If small businesses want to achieve marketing success with fewer resources than big-box stores, they have to take certain leaps of faith. Rather than business decisions that put your financial stability at risk, you can take the unbeaten path in social media marketing to gain the upper hand on your competition.
However, this doesn't mean crafting pithy Facebook posts or making sure you tweet at the same time every day. Social media is a vast as it is varied, which is why you need to pick the right site and platform that caters to your business goals. If you've been looking for a unique way to promote your brand online without much financial risk, these four social media sites can put a new spin on your online marketing strategies.
1. Be a leader
Marketing used to be all about convincing customers that your products were the answers to their questions. However, today's consumers expect a more meaningful relationship with the brands they give their hard-earned cash to, which is why Ask.fm allows your small business to be the kind of go-to source for all of your clients' needs.
Ask.fm functions like an online chalkboard where users can post questions, and others respond with answers. If you consider your small business to be an expert-level source in do-it-yourself repairs around the house or how to get your taxes done on time, posting answers under your brand can be a great way to show your customers that you not only know what you're talking about, but you you're not afraid to help consumers when there's no clear profit for your business.
2. Map it
Small business rely on in-store traffic much more than larger retailers, which is why it's so important for you to know what's going on in your backyard. Moment.me is a location-based social media aggregator that shows you what customers in your area are saying about your brand online.
If you can single out customers who routinely engage with your brand on popular social media sites, reaching out to them and creating a more visible relationship may be an effective symbol for other clients. Who knows – you might even be able to attract customers who are in the area but have no particular plans to visit your store.
"Do you use Twitter for anything other than posting a few times a week?"
3. Make sense of data
Sure, your small business might be on Twitter, but do you use the account for anything other than posting a few times a week and throwing out the random follow every now and then? With so many of your customers interacting on Twitter already, the site has more potential for analytics than as a message board replacement.
That's why many small businesses are turning to gShift, a Twitter mining app that splits open the millions of tweets sent every day and shows you which keywords and hashtags your customers are using – and how best to influence them. If you're able to craft compelling and engaging content based off of these hidden trends, you're giving your consumers exactly what they want.
4. Create your own social network
In the social media marketing game, it's all about going to meet the customers on their terms. However, what if you could edge the balance back in the direction of the brands and get consumers to congregate not on popular sites like Facebook and Twitter, but on your own branded pages?
That's what Pushup Social promises – an integrated social network on existing company web pages. With member registration and commenting tools, customers can engage with content on your company's site like never before.