For too long, I’ve seen social media marketing “experts” burning their clients’ money on nonsense…posting for the sake of posting but with no real strategy. That’s why social media has been a big letdown for most small business owners. A big investment of time and money, with little return.
In this post, I’m going to provide 7 tips that’ll make your efforts on Facebook and other social media sites easier, more effective, and provide a more measurable return on your marketing investment. (These are not in any specific order.)
Social Media Marketing Tip #1
Your customers who are Facebook users have an average of at least 500 friends. Many have 1000’s!
For businesses whose customers come into your physical location, the check-in is an excellent way to reach lots of people. It’s perfect for restaurants, retailers, personal services (hair, nails, spa, massage, yoga, fitness), healthcare providers (chiropractors, dentists), and more!
The Benefit of Social Media Check-Ins
When your customer is at your location and they check-in on social media, hundreds of their Facebook friends and Instagram followers could see this as a post on their news feed.
Your business name, along with a map showing a pinned position of your business, will show up on the post — which would say something like: John Adams is enjoying lunch at Sophie’s Diner in Quakerville, PA.
You have now made an impression on potentially hundreds of people, for free! And the fact that John has made this post is equivalent to a testimonial. It’s called “Social Proof” and it has the power to influence other people’s decisions.
If it’s good enough for John, it’s good enough for me.
I recommend that you post a few small signs throughout your business that encourage your customers to check-in on Facebook and/or Instagram. They can do it while in your place of business in less than 30 seconds!
To get even more participation, you can add an incentive such as a $5.00 off coupon or some cheap giveaway. This is high-quality advertising and it’s worth a few bucks. Heck, you might find out it’s one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox!
Check-ins that include photos (and especially selfies) are a home run!
Social Media Marketing Tip #2
Facebook LOVES to show live video, so if you have the guts to “go live” your message could get a lot of traction. If you don’t care to go live, posting a video is still a great idea.
I recommend that every business has its own (free) YouTube channel. Not only is YouTube one of the top social media platforms, it’s also the #2 search engine behind Google! Simply post an informative video (not a commercial) onto your YouTube channel.
It doesn’t need to be a professional quality production. The value is in the content, not the presentation, and your smartphone is all the equipment you need. After uploading your video to YouTube, you can upload it to Facebook and any other social media sites you use, and also embed it onto a page on your website.
Videos make you more trusted and place you in a position of expertise; with more opportunities to be shared online and referred to offline.
For some great ideas on how your business can leverage video, just Ask Andrew (click here).
Social Media Marketing Tip#3
All the social media sites have a Search Bar at the top of the page. People use these search bars to find people, but they also use them to tap into people’s posts about certain topics.
In your posts, consider what people might be looking for when they’re looking for a business like yours. Use a keyword phrase in your post which people might use when searching. For example, Electrician in Philadelphia; Best sushi in Edison, New Jersey; Pregnancy massage in Atlanta.
Social Media Tip #4
A call to action (CTA) is the most important part of advertising/marketing. Your post should always have a photo and they should always have a CTA. The CTA should be in the form of a link back to your website where you have an offer. The offer should be an incentive for your visitor (potential customer) to opt-in to your email list or to claim some sort of offer. You should still be capturing contact information as part of the offer.
The opt-in, the act of claiming a coupon, or some other offer, is the tangible and measurable element of marketing. Measurement is usually NOT what your social media marketing professionals are too eager to provide because they might expose their failure to produce a justifiable return on the money you’re paying.
If you need any help with any of the ideas here so far, you can click here to Ask Andrew for help. There’s no charge to get my feedback.
Social Media Tip #5
Repurposing content means using one piece of content on multiple platforms. You may be thinking “Yikes! What does THAT mean?” Well, let me just give you an example:
I’m going to post this article on the Small Business U. blog. Then I’m going to link to it on a Facebook post, a Twitter post, and a LinkedIn post. Then I’ll post it on Tumblr and maybe another microblogging site. I quite possibly will make a video on the subject and post it on YouTube, and then embed that video onto this post at a later date.
Repurposing turns your content into a more valuable asset. I create content once, use it on several platforms, and it stays online almost indefinitely, which can potentially serve me and my potential customers — forever!
Social Media Tip #6
You can have events no matter what business you’re in, and these events can be promoted for FREE online on any number of channels. An electrician can have a Smoke Alarm Event or a Home Energy-Saving Event. A restaurant can have a New Menu Event, a Blueberry Event, a Chocolate Lover’s Event. A Massage Therapist can have a Hair-Skin-Nails Event or an Aromatherapy Event.
My point is that an event need not require tents, banners, music, or a juggling act, but you can still get your event and your business on the computer screens of potential customers.
Events can be promoted for free on
All of these sites get plenty of traffic, so your event will be seen by lots of people.
Social Media Tip #7
Are you located in a shopping center?
Do you attend networking events?
Are you a part of a business organization or association?
Do you belong to a country club?
When it comes to your marketing efforts you don’t have to think BIG. Instead, think LOCALLY.
Work together with other business owners with whom you already have a relationship, and also reach out to form new connections. By collaborating with one other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.
A smart idea is to get together and agree to Like and Share each other’s social media posts. Their friends will see your posts, and your friends will see their posts! The more that your posts are Liked and Shared, the more they will show up on other people’s newsfeeds.
And be sure add a compelling Call-To-Action to your photo. It will increase the potential of more traffic to your website, and will build your customer base even more!
And that’s what it’s all about.
Author: Andrew Mazer, Founder of Small Business U.
Contact Andrew at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org or sign up for THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER for great Small Business Marketing and Management Ideas.
Andrew Mazer, Founder of Mazer Wholesale, Inc. established since 1986. In 1996, I began marketing my wholesale business online. In 2009, I began helping other business owners market THEIR business online. I am the author of The Business Owner's Guide to Marketing Online, The Groupon Solution, and The One Good Idea Newsletter. Contact me at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org