Small business owners are always looking for ways to improve their marketing efforts on social networks. Web sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become valuable advertising assets for independent establishments that want to expand beyond their local markets.
Manta, an online consulting firm, recently found that 90 percent of small businesses are actively using social networks. Pamela Springer, the company’s CEO, believes that most entrepreneurs understand the value of employing the internet for marketing purposes.
“Participating, networking and being found online is extremely important today in growing their business, so it’s not surprising that they are embracing the channel,” Springer said in a statement.
Holding giveaways for lead generation
Small business owners use promotional giveaways to steer traffic into their establishments. Consumers visit businesses to receive small gifts like pens and notepads, and the tactic has been adapted for social networking. Entrepreneur Magazine writes that some companies hold online giveaways by asking social media followers for contact information in exchange for unique promotional products.
Entrepreneurs shouldn’t ask for too much information from their customers. Most people are focused on cyber security and as such are hesitant to disseminate a great deal of personal data. Owners should only require followers to enter their mailing addresses so they can receive their gifts. Small businesses should distribute the items as soon as possible to ensure patrons that the giveaway was not a scam. Promotional wall calendars can be bought with custom envelopes, so they’re the easiest products to mail.
Contests lead to active participation
Alternatively, businesses hold online contests to encourage followers to actively engage with social pages. Sites like Facebook and Twitter reward busy profiles, so it behooves entrepreneurs to find ways to motivate customers to participate by posting updates or adding their own photos. The Social Media Examiner writes that contests only work when companies hold unique competitions and offer excellent prizes.
The news source notes that there are four types of games companies typically feature online: sweepstakes, essay, photo and video contests. A sweepstakes is the easiest because it only requires an entrepreneur to pick a winner. Photo and video contests help businesses add content to their profiles, and essays generate text-based updates.
Owners can use personalized business gifts as prizes for their contests. The awards should only be given to a handful on participants. Custom pens, water bottles and calendars can have winners’ names emblazoned on the side.