You see, a budget is a vital component in the marketing plans for any business, be it large-scale, or small-scale. But yes, large-scale businesses have sponsors, a greater revenue, and a higher brand name. So it is easier for a big business to venture into newer enterprises and take calculated risks. But a small business or a start-up had much more budget constraint. There are bills to be paid and repairs to be made. Grand marketing campaigns are not for them. Social Media marketing whereas is a cheaper yet effective option that could be leveraged by a small business, to get the maximum outcome.
The struggle of getting started and then staying on a fixed budget, however, is a point of concern for all big and small businesses despite the differences in their respective stature. This requires some smart tactics. So today we have brought to you some of those hacks and tactics that both a big, as well as a smaller business can avail.
1. Avail Facebook Group
Other than Facebook Page, Facebook also comes with Facebook Groups which are smaller in size, but with more active users. A small group of active users is any day better than a large Facebook page with less number of active users. Moreover, they come for free. You can add up your existing customers in the groups and create a community to answer to their queries. And since you would be carrying out the conversations as an individual and not your business, groups tend to have more active conversations going.
Any business can have a Facebook group, be it a restaurant business, or a beauty spa, or a dental clinic. Facebook Groups are very practical and handy and could be leveraged at a small budget.
2. Find out your Niche Social Media Platforms
The Internet has now become very generic, with the presence of everyone in everywhere. Specific platforms where people can connect with only like-minded individuals who share same likings and preferences are less. But, luckily there’s a niche platform for everyone. Whether you take an interest in reptiles, or baking cakes, or bonsai plants, you would find platforms of your fraternity.
Try to open accounts in your niche social platform to get customers from there. Niche platforms often get ignored and overlooked, but many times they can be relevant enough than most social media giants.
A few examples of niche platfroms are:
– And so on.
You don’t need a higher budget to open a page here but still get productive results.
3. Organize Contests
A brilliant way of local social media marketing on a low budget is to run contents. The more you create contests, the more your audience will be interested in you, this would appeal to them, and in return, they will share the contests on their social media channels. Thus you reach quickly escalates and you reach to people whom you might not have before.
Shortstack is a site where you can create contests and campaigns which could be published on your Facebook page, blog or website. The site has both free and paid plans which you may choose as you deem fit.
4. Try Hashtags
Another zero-investment way of getting your content into other conversations is to utilize hashtags wisely in your social media updates. If your content is about small business, you can include #SmallBiz in your message and can get your content included in bigger conversations.
If you are confused as to how you would use hashtags, try Keyhole, this will help you track a hashtag. Remember, hashtags are more used on Twitter and Instagram, but their usage is limited on Facebook.
5. Find out the right time to Post
Though you would see posts after posts are flashing by in the social media channels, not all posts are actually seen, neither they prove to be useful. So find out the best posting times when your target audience is the most active. You can also experiment with different posting times, to see when the engagement rate is higher.
Buffer’s free scheduling tool can give you some help.
6. Share your content in other groups
A true budget-friendly way to do social media marketing at a low cost is to join other groups. Maybe a Facebook group, or a LinkedIn group. Join there, you would come across several prospects, and by connecting with them, you can actually drive their attention to your business.
Be sure to read the group description, because some groups allow you to promote your content only on certain days. Also if you want a sustainable relationship, then be generous and share others pieces of contents as well.
7. Pinterest gives you immense Exposure
If you have a Pinterest account for your business, avail it thoroughly. If you don’t, then create one right now. Pinterest gives your business a significant exposure. Just remember to turn off the “search privacy” option, which may bar your profile from Google, and also won’t allow you to capitalize on Pinterest users who want to follow your boards.
8. Leverage the power of User-generated Content
We are always running short of time. And business owners! For them time is money. So if you find that you are too busy to write a content for your blog, too financially crunched to hire a professional content writer, then absolutely worry not! You can simply leverage others in this effort. You can reach out to your per group and ask for a favor by coming up with a content and contribute to your blog.
Not only your readers get a breath of fresh content, but also you would make your peer group happy.
Ensure to notify them when you publish the blog post, also tag them on the social media channels where you make the blog live. You may include a small thank you note there.
9. Team up with Social Media Influencers
Influencers are the big daddies of the Internet world, more precisely, the social media world. Getting connected to an influencer can prove valuable for you and your business. And this comes totally for free. Just politely reach out to them and request them to mention your business in their social media handles. And he/she does! That’s it. You’ve won half of the battle.
If you have 10,000 followers, and the influencer has 40,000, with just one mention you will have the potential to reach 50,000 people at once.
Be sure you approach the right person with the right attitude and right offer. You would surely get your social media marketing right! 🙂
10. Give variations in Images
You can’t just expect result without variation. Be it variation in your content, in your writing style, in your choice of topic. Or, most importantly, the images you use in your content. And bringing variation in your images are not too much expensive an idea, compared to other variations or upgrades you constantly have to make in your marketing strategies. Just test your acquaintances by different images, and see which one gets liked and loved the more.
But yes, don’t drift away from your brand color, because that is the only binding force that glues your business/brand in the minds of your target audience, and your prospects. By giving variations in visuals, you also give out a message that your visual creativity is at a higher level than other marketers out there.
11. Google Analytics will get you the Data
If social media marketing is to be done at a low cost, nothing could be better and indispensable, like the Google Analytics. Not only it is a free tool, but also it gives you authentic and valuable insight about your website. For, e.g., which blog does your audience have read the most, how many people have visited your website in an hour, week, month and year, which social channel is driving the most web traffic to your site. All you can get by just adding a tracking code to your site with Google Analytics.
Without spending a dime, you would get valuable data about your site that you can leverage to make adjustments and improvements in your marketing strategy.
12. Get Custom Audience to target with Facebook Ads
Facebook now gives you a priviledge to build a custom audience whom you can target with Facebook ads. With the newly added feature, you can just add a tracking pixel to your website. And then as people visit your website, you build a custom database of your audience. The good thing about this feature is, you get a known and welcoming audience, rather than a cold group. They have already seen your website and have known what you do, so it’s more likely that when you send those ads to them, they would welcome them, and tend to become your customer. Doesn’t cost a penny, does it?
13. Repurpose your Old Posts into Spin-off Contents
Suppose you had come up with an excellent post, and people loved and shared it like hot cakes, owing to the value they received from it. Now, why would you confine its lifetime till that post? Why not create an Infographic out of it? A video in that case? Or maybe just a few slides on the key takeaways? Try to repurpose your content as long as it is relevant. This would not only save your time but also would save your money.
Or if you still don’t have a chance to create any spin-off content, just publish/share the same blog once again. Maybe in two months. You can take resort to the scheduling tool Post Planner.
So, hope by now you have understood, that social media marketing is not always all about money. It is more about the effort you put in your marketing endeavors. And if you tap into this, you are sure to reap high returns on your investments of efforts.
Do you think we have missed out any other low-cost idea of social media marketing? If yes, then please feel free to share with us in the comments section below, we would love to mention it in our next blog on social media marketing ideas. And if you need any help in your social media marketing or branding efforts, do remember us!