When starting a new business, you’re hoping to spend as little as possible and gain as much as possible, right? Let’s start with the basics: social media, the magical place where your followers currently reside, oblivious to the fact that they need your business in their lives. How do you spark their interest and keep them coming back, with little to no money? Here’s how:
- Post regularly – If your followers only hear from you once every month or few months, you’re losing the opportunity that social media gives you to promote yourself and your business. Get in front of them, often. Some experts suggest posting 50-100 posts a day through all of your channels. I know it seems unrealistic, but it really works! This gives your followers the chance to see more of your content and think more about your brand. Hey, no one can miss your content if it’s constantly in front of them.
- Share your knowledge LIBERALLY – Don’t hoard your knowledge! If you’re a chef, share some recipes or cooking advice. If you’re a fitness trainer, share a few free exercise videos! If you’re a consultant, share business insights and advice! Trust me, this works to create more engaging content and keep followers’ attention. It also sets you up as an expert. And when they want more, there’s your chance to sell them!
- Use #HASHTAGS! I cannot stress the importance of using hashtags. What’s a hashtag? #this #is #a #hashtag. On social media, if anyone clicks on a word with a “#” in front of it, it connects them with ALL content on that platform using that same hashtag. Fun fact: I discovered The Mom Empire by searching the hashtag #workathomemom on Instagram, and here I am working for them and writing their content!
- Facebook groups – There are many Facebook groups that will allow you to post your business or blog either on the page itself or in the comments. Be careful, some groups have strict business promoting policies, but some local pages are happy to let you post your services. You have to do the work to find them.
- Contests and giveaways – Have you ever seen those giveaways where participants are required to like that particular Instagram page, tag all their friends, and have their friends like the page also? The prize could be anything from a $50 Amazon gift card, a cute gift basket, pressure cooker, etc. Be willing to actually do the drawing if you’re going to do this; I’ve seen many contests where the winner is selected at random but not by a raffle system. Basically a scroll-and-pick method to save time.
- Ask questions, create engaging content – By posting content that people are interested in reading, responding to comments and asking specific questions to your followers, you’ll get a lot more engagement. By posting content that people want to read, you’ll get more people reposting and liking your content. Also, consider using memes and relatable content to make people laugh. Life is hard, who doesn’t need a good laugh?
- Post pictures and videos – Text alone doesn’t get as much attention or engagement on social media. Pictures work well, and videos do best. Broadcast live video feeds, this can be done on Facebook or Instagram. Show your audience what you are doing. Show them your current sale items and promotions. Show tutorials and give free advice. Host a free live seminar. Ask your followers to share your content with those who could relate.
- Tag other experts – By tagging experts, it shows your audience that you are aware of who the other “players” are in your industry/area of expertise. It also gets those experts to look at and comment on your content and expands your network. Who knows? You might learn something new from them too!
- Keep a dollar amount in mind – If you’re wanting to spend $100 or less per month on Facebook ads, consider how many people that would reach (Facebook will give you an estimate). Consider the time they will be reached, as there are prime times that most people are on social media each day. You will have the option to select specific demographics, and Facebook will do the math and advertise to those who are most likely to see and click on that ad. Cool, right?
- Include your social media icons on your website and marketing emails – By adding links to your social media pages as icons on your website or marketing emails, this will drive more traffic to your social media pages.
These are just a few of the many ways to promote your business and gain social media followers on a low or non-existing budget. I hope I’ve answered your questions and given you some things to consider. I would say “don’t expect big changes to happen overnight,” but I once created a blog post that went VIRAL and I woke up to over 400,000 page views. Hey, it could happen! Be ready for it, you deserve it!