How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Business Without Paying a Penny

Small businesses have to juggle many different needs at once, which can sometimes leave little budget for advertising. Fortunately, social media offers an affordable way to spread awareness and expand your customer base. Ultimately, this comes down to producing valued content and fostering personal connection. That’s great news, because it doesn’t have to cost you a penny…

Choose Your Platforms Carefully

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. An unmanned or poorly updated profile can hurt your brand and drive people away, so start small.

First, you need to figure out which platforms best reach your target audience and suit your brand. Start with one account, and only add more when it won’t compromise your existing presence.

Each platform has its pros and cons. Some are more visual, while others rely on hashtags or text. You’ll have to get used to how they work and what users expect. Social media etiquette is important for communicating with the audience in a way that’s both plugged in and professional.

Post Daily and Update Frequently

Always try to post in a manner that promotes trust and engagement. Timing and quantity is key. Most platforms benefit from daily posts, and sometimes more. You’ll need to discover when peak engagement times are for your audience on each specific platform.

Also, you’ll need to respond quickly to questions, complaints, and comments. Studies show that many users expect brands to respond to their direct interaction on social media within the hour! While this is obviously unrealistic, you should always try to get back to them as soon as possible, even if only to say that you’re looking into it.

Use Images and Visual Media

Most people are visual learners, and your audience is no different. Billboards designed for highway traffic only have a few seconds to grab attention and relay a message — so designers rely on captivating images, clear design, and bold text.

You should take the same approach to social media. Use smart images, memes, and graphics to convey your message quickly. This will peak reader interest, leading to improved engagement and brand recognition.

The value of social media depends on what you do with it. There are tools now specifically to help optimize social media marketing, most notably a mobile app called Brandr. It can help you manage your accounts, brand your posts, maintain consistency cross-platform, and increase conversions. Learn more about it here.