Social Media is a great way to promote your business. Social Media is free to set up and the reach you can achieve through it can be staggering.
Firstly is you haven’t got a website, don’t worry! So long as you have a Facebook Page you have somewhere to refer your potential clients. It’s possible to use your Facebook Page in the same way that you’d use a website. Make sure you’ve included you phone number and email address so customers can contact you and put as much information as possible into your profile (it’s worth the effort!). You can always add your Facebook URL to business cards (once you have 10 followers you can change the gobble-de-gook URL to something easy to remember such as Facebook.com/AdeleFirthDesign).
You can even edit a button on your Page that allows customers to “Book Now” or “Shop Now” what more could you need when you’re getting started!
Some tips for Facebook…
- Invite all your friends to like your page, the more people who see your posts the more people who they know will see it too. Your aim is to build up as many followers as possible so your posts are seen by as many people as possible.
- When posting something ask in the post for people to share it. It sounds simple but for each person who shares it you get exposure to all of the people in their friends list.
- Once you’ve posted a post to your Facebook page, share it to your personal page so more people get to see and share it. Facebook doesn’t alway show Page posts as often as it shows personal posts so by sharing it on your usual personal Facebook page you’ll be reaching more people.
- If you’re writing a post try and find an image to post with it. Facebook will show posts more if there’s a video or image in the post. Also you can go back and edit your text if you posted a photo so if you spot a spelling mistake you can fix it, this is not possible on text only posts.
- Get a great header/banner design. Facebook might be free but if you want to look professional get a decent header image, it will stop you looking like a amateur.
- If you’re running a personal business where you’re the face of your brand, use an actual picture of you as your profile picture. It will give a personal touch and allow people to “get to know you”.
- While we’re talking Profile pictures and Header images, these get more exposure when updated than a standard post. So if there’s something you really want people to see, such as a promotion, put it in your header image and then put as much details as possible in the comments/description so people can easily see how they can get their hands on your deal.
- If you can get you customers to leave you reviews! You really can’t beat word of mouth and good referals.
Twitter is another great resource to get your brand out there. I find twitter takes a little more time and dedication because your tweet might only hang around in peoples news feeds for a short time, but there are some great networks on twitter and other people are more than willing to retweet your business if you’re willing to do the same.
An example of how I use twitter is that I have joined in with twitter communities which have “hours” such as Womaninbiz. This is a twitter user @womaninbiz who has set up a community that tweets every evening between 6-7pm using the hashtag #wineoclock. The idea is you retweet everyone using that hashtag and they retweet you back. Some of my individual tweets during these hours have reached nearly 1000 people! Granted not every one of those 1000 people will become customers but a few of them might know of someone who might be interested in my products and its free advertising.
I also join wedding communities on Twitter. As a Wedding Photographer I follow other people in the industry such as event planners, venues, Florists, Wedding Bloggers etc There are a number of wedding hours..
#weddinghour runs 9-10pm on a Wednesday
#weddingoclock runs 9-10pm on a Sunday
#bridehour runs 8-9pm on a Thursday
not to mention that I frequently use the hashtags #engaged #wedding and #bridetobe to my posts to alert interested parties to my tweets.
Through the networks I’ve built up on Twitter I’ve had bloggers ask to feature my weddings (again free advertising) and I’ve been asked by other wedding vendors if I wouldn’t mind doing a write up about their business on my blog (they write the post and if I’m happy with it I post it on my blog which is website content for me which reinforces that I’m a genuine business. Customers are able to see I’ve got connections to other established businesses/websites.).
If you have a website regular fresh content will help to keep you higher up on Google search results but that’s a whole other blog post!
I’ve also used Twitter and Facebook to run competitions and Polls to generate some interest in my business. I ran a “Win an Engagement Photoshoot” competition which was shared a lot on Twitter and I’m currently running a “Vote on your favourite wedding stationery design” again to try and get some interest in my products/services.
Remember each person that retweets you is sharing your promotion with everyone who is following them, and that can be thousands of followers!
Instagram & Pinterest are other great ways to market your business, particularly if you have a lot of image based content. If you’re not sure what sort of thing to pin/post have a search for other people in your industry and see what they’re doing. I have loads of wedding related boards such as “Wedding Dresses”, “Wedding Cakes” etc where I re-pin other peoples pins. I then have loads of pins which people pinning about weddings might be interested in so they might decide to follow me. I can then pin the odd pin relating to my products/service with a link back to my Facebook Page/Website so pinners know where to come if they’re like to make a purchase. These sites work in a similar way to Facebook and Twitter by people sharing content more people get to see and share it and with any luck something u posted might just go viral
Now I know this is technically not social media but it can seriously help promote your business and it’s FREE. You can write posts about what you’ve been up to with your business (I post about weddings I photographed and wedding stationery collections that I’m working on) and you can also post tips that readers might find interesting (such as this one) or you could post about trends in your industry/field. The reason this is useful is that it gives potential customers more of an idea of who you are and how passionate you are about what you do.
Image you’ve decided you need a wedding photographer, a make-up artist or florist for your wedding. Firstly you need to be able to find one so you search either on Google, Facebook or ask a friend (this is why you need all of the above – to get yourself some exposure). Then would you not try to check them out online, see if they’re genuine, see if anyone has left any reviews, and generally get a feel for if you’re interested in picking them. Regular blog posts (or facebook posts) can help with this. A Blog (WordPress is who I use) can look very professional as you can make it look really stylish all for free. You can run polls where people can vote on stuff and you can add a whole load of images to a single post. You can then share the blog post link on Facebook and Twitter so people out there know you’re still out there doing your thing.