Did you know people worldwide spend more than 150 minutes daily on social media? Or that over 42% of Americans use social media platforms to find the small businesses they support?
That’s why social media is an essential form of small-business marketing. When successful, social media marketing can help your business reach your target audience and lead them to your website or storefront.
But what if you don’t have a huge ad budget? Believe it or not, there are several ways to promote your business on social media – for FREE!
Here are 10 free strategies that will help you attract new followers and create buzz around your brand.
1. Completely Fill Out Your Profiles
Many businesses fail to completely fill out their social profiles – and even more don’t take full advantage of all the options available.
For example, ensure your “About” section on Facebook includes all your information – like phone number, email, website, and social profiles. If you have a physical location, include the address and business hours. Also, remember to describe your brand and tell your story in paragraph form in the “Our Story” section so your audience can get to your business better.
2. Cross-Promote Your Posts
Another obvious first step is to set up your profiles on the platforms that best suit your business – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or TikTok. Then, list your other social media accounts in each profile. This reminds your followers that you’re also active on other channels and helps you build your following across platforms.
Cross-promoting posts across channels is an effective way to widen your reach. With some minor adjustments, your Facebook posts can also be used on LinkedIn – and your Instagram posts can double as tweets.
Read More: Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for My Business?
3. Engage With Your Followers
Engaging with your followers is one of the easiest (and most important) ways to promote your brand on social media. When a follower posts a comment or question, reply promptly and thank them for reaching out.
Consumers crave authenticity from the companies they support, so it’s also essential to respond when someone posts a complaint or negative comment. Acknowledging and correcting mistakes shows your followers that your brand is trustworthy and reliable.
4. Prominently Display Your Social Icons
Another effective way to promote your brand on social media for free is to make it easy for people to follow you. Prominently display your social icons on your website – and focus on the profiles you keep up with the most.
In addition to your website, you can also promote your social icons in email communications and your physical location. The more people see your social media profiles, the more likely they are to engage with your brand.
5. Take Advantage of Relevant Trends
Another free way to help your social media platforms gain traction is to capitalize on social media trends like popular hashtags and “holidays” that relate to your business and audience. For example, a restaurant might capitalize on Instagram trends like “National Pizza Day,” “#Instafood,” or “#thirstythursday.”
These trends will help you connect with your existing followers – and potential customers who use those topics or hashtags to search for new businesses. Every industry has unique trends, so a quick search on Google or your social media platform will help you identify which trends will work best for your business.
Read More: How to Use Hashtags for Social Media Marketing
6. Run Social Specific Giveaways
Instead of only offering giveaways and discounts on your website or through email, you can create campaigns that run on social media.
When offering a social contest or promotion, one of the best methods is to ask followers to tag others to enter. This helps you get your brand's message out to a broader audience – and gain new followers and customers.
7. Focus on Compelling and Unique Visuals
Successful social media depends on visuals (photos or videos), so you need to prioritize quality. This strategy doesn’t have to cost much since your smartphone can take incredible photos and videos. While the type of visuals you post will vary based on the social media channel and the type of business you run, the more compelling visuals you can post, the more effective they’ll be. To understand what performs well, see what your competitors are doing and explore hashtags and categories related to your business.
Read More: Social Media Tip: Create Eye-Catching Images
8. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content
User-generated content, or UGC, can be a goldmine for your business. UGC is any content that your followers generate. When a customer posts about your brand and tags your business, you can repost this content to your own channels.
What are the benefits of UGC? One benefit is you’re not responsible for creating as many posts yourself, so marketing is a little easier. But the most important benefit is that it shows you have an active community. The more people post about your business, the greater your brand awareness becomes.
So, how can you encourage your followers to create this content? Just ask! In your profile, ask followers to share their images or experiences with your brand – and create a branded hashtag they can use in their posts.
9. Repurpose Content
Repurposing your content is another free way to promote your business on social media. Blog posts, infographics, videos, whitepapers, and webinars take considerable time to create – so get as much mileage out of them as possible.
Sharing them across your social channels is one way to accomplish this. In addition to your initial share, you can use bits and pieces of the content and turn them into tweets for Twitter, quote cards for Instagram, or excerpts for Facebook.
10. Engage in Brand Storytelling
Bombarding your followers with promotional posts isn’t a good idea. So, what should you be sharing instead? One example is curated content that adds value for your customers.
Another example is brand storytelling posts – content and posts that share behind-the-scenes stories of your company, illustrate your values, or highlight your team – anything that helps your company stand out.
Even though social media platforms have moved toward a pay-to-play format, there are still effective ways to promote your business on social media for free. Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods of promoting your business online. It’s easy to set up, requires little maintenance, allows you to reach customers, and grows your brand.
Impact Group Marketing offers multiple social media services to ensure your business stays relevant across social media platforms. Contact us today for a free consultation or to learn more about our social media management programs.