Social media is another free way to get the word out about your small business. The most popular business accounts are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but make sure to consider using other sites that might be specific to your niche, such as Pinterest or Reddit.
Facebook is the largest social network online and it can be a great way to keep in touch with existing customers and to reach new customers. Promoting your business on Facebook can vary substantially depending upon your industry, but here are some basics:
- Create a Facebook business page with your contact information and a CTA.
- Use Facebook events to promote and maximize attendance to your events.
- Run Facebook live sessions, of tutorials or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.
For more ways to promote your business using Facebook, take a look at our post 22 Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on a Budget.
Connect and contribute on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become more than just a place to post your online resume; it’s also a place to join in on group discussions, connect with potential customers, form new partnerships, or just to do general online networking. Potential customers can check out you or your company before doing business with you to find out how many employees you have and to get more information on the background of the company personnel.
You can also promote your business indirectly on LinkedIn by providing perspectives in group discussions and/or providing links to relevant content on your website. Just make sure you’re not always promoting your own content.
Upload videos to YouTube
Video marketing is a great way to promote your business, and YouTube lets you do it for free! Promoting your business via YouTube is an effective way to help potential customers or clients connect with your business. Putting together a quick overview video of your business and then uploading it to YouTube gives you a nice sales tool that you can post on the homepage of your website or circulate in emails to prospective clients.
You can also post educational videos, tutorials, or how-tos in your YouTube channel in order to get discovered by people looking for what your business offers. There are plenty of affordable options out there for making videos; just check out our post on DIY at-home videos. You can also add videos to your blog posts which can enhance their SEO quality, such as with this WordStream post below:
Note also that videos tend to show up in results for very niche searches, sometimes at the very top, like this one:
Advertise on YouTube
As with the other paid strategies mentioned in this post, YouTube advertising can be an investment that pays off if it’s done right. You can advertise on YouTube by creating video ads that play before videos in relevant categories, or through text ads that appear in search results:
Engage your audience on Instagram
Despite being one of the more recently launched social media platforms, Instagram is the third most popular platform out there. With its diverse posting formats (permanent images, short-lived Stories, IGTV series, live sessions, Story Highlights, and more), there exists a variety of ways to use Instagram to engage your audience and promote your business. You can:
- Promote your sales and deals with hashtags to expand your reach.
- Run contests with a free or discounted product/service to generate positive buzz (and obtain a list of leads to reach out to).
- Offer advice and tutorials to stand out as a go-to resource.
For more ways to promote your business on Instagram, check out these 11 Instagram marketing tips.
Share on Twitter
Twitter is another free channel that can be used to promote your business online—mainly if your audience is comprised of 18-24 year-olds. It tends to require a bit more activity to build an audience, but if you’re consistently active, you can master the platform and experience its benefits.
You can promote your products or services:
Or simply invite nearby customers to stop in:
Give Pinterest a shot
While Pinterest is fundamentally focused on sharing photos, the fact that your photos can link back to your website creates an opportunity to promote your business and drive more traffic to your site.
Pinterest is especially powerful for ecommerce businesses looking to reach a female audience (Pinterest users are heavily skewed towards the female demographic). If this fits your profile, you may want to think about getting active on the Pinterest network.
Try out TikTok
TikTok was only launched in 2016, but it has already surpassed Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest in active users. Its ease of use in creating compelling videos with special effects makes it a great video marketing platform—and not just for Zillenials. You can jump right on the platform to provide how-to, tutorial, or behind-the-scenes videos, but you may want to promote your new Tik Tok channel across other networks, as with the example below:
Join online communities
One of the best ways to get a hand up is to offer a hand up to others. Join communities and groups relevant to your business or industry on LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook, and offer people good advice and suggestions when they have problems or questions. (Make sure your own profile information points back to your business, of course.)
This is a great way to build a genuine reputation and form solid connections with people relevant to your work. What goes around generally comes around. And remember that while you’re helping one person with their query, you’re being observed by a thousand silent others who will see your name and what you’re doing.
Try an influencer marketing collaboration
Your business can be a part of communities both geographically-based and niche-focused, and influencers are celebrities within your niche. They’re not on the red carpet or hosting their own talk shows, but they are highly respected, wildly popular, and deeply trusted experts in your niche. Influencers have a large social media and/or blog following, which means that getting mentioned or featured by one of these influencers can promote your business to a massive, relevant audience.
Influencer marketing is a careful strategy, however. Before reaching out to an influencer, take the time to familiarize with their accounts across all networks; comment on, like, and share their content; and be sure to approach them with a specific ask and something of equal value in exchange. For example, you might offer them a month of free classes in exchange for a review on their blog and mentions on social media. Or you might offer to write a high-quality guest post on their blog that benefits their audience while also supplying a backlink to your site.
Here’s an example of an influencer in the automotive niche (David Patterson) promoting a local garage:
And here’s an example of an influencer in the home and parenting niche (Leticia Barr) promoting FabFitFun: