You see it all the time, and it’s a trap for young players. Too much focus on social media posts means budget burnout with a big, fat capital B.
Why? Because regardless of the competition which is a healthy barrier between you and your goal, paid advertising is not as effective as it used to be, at least not for the small business and individual.
People’s trust in digital ads has rapidly declined since 2010 simply because it seemed and still does appear to be a case of “the best way to ram it down their throat.” In your face, digital advertising is a waste of time and money according to a lot of small business owners and individuals. Even spending a paltry $50 on promoted tweets does not guarantee stellar results.
So what’s the solution? How does being able to attain a dependable introduction to a new audience sound?
There is such a thing as Cross Promotion
Using a tactic like this means you can promote all your social media posts without spending any money at all. It’s not a secret; it’s just another way of communicating through other social channels.
However. cross promotion does not mean cross-posting. Posting the same content across multiple social networks is not a professional approach. Many people use HootSuite for this exact purpose, but it defeats the end result. In fact, it is seen as just plain lazy. If you give a rip about your followers then that extra five or ten seconds it takes to tailor your message will reward you with an appreciative audience.
So in order to get your content before as many pairs of eyes as possible, there are ways and means you can employ and they’re seen as making an effort.
1. Fortify Social Media with Email
Imagine the visible impact backing social media content with an email would have. Strategic integration of email and social media content would certainly strengthen the relationship between you, your posts and your followers.
If you issue a weekly newsletter, add your social media posts to it. Imagine announcing your business’s new Facebook page and integrating a contest or promotion of your product. Have your audience “Like” your new page then ask them to enter their details for a chance to win.
It is an approach that people enjoy. By inviting email subscribers to a competition ensures they’ll read your new posts, they’ll participate further by liking your content, retweeting, pinning on Pinterest and engaging with you by leaving comments.
Turn it about and use social media to promote your email newsletter. This ensures you grow your email list and also encourages people to subscribe. Take your savvy a little further and add a newsletter sign-up to your social media business page and take advantage of its full potential.
These two methods work very well and while your followers need to subscribe to receive the newsletter before they can read your content, your email list will grow nicely as you target your social media audience.
2. Sponsor an Event
Small scale events like conferences or networking events where you can engage in live use of social media, like live-tweeting throughout event proceedings is a way to get your message heard. Depending on your budget, you can cross promote your content both on and offline.
Before any event, brochures and flyers are created. Using these to mention your most prolifically shared posts and giving your Facebook page a comment is a way of utilising every dollar you spend on this sort of material.
During the event is when live tweeting for example is at its most advantageous. This allows people to follow you, digest your content and form a relationship.
Meetup is a great place to get people to a local event. It’s straightforward, easy to set up and when you’re done you’ve created an opportunity to get your message out there at the event. Whilst you’re engaging in conversation, creating friendships and business relationships, you can use this time to promote your services and products.
Just remember, however, when you are using live social media to use hashtags. These are vital when you want your reach to generate a voice whilst also making an impression so that you and your brand and content are better remembered.
3. Team Up with a Brand then Cross Promote
Every business needs a helping hand and when you and a company or organisation who isn’t in direct competition with you can team up with them to ‘scratch their back whilst they scratch yours’ so to speak.
You’re going to have two different product aspects and with forethought, you can produce a relevant post that will relate to a similar audience. You’re looking to compliment each other whilst sharing similar business ethics.
Partner with someone you would recommend whether or not you were partnering with them:
- Not-For-Profit Organisations
- Localised Businesses
- Neighbourhood businesses
- Businesses outside your niche
Now for content, you’re able to produce a post on your team’s behalf, co-produce a post or post content supplied by your team.
You’re going to play off one another’s strengths. Pool your resources for a prize in a contest, create a website or business page so people can enter online.
Maybe you could leave business cards or flyers with special offers in each other’s stores. When you share your customers among complimentary brands and businesses, it is so much cheaper and more cost effective than advertising on social media.
Consider having a stack of postcards designed with everyone who is participating in your cross promotion in a mention.
For example, your gift shop, your local hairdresser and shoe store all offer 25% off a purchase. These deals are irresistible so when I pick up a postcard in your shoe shop having bought a pair of sandals, I finish up buying a gift for a friend and I’m sporting a new do. I’ve snaffled three great deals and even bought coffee at the local coffee shop while mentally noting all this down as somewhere I’d like to come again.
4. Social Tabs for Your Facebook Page
Good ol’ Facebook have wisdom stashed somewhere and every now and again they air it.
You can utilise a third-party app that will add a tab to your page. Pins for Pinterest, tweets for Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and extend your reach in ways that will be more enjoyable for your audience.
Also too, with most apps providing an option to customise the tab’s thumbnail, you can make each match your business brand. With the following third-party tools, you can add tabs of other social networks.
- Instagram Feed Tab for Pages
- Pinterest Facebook Page Tab
The tabs are located under the cover photo of your profile where they can be expanded by clicking the ‘More’ drop-down arrow at right. They’ll behave like navigation bars and your followers will be able to reach all the other posts you have on offer.
5. Don’t Forget your Blog/Website
Your blog is your relationship between you and your followers and they will be following you all over social media. Your WordPress website/blog should already be paired with your social media platform so now you can use a plugin called Publicize which will enable you automatic delivery to each one.
To promote your posts on your website or blog you just embed them or display your latest messages in the sidebar.
If you’d like to have access to tutorials on how to embed posts from each social network on your website, here’s a list.
- How To Embed Pinterest Pins on your Website or Blog
- 16 Ways to add LinkedIn to Your WordPress website and Win New Clients
- 6 Ways to Embed Facebook on Your Website
- How to Embed Twitter Timelines on Your Website
- Add Instagram Feed to Your Site
- Embedding Google Plus Posts into a Website
- Winding It Up
With the strategies, techniques (and tricks and tips offered with the tutorials in Number 5) you should have every means to increase the reach of your social media posts.
And with only a very small financial outlay in one case (Number 3), you’re bound to have at least two or three of these strategies working in good stead with your social media posts.
Each task has left a pleasurable taste and with a little effort, you should be sailing along effortlessly.