. Remember that you want things that work.
Feedback- Even though you shouldn’t care what haters say, embrace constructive criticism.
Analytics- This is the analysis of the activities of your audience. They are called Insights on Facebook. Regularly view them to know where you’re doing good and where you need improvements.
Tips on growing your business using Facebook and Twitter.
Here are great tips you should try.
– Images are powerful, more powerful are multiple images stick to using them.
– Engage with other Facebook pages in your niche by leaving thoughtful comments with your page. Make sure you comment as a page and not your personal profile.
– Experts suggest the 80/20 rule for business pages. 80% fun, 20% business. Therefore, only 1 in every 5 posts should be about advertising your product or making sales.
– Keep posts short and simple. Research shows that posts between 100-119 characters have the highest engagements.
– Your page Insights matter a lot.
– The ‘About’ section is just like Facebook’s SEO. You want relevant keywords associated with your business there.
– Facebook groups are lovely too in growing a large audience within a short period of time.
– As a page, tag other pages in your niche. And just like tagging friends, your post appears on their page for all their followers to see.
– Leave thoughtful comments on popular blogs and leave your Facebook page as URL.
– Post regularly.
– Encourage fans to share their photos on your page. That way, the post appears on their friends’ feeds, increasing your visibility.
– Respond and connect to your followers. People love to feel loved and listened to.
Here are great tips to try.
– Tweet about the benefits of your product but be creative about it.
– Follow people in your niche.
– Add email subscribe links to posts. You want direct contact with potential buyers. People have recorded massive success with this technique.
– Drive traffic. You can also drive traffic from your other social media accounts.
– Use trending hashtags.
– Listen to clients questions and provide solutions. Two-way conversations are always appreciated.
You’ve seen it for yourself, growing your business via social media cost-free. You’ve got to know your target audience, that part is irreplaceable.
You don’t want to fire random shots by reaching out to just anybody, it only frustrates one person, you.
Instead of trying to reach the world, why not concentrate your forces? That saves you a whole lot of time you know.
Don’t expect things to happen overnight, you’ve got to put in some work, nothing goes for nothing.
It may not be easy trying to get these done but realise that it’ll only pay off if you show how persistent and strong-willed you are in building your business.
The social media is an ocean full of opportunities, keep at your game and don’t stop learning.
I challenge you to implement these strategies today, there’s no excuse why you can’t be successful in the world today because those who succeed are the ones who forget making silly excuses and put their knowledge into action.
Get to work, the world’s waiting.