5 FREE & Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies

Social media offers an effective marketing catalyst that most small businesses are already using. We're HUGE believers in paid social media advertising. There's just no other form of advertising that lets you hone your audience so specifically, and tailor your message to suit them. And amazingly, you don't have to spend THAT much to see results! But in addition to budget-friendly paid advertising, social platforms also offer chances for you to reach people without spending a dime. So that's what this blog is all about – how to get the most "BANG for your BUCK!" Except in this case, it's truly just a metaphor – you won't be spending anything!

Taking Advantage

Although the idea behind social media marketing for your business is simple and straightforward, there are some techniques which have been proven more effective than others at converting strangers to leads, and those leads to customers.

Utilize at least two or more of the following five strategies to optimize your Facebook page and other social media platforms (if applicable) to be as customer-friendly and lead-generating as possible.

1. Facebook Messenger Automated Reply

Automated replies are a great way to connect with customers and keep your reply percentages high – even when you are limited on time. A great example looks like this:

Thank you for contacting us! Someone will respond to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, why not check out our FAQ page on the website?

There are four reasons this automated reply is so effective.

  1. The customer has been thanked for reaching out, which shows your company's appreciation.
  2. You have informed the customer their request is being processed.
  3. You presented a call-to-action which is both effective for bringing Facebook followers to your website and helps the customer.
  4. It is brief and to the point.

For detailed instructions on how to set up automated replies on your Facebook page, click here.

2. Cross-Promotions

The original purpose of social media platforms was to network, and they are still a highly effective means of doing so. Reach out to other companies in your industry or niche to create valuable contacts you can use to for cross-promotions. A complimentary brand will promote your company and vice versa. This strategy is particularly popular for Instagram (#ad #sponsored). You may also see this strategy in the form of an individual user with many followers promoting a particular brand. If your product or service serves a unique niche, you may reach out to users with a following in your target audience and offer to send them FREE product in exchange for a post to their follower base.

Here are some great ideas for cross-promotion efforts:

  • Share for share on company pages
  • Guest blogs, which can then be shared via social media platforms
  • Multi-company giveaways

3. LCS Giveaways

LCS stands for "like, comment, share." This is an easy way to significantly boost your page views, gain new followers, and raise brand awareness. It is also very simple. Create a post for your giveaway. People enter by liking, commenting, and sharing the post you created.

For best results, you should use an image or video for your post, as this catches more people's attention. The item(s) being given away should be something of value to your target audience. If nobody wants what you are giving away this marketing technique will not work.

4. Hashtag Branding

Hashtags are a new way for people to find things they want, need, and like on a variety of platforms. They are essentially keywords which group posts together in a listing much like a newsfeed. The best thing about hashtag branding is that it can be used across several different social platforms, with the most effective being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The hashtag you choose for your business MUST be original for it to work. You can attach it to all your posts and ask customers to utilize it when mentioning your company, goods, or services. If you have a physical location this hashtag can also be used for check-ins. The idea behind this strategy is to tie all your posts and information together for easy access.

5. Engage with Followers

The idea of social media is to engage with your target audience. Although it may sound redundant, this only works if you are actively engaging. It will not matter one iota how many posts your company makes, or how many giveaways it hosts if you never personally interact with your followers. This final point connects Facebook's recent algorithm changes which prioritize human interaction – the more COMMENTS (not likes) a post has, the higher it will appear in the feeds of users, garnishing it even more interaction.

This simple method is one of the most important in creating brand loyalty, making your company personable, and promoting word-of-mouth. All you have to do is take a few moments to speak directly to your customers.

A good rule of thumb is to like every comment (yes, even the negative ones) on your posts or images. Then, respond to as many comments as possible. Obviously if your post goes viral and you have hundreds of comments, you may not be able to respond to each. But if you are in the 1-30 comment range, you should be able to respond to each briefly in as little as half an hour per day!

Want more help managing your social media? You know LETSDEVELOP.TV can take you to the next level! It's time to tell your brand story and grow your business!

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