Back before social media existed, the only real form of free advertising was word of mouth. If a person had a positive experience with a company's product or service, he or she would tell somebody, who would then tell someone else, causing the brand's reputation and profile to increase exponentially.
Now imagine that a consumer, following a positive experience with a particular business, was able to tell not only five or 10 or 20 of their friends but upwards of 500, 1,000 or even 10,000 at a time! This is what social media has done for helping businesses not only get their name on the map but also skyrocketing them to superstardom in the blink of an eye.
How does social media help market a business at no cost?
Using social media as an advertising tool through sponsored ads is also a highly effective way to market your business, but that's not what we're talking about here. What we are talking about is organic marketing fueled by a single post or tweet that can spread good buzz about your company to thousands of people, depending on the number of followers the poster has. All without costing you a single penny!
So...how do I get this amazing free marketing?
You can always channel your energy into creating engaging, witty posts that capture the essence of your product or service while also capturing the imagination of your core audience. However, be warned that marketing is a full-time job, and can quickly eclipse any other aspect of running your business. If you're unable to have an in-house marketing department working for you at this stage of the game, you may want to consider getting brand influencers interested in what you have to offer.
The Internet is full of people who present themselves as 'social media influencers.' This is a catch-all term for people who have built up a large following on a social media platform by reviewing products, critiquing popular restaurants, posting unboxing videos or simply being famous for being famous. The secret is to get these influencers to not only spotlight your company's product or service in a post that garners hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views, but also to ensure that they have nothing but rave reviews for your company. Some business owners accomplish this by sending free goods or coupons for free services to influencers, or by contacting the influencers' agents to schedule a special visit to your store or restaurant. If the influencer features your product or service in one of their social posts, you stand to gain a serious uptick in interest from new customers, which can directly lead to higher sales and an elevated brand reputation.
Anything I should watch out for?
Just remember, literally anyone can pass themselves off as a social media influencer. It's up to you to do the proper vetting and ensure that the person you choose to promote your brand is representative of your company's core values and integrity. Hiring a social media expert witness is a good way to cover your bases so you have peace of mind that your brand is represented only by the highest-quality, most reputable sources.
There's never been a more powerful marketing tool than social media to help grow your business organically. Once you learn how to harness its power to spread positive word of mouth, you can anticipate a significant possibility of boosted sales and a bigger bottom line.