How would you market if money wasn’t an option? Well, there is a way to market without spending any money, but what it does take is time.
It takes a lot of elbow grease to effectively work a social media profile to create a following that might eventually turn into referrals. It is the rare occasion when an account nets thousands of followers overnight. When it happens, it may have more to do with the type of business (geek culture, celebrity, media star). Then when the followers come, unless you have a plan to actually talk to them, they eventually get bored and leave.
Consistent and determined effort is how the rest of us do it. Now, this doesn’t mean spamming your followers’ inboxes every day with the “buy my stuff” message. I’m sure that gets you a big return — not.
If you really want to see some progress (and it won’t happen overnight unless it is the right place and right time) connect with people. I don’t mean send a friend request. It’s about having Internet conversations. I mean really connect with the people you already have. Wow them. Inspire them. Educate them. Tell them a good story.
If you see something they post that resonates with you positively, acknowledge it and say thank you. If you really like it, share it and give credit to the person you discovered it from. If you come across a link in your Internet travels and know it will be up someone’s alley, but you don’t necessarily want to display it on theirs or your wall/timeline, send it with a short not via private message: “I was thinking of you when I spotted this today. Hope you’re having a great week.”
You may be a multi-level marketer and/or really believe in what you have to sell. Keep in mind NOBODY wants to be sold anything. What’s the first thing you do when that salesperson accosts and begins to feature-dump you on the sales floor before you even got through the threshold? You cringe, try to shake them off, and if they hound you enough, you find the product somewhere else where they’ll let you shop in peace and just answer your questions when you ask them.
What is it that makes the product or service so special to you? And don’t say because you can make tons of money. If it were true, your cover photo would be the million dollar house you own in Tampa with the Rolls Royce in the driveway. If it’s a product, what’s the story behind it? If it’s a service, what’s the message? Schedule posts that hone that — not all about your business but in general.
Create a following by listening, responding, and making new friends. If you think Facebook is just for family and friends and you deny or grill strangers when they try to connect with you, then don’t expect social media to work for you.
Debbie Elicksen is the author of Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age published through Self-Counsel Press.