Long gone are the days when companies would post an advertisement in their local newspaper informing the public of their upcoming event or product launch. Today, social media is often the only channel entrepreneurs use for promotion. And this presents some challenges, as well as some opportunities.
Firstly, the main challenge is finding ways to be noticed in a crowded field. And secondly, doing so with a limited and sometimes no budget at all. Fortunately, the digital universe is full of excellent tools that could help any company reach its goals, at a reasonable cost.
Get the word out
The first step is to decide what tools you are going to use to broadcast your message. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the obvious choices. Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ are options as well if you have the time and the manpower. If you have an email list, then Mailchimp is an essential tool for email marketing. Creating a hashtag for your product or event is a great way to build a brand. And once you decided on a strategy, the real work begins.
Start a schedule
Hootsuite and Buffer are probably the two most widely-used tools for scheduling posts across various social media channels. Sharing content across multiple platforms is common practice but remember that what may work for Instagram might not work as well for Facebook or Twitter. Keep track of the content you post over a period of time. And remember, not to inundate people with the same information.
Create engaging content
Now, what tactics will you use to promote your company? It is a widely-known fact that posts with photos, graphics and videos are shared far more often than those with just text. And that is true across every social network. Producing good content can be difficult and time-consuming. But, there are tools that could help. Canva and Pablo are affordable options for creating images. And if you are looking for some free photos, then Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash are your best source.
Reach out to influencers
In order to promote your product, you might need some help. The bigger companies obviously have influencers reaching out to them. But, if you are a small brand, it is more of a challenge. Target like-minded influencers on Twitter and Instagram who focus on a similar industry. Offer them an incentive like sharing their content in exchange for them sharing yours. Or if you can, ask them to guest blog on your organization’s website if you have one (which you should). They get exposure and you get more content. For more information on influencers, please read my blog post here.
Contests and giveaways
It is no secret, people like free stuff. Companies can draw attention to their cause or event by offering people a prize. It could be anything like awarding gifts for the best photo on Instagram that highlights your product, for example. Tell everyone to use a hashtag you created to keep track. The prize could be something as simple as a $20 gift card. But, it has to be worthwhile.